DHS Secretary Says Revised TSA Screening for Kids Months Away

Sep 13, 2011 3:02pm


After some public uproar and the occasional outrageous example making headlines, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday that TSA would begin rolling out a revised airport pat-down procedure for children under age 12.

Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Tuesday, Napolitano said that in the months ahead DHS would begin a more risked-based approach to passenger screening.

“We have been piloting…programs to deal with children under  the age of 12 with respect to not only taking off their shoes but also pat-down procedures.” Napolitano said.  “And we hope, over the coming weeks and months,  to be able to begin rolling that out.  It does require additional training of all of the thousands of TSA officers, and that’s under way.

“There will always be some unpredictability built into the system, and there will always be random checks even for groups that we are looking at differently such as children under the  age of 12.  But I think the travelling public will begin to see some of these changes really in the coming months,” Napolitano testified.

Later in the hearing Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., expressed his displeasure with some instances of TSA screening procedures gone awry, mentioning a case where an 8-year-old girl in Kentucky was patted down.  Paul said the TSA agents had been instructed to do so because of a child suicide bomber in Kandahar.

Paul told Napolitano:  ”Don’t consider age to be a risk factor…I think we need to put some sense into what we’re doing here.”

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