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Police Bracing for Complaints About the TSA's New "Enhanced" Pat-Down Procedure


The Transportation Security Administration is rolling out new pat-down procedures as travelers go through security at airports.

The pat-down searches will be used on passengers who decline to go through the full-body screening machine used at most major USA airports or for those travelers who trigger a warning from the machine.

Airport pat-downs are about to get more intimate for passengers who receive them. This standardized pat-down procedure continues to utilize enhanced security measures implemented several months ago, and does not involve any different areas of the body than were screened in the previous standard pat-down procedure.

TSA officials declined to detail the new universal procedure or the previous pat-down tactics, but the industry is bracing for passenger unhappiness about more invasive searches.

Now, security screeners will use the front of their hands on a passenger in a private screening area if one of the prior screening methods indicates the presence of explosives, according to a "security notice" Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) sent its USA members following a March 1 conference call with TSA officials.


At security checkpoints, agents ask passengers to stretch their arms out for pat-downs and then used a gloved hand to check the front of her shirt.

The TSA won't reveal specific procedures on how its pat-downs are conducted beyond the general information on its web site. "We need to be secure". However, "it changes the kind of pat-down screening those who require one will receive". "You know, security's number one thing, and I don't care what happens to me as long as I get there in one piece", said Thomas Aquinas of Brooklyn. Other times, TSA will conduct random physical checks.

One traveler said, " I guess I'm all for it if it keeps everybody safe".

Stratte-McClure, who told NBC News he had undergone "the most intriguing, intense and invasive pat down I've had by the TSA since they came into existence", also "doubted that the new pat-downs would be much more effective than the old ones, which he said didn't work in the first place".

Truth be told, the TSA doesn't have to foil terrorists. This "lessens the cognitive burden for our officers and reduces the possibility for confusion with passengers and employees as well", the TSA said.

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