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Fact Tuesday: Transportation Safety Administration (TSA)

by Countable | 1.2.18

In a tweet this morning, President Donald Trump took credit for the zero commercial airline fatalities in 2017.

Regardless of how much credit the president deserves, Countable decided to look at the Transportation Safety Administration…

  • The TSA is an agency of Department of Homeland Security and was created in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

  • TSA agents have no authority to actually arrest passengers at security checkpoints. Instead, they must alert law enforcement officers, like airport police or FBI agents.

  • The epaulet stripes on TSA uniforms aren’t decorative. One stripe denotes a Transportation Security Officer (TSO), two stripes denote a TSO lead, and three stripes denote a TSO supervisor.

  • Almost 20% of TSA employees are veterans.

  • There are over 900 TSA canine teams.

  • The TSA deploys around 2,000 officers trained in behavior detection to identify potential high-risk or suspicious individuals.

  • In 2016, TSA officers screened 738,318,264 passengers, 466 million checked bags, and 24.2 million airport employees.

  • That year,** 3,391 firearms** were discovered in carry-on bags. Of those, 2,815 (83 percent) were loaded. Here are the top 5 airports for firearms discoveries:

    1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL):198 2. Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW):192 3. George Bush Intercontinental Airport - Houston (IAH): 128 4. Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX): 101 5. Denver International (DEN): 98

  • Liquids automatically get tossed out as the TSA has no way of knowing if the products have been tampered with.

  • The TSA cannot profit from confiscated property, but other government agencies can. State agencies might unload items at surplus centers or online auction sites like GovDeals.

  • Some items are donated. "We have heard of local schools receiving the scissors," a TSA employee wrote on the agency’s official blog. “We have heard of local police departments training with the mace. Some [Veterans Affairs] hospitals sell some of the items to help make ends meet.”

  • Here are a few odd things the TSA has confiscated: a plastic bag full of eels, human skull fragments inside a clay pot, Batman batarangs, a marijuana-filled grenade, an avalanche charge, a Swiss Army-style iPhone case. (Want even more? Check out the TSA Instagram of weird confiscated items.)

—Josh Herman

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Written by Countable

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(11)
  • RadicalModerate
    01/02/2018
    ···

    I would like everyone to know there have been no flying monkey attacks in 2017. You have the lollipop guild to thank for that. Thank you lollipop guild.

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  • S
    01/03/2018
    ···

    He is too stupid to know how to do anything and the only thing he can do unerringly is lie. Pilots and air traffic controllers apparently play no part in the trump system of air safety. Let’s stick him in a jumbo jet alone, of course, and see if he can figure out how to avoid any collusion er I mean collision.

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  • Donna
    01/02/2018
    ···

    Did I miss something here? I pay attention to most of the rantings of DJT and I don't remember even one mention of cracking down on the commercial airline industry in 2017. He will take credit for anything good, won't he? He would be the first one to point a finger at a pilot or flight attendant or other employee, had there been an accident, to shift the blame. If DJT is really interested in keeping the airline industry safe and free of casualties, perhaps he can start by getting his transportation secretary to do her job. She can start by not eliminating regulations meant to protect passengers, not the carrier, like the baggage fee policy. Maybe she could also enforce already-existing safety regulations, unless those have also been repealed because they are too cumbersome for the carrier. The flying conditions on most US carriers are abominable and unsafe. These days the airlines can have passengers dragged off planes because they need a seat and there is no consequence. If a passenger causes a non-violent confrontation on a plane, they are met at the next stop by officials and are hauled off in handcuffs. Really? The industry was started to provide a great service to the consumer. It has made the world smaller and enabled people to reach destinations previously not available. It has deteriorated into just another group of corporations wanting to satisfy the greed of the shareholders and the supposed leaders, known to most as CEOs. This is a shame.

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  • BeStrong
    01/03/2018
    ···

    ...and in breaking news Mr Trump adds to his long list of accomplishments, that the Sun rises each morning only as he opens His eyes and that he has coined the phrase...”big button” as a euphemism for bigly things. #stayTuned

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  • Countryfirst
    01/03/2018
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    Yet another chance to realize the moron in chief is AN IDIOT!!!

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  • Stephanie
    01/02/2018
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    The airport have a Security Checkpoint, to let the people to be Scanned, if they possess any dangerous items, will be Confiscated by the name of the Law.

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  • Azrael
    01/02/2018
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    His mental health is deteriorating at an alarming rate Little green men will be crawling out of his gold toilet soon

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  • Liam
    01/07/2018
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    Trump, let me tell you something. YOU ARE NOT GOD!

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  • Sharon
    01/08/2018
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    If Trump really believes the lies he tells or implies, such as his seeming to take credit for the results of Obama’s policies or the lack of aviation fatalities in 2017, he may be having delusions and therefore may be mentally ill. If Trump just lies knowingly, opportunistically, and regularly, he may be without conscience and therefore may be mentally ill. If Trump really believes that everyone who sues him, disagrees with him, criticizes him, or dislikes him is the problem without considering his own contribution to the grounds for a lawsuit, the disagreement, the dislike, and/or the criticism he may be mentally ill. He may be a genius, as he claims. If he is a genius, it seems to me that his intellect seems to be directed primarily toward self-aggrandizement, financial gain, manipulation, predation on others, and deceit rather than the acquisition of knowledge, maturity, wisdom, or building anything other than sources of increasing his wealth. Patterns of behavior are one source of evidence for mental health/stability. What do you think his behavior suggests about his mental health? Do you think the intellectual ability (or how it is directed) and his mental health make our world safer/better or likely to protect the best interests of our country domestically or internationally?

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  • Linda
    01/03/2018
    ···

    He continues to make statements and proposes actions that substantiate his need to resign or be impeached.

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  • Mandopando
    01/07/2018
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    Can the secret service confiscate his phone?? Something?? Melanie Trump control your husband.

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