With the rising cases of terrorism in airports, the United States government opted for the creation of an agency to secure the transport systems. The Transport Security Administration, a security bureau, was developed and given the responsibility of offering protection to the transit systems in the United States (Bragdon, 2011). It is one of the agencies under the Homeland Security Department. Unlike other government entities such as the military or FBI that have been in existence for long, the TSA was established in 2001. The key aim for the establishment of the agency was the notion based on the incapability of private agencies to offer adequate security for every passenger. As distinct carriers hire private firms, they are unable to provide far-reaching assistance that will be able to support all the airlines and provide overall security coverage. The proponents of the Transport Security Administration believe that only one general federal agency is able to provide adequate security of the US transportation system.
Origin of the TSA
The terrorist attack of September 11th on New York’s twin towers resulted in the demands of increasing the level of security along with the major transit system in the United States. Therefore, on 19th November 2001, the United States Congress ratified the Aviation and Transportation Act that instituted the Transport Security Administration and placed under the Department of Transport (Riley, 2011). Under the act, the agency was primarily assigned the duty of thoroughly screening all luggage, gaining access to the airports for any explosives. The agency was also tasked with hiring security screeners at about four hundred and fifty commercial airports in twelve months. In 2003, the agency’s oversight mandate was later transferred from the Transportation Department to the Department of Homeland Security, which was instituted under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Edwards, 2013). In addition to enduring several storms, the TSA has had four administrators in only over six years. No less than three bills have been introduced to eradicate the agency’s numerous perceived insufficiencies. However, not a single bill has passed.
The agency cultivates strategies for the protection of passengers and the implementation of security procedures intended at curtailing the threats of terrorism. The TSA workforce has been at the frontline in ensuring security in transportation operations. For instance, the TSA also handles security policies for rail line, trucks, pipelines, seaports and mass transit systems. They have 37 multi-modal VIPR teams that are working in various transport divisions in the republic to avert any impending plan of terrorist activities. They have finalized more than 290 Baseline Evaluations for improvement of transit security, which has offered an all-inclusive evaluation of security plans in the transportation systems. The agency also participates in active collaboration with different transportation security partners at the international, national, and local levels to share the information on transport security and develop policies as well as recommendations. TSA holds meetings with different transport security partners in the development of systems, refinement, and implementation of rule-making, programs, and security directives that pertain to aviation security, such as the specific aviation security issues.
The Office of Security Operations oversees the regular undertakings of maintaining security for all types of transport, including inspections, accounting requirements, planning on a long terms basis, informational help, and guaranteeing obedience to guidelines. The other subdivision is the Law Enforce office which comprises of the Federal Air Marshal Service. Air marshals equipped with weapons safeguard civil aircraft from attacks by blending in with other travelers and are qualified in behavioral-profiling and self-protection practices. The Office of Human Capital is the human-resource wing of the agency, with the responsibility of overseeing recruitments, teaching, and performance of staff. Another subdivision is the Finance and Administration office that manages the agency’s bookkeeping and managerial undertakings. Also, the Acquisition office partakes in handling key procurements, research and development, endowments, and other monetary provisions. The Operation Processes and Technology office acts as the agency’s data technology department. Another section involves the global strategies department that works with representatives from foreign nations to progress the security of international space. The National Explosives Exposure Canine Team, known as the K9 department, coaches canines and trainers to snuffle out grenades or other hazardous substances. The agency presently possesses numerous explosive uncovering dog teams that have been set out countrywide. They have been given the responsibility of passenger screening and reinforcing other assignments. Every dog is mainly taught to sense the smell of explosive substances.
The agency has been unsuccessful in effectively implementing significant strategies during coordination. Progressions since 2001 have resulted in legislatures that identify the importance of enlisting safety tasks as fundamental apprehensions, and consequently, the administration directs most subdivisions to implement austere safety mechanisms.
Bragdon, C. (2011). Transportation security. Butterworth-Heinemann.
Riley, K. J. (2011). Air travel security since 9/11. RAND.
Edwards, C. (2013). Privatizing the Transportation Security Administration. Cato Institute Policy Analysis, (742).