From Patting Down Grandmas to Pre-Check, Retiring TSA Chief Looks Back on Legacy

Administrator John Pistole has ushered in era of more efficient, risk-based airport security.
5:17 | 12/22/14

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Transcript for From Patting Down Grandmas to Pre-Check, Retiring TSA Chief Looks Back on Legacy
Hello and welcome to power players I'm David Curley and we're at the Transportation Security Administration headquarters for an exit interview of sorts with John pistol the administrator who's been here for warning after years. Coming over as deputy director from the FBI before that. I should joining us what kind of agencies TSA that you leave. Compared to which you came into. Well it's risk based intelligence driven agency meaning we are trying to focus on the highest risk. Without her and eliminate risk TSA with stood up after 9/11. Given the mandate to ensure that no chairs could ever you don't want to playing again and so one size fits all approach. Was used to do that TSA got a terrible reputation at beginning of that one size fit all is part of the problem isn't what is so was because our protocols were such that we would literally doing pat down 95 year old great grandmother were with cancer in a wheelchair. Because she might be a tear us. Who were taken to hear from the three you and going to do is something. So what we've done is replace some of those policies. That. Frankly didn't make any sense. With a policy of saying let's try to prescreen as many people we can't we have TSA preaching. If you government closed the top secret security clearance of your federal judge member of congress all these different categories people. That we already know a lot of now. Then if we can make some judgments about them. Before they get the airport then we can expedite them and then spend time with those that we don't know much about. Do you see evidence that terrorists are trying. To bust the system we are concerned that's there. Terrorist two or exploring. Different security protocols to hear reports. And looking at points of potential vulnerability because that would give them easier access to US won't mr. this is cat and mouse game always has been always will be. What keeps you up at night. It's the idea that there is somebody out there that has not come up on anybody's radar clean skin lone wolf somebody just hasn't. Been in contact with others that somebody my. Figure out as a terrorist. And who has access to this. Metallica CD that he used several tips coming up the Middle East in the last five years. They're able to get on your underground have you with us and will that play now is the frightening part. Where they're coming from me it is so that the focus is clearly on make sure we get it right here. But it is the concern for the US government intelligence community offers beauties is that from the overseas through. How safe are we flying today very safe. That being said there's New Hampshire guarantees. Right now we have in place. Extra protocols through protocols. In certain airports in Europe North Africa and Middle East and that's because of intelligence over this of this past year that indicates. There may be chair trying to get on plane bound for Western Europe where the US with that type of non non Metallica CD. I think you've trained me to carry small amounts of liquids good I think a lot of travelers find these liquid. Restrictions problematic is the liquid restriction gonna go away. The something that we've been working on for quite awhile because of limitations in technology for example this. Bong water we could tell that that's boil water. But if it's a liquid explosive that takes more time. We actually have the technology to do it it just is not efficient so there might be a two hour wait time at a checkpoint where everybody wants burned through their. Would crucial bills. So I don't see short term solution of that but longer term believe it. That we will have. Many more people being able carry on this includes personals generals what was she different in the next three to five years today we have prospect 500. Four Orleans. Between 200 around the country. That are designated for TSE preacher passengers as normal people sign that will be come to me. We're the majority passenger who wanted to see preaching. In five minutes or less so it's convenient and efficient process. When you put that badge down and join the rest of us and have to go through the regular screenings are you ready for the unemployment EC project so I have to get that any time I travel because it is clearly the way to go. If there is a stamp on your time here is pre check part of that. Who clearly it's. Part of that statistic project is one of over two dozen policy changes that we made should talk to pilots and flight attendants about how they get through security most airports. It's an identity based system so we've had over 25 million flight crew. Jam into the front in the security line taking our time and things because we can verify and real time that's in good standing so. There's whole groups of people that are benefiting from these changes we made. Which allows us to be more precise and focused some looking for one billion terrace and haystack. Tasted good but that's our mission. John pistol thank you very much for joining us and thank you as well for joining some power players I'm David Hurley we'll see in the next.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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