|Quoting Analog (Reply 59):|
It doesn't matter if transporting large sums of money is illegal. It's not the TSA's job to enforce that. If they happen to accidentally discover > $10k in cash, fine, but is there any person (other than some idiot-savants) that can instantly determine if some stack of bills is over $10k?
Actually, according to their website, it is the TSA
's job to assist law enforcement in detecting any illegal activity. The following two stories were taken out of the www.tsa.gov
BDOs SPOT More Than Just Opportunities at TSA
Two TSOs examining the contents of a bag
BDOs Dave Bolduc (left) and Chris Davis at a Logan
At Boston's Logan International Airport, Behavior Detection Officers (BDOs) David Bolduc and John Ferragamo, using behavioral cues, grew suspicious of a passenger who turned out to be carrying large and illegal amounts of prescription medication, more than $20,000 in cash and a passport belonging to another person.
At Washington Dulles International, BDO
Steven Markman received information that a man had kidnapped a child and was possibly headed to the airport. Ten minutes later, Markman and two of his behavior detection colleagues spotted the man and child and kept them in sight until police arrived.
Both incidents illustrate not only the BDOs' ability to identify passengers who may represent a threat, but how the Career Progression Program has helped transportation security officers further their careers with merit-based promotions to become behavior detection officers.
"SPOT [Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques] training elevated my level of suspicion toward the passenger," Bolduc said of the incident at Logan. He became a TSO in June 2004 and earlier this year joined the behavior recognition team.
Begun in June 2003, SPOT which focuses on behavior and not physical characteristics is expected to be deployed to the nation's 40 busiest airports by the end of this year. To date, there have been thousands of referrals to law enforcement and for additional screening.
More than 500 behavior detection officers are expected to be trained by the end of 2008 many of them by Tony Mills, a former corrections officer who works at Portland (Maine) International Airport and travels the country as a behavior recognition instructor.
"My experience as a corrections officer helped me develop a sense of when someone was attempting to be deceptive," said Mills, who joined TSA
in 2002 and SPOT in 2004.
Those selected for the Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques program undergo four days of classroom instruction in behavior observation and analysis, and 24 hours of on-the-job training in an airport security checkpoint environment.
Illegal immigrants have been identified through SPOT. So was a passenger carrying surveillance photos of high-risk buildings and bridges. Another more obvious intercept was of a man wearing several layers of clothing with wires extending from his sleeves to a black box he was carrying. And, in 2005 at Logan, several passengers sitting separately were seen making clandestine signs to one another, while pretending not to know each other. They later admitted to being paid $5,000 to travel between airports and observe security.
Pittsburgh TSOs Help Track Thieves
News & Happenings
has thwarted would-be criminals at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT
) on numerous occasions due to the diligence of transportation security officers (TSOs) at checkpoints and coordination with the PIT TSA
communications center. TSA
employees recently helped local police make arrests in separate incidents involving the theft of $3,900 in cash and of a laptop computer that were caught on tape at the checkpoint. Pictured at the communications center are TSO Mary Rupert and Lead TSO Brian Silver.
Actually, the TSA
website is filled with stories about TSA
officers apprehending criminals, drug smugglers, illegal aliens, kidnappers and other illegal activity.
Also, here is a copy of the TSA
policy on carrying cash through checkpoints straight from their website:
Traveling with Special Items
Currency, Coins, Precious Metals, or Valuable Jewelry
If you are carrying valuable items such as large amounts of currency, coins or jewelry, we recommend that you ask Security Officers to screen you and your carry-on luggage in private. This will maintain your security and avoid public scrutiny.
We suggest that you ask to speak with a TSA
screening supervisor before you are screened. Tell the supervisor discretely that you would be screened in a private location.
operating procedures require a witness to be present during private screening. The witness may be another TSA
Security Officer or someone that is traveling with you.
If cleared, you and your valuables will be allowed to enter the sterile side of the airport.
We recommend that you carry these items with you at all times.
Currency Reporting: For international flights, you must report the transport of $10,000.00 USD or more to the U.S. Customs Service. Read more.
While it does say that you are entitled to a private inspection, it does not say that the officer is not entitled to count the money. In addition, there is a link to another page in the TSA
website which specifically details the Customs regulation concerning taking large amounts of currency in and out of the country.
In essence, if you read through their website, it states clearly that TSA
officers not only can screen passengers for weapons, but are considered to be assistants to law enforcement and are trained to profile passengers. You can find out more at the page referenced below which is entitled "Assisting Law Enforcement".