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TSA

KN, p. 162 “Fan Favorites of 2015”

 

TexasRangersMountedStatueIMG_3585

Kerrian’s Notebook readership was up again in 2015! Double wahoo!! More than ever, it seems as if readers and professional writers that follow the Notebook most enjoy learning about the nuts and bolts of crime as well as the crime fighters that take care of the bad guys.

 

The Top Ten favorites from 2015 are listed in reverse order. Click on the title to read that post.

Did your fave post of the year make the list? Let us know in the comment section below.

 

  1. Irish Brown Bread (p. 139)   Tasty, easy, and taste-tested by us.

 

  1. Murder at the Conference (p. 154)   Nefarious? Why, yes!

 

  1. Could you be a detective? (p. 134)   Do you have what it takes?

 

  1. Could you be a sniper? (p. 135)   It’s harder than just being a crack shot.

 

  1. What does the TSA really do? (p. 137)  It’s more than baggage handling.

 

  1. Is that a body under the deck? (p. 148)  The snakes were bummed that their own post (About the snakes..) didn’t make the Top Ten, but promised to keep the slithering to a minimum when they saw they had a mention in this post that did make the cut.

 

  1. Who are the Texas Rangers? (p. 144)  Many, many thanks to the Johnsons for their valuable insights, and years of service to the great State of Texas.

 

  1. What does a Texas Ranger do? (p. 145)  Soooooo much!

 

  1. What poisons were in Agatha Christie’s books? (p. 133)  Christie is a perennial favorite of mystery readers around the world and the poisons she used to dispatch many of the victims in her books were well researched.

 

  1. How to Become a Texas Ranger” (p. 146) Apparently, there are either a LOT of people that are curious about the qualifications for becoming a Texas Ranger, or there will be a ton of books with Rangers as the featured characters published in the future. This post was read by more people than any other Top Ten Kerrian’s Notebook post in previous years.

 

To all the Kerrian’s Notebook readers all over the globe:

 

Your comments, reactions and enthusiastic participation through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, emails and on the site itself, mean the world.

Many thanks for continuing to follow us as we travel around the country doing research, collecting odd stories and sharing weird facts about fires, EMS scenes, crime, and the people charged with helping the community when bad things happen.

 

Kerrian’s Notebook fans are the best on the planet!

 

*Photo taken by Patti Phillips at the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco, Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

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KN, p. 137 “What does the TSA really do?”

 

Most of us associate the TSA (Transportation Security Agency) with annoying lines in the airports and intrusive searches through baggage, electronics, and personal belongings. In fact, the agency has 50,000 members and is also responsible for conducting inspections in rail cars and for patrolling subways in cooperation with local law enforcement men and women.

 

This most recent variation of airport and border security agencies was formed in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 – the day of the worst terrorist attacks the USA has experienced. The TSA was organized and revamped in order to make travel throughout the country (and beyond) safer. These days, they operate under the umbrella of Homeland Security/Office of Law Enforcement.

 

Before September 11, 2001, airport screening was provided by the airlines/airports  themselves. Afterward, the TSA was given oversight control of personnel training, in addition to the screening process itself. Not all airports had screening procedures in place, so that was changed as well. Bulletproof and locked cockpit doors became the norm because of the TSA, rather than the previous open door, friendly-to-all policy.

 

Other changes brought about in order to improve national security and passenger safety:

  • Some aircraft have CCTV cameras on board, so that the cockpit crew can keep an eye out for unusual activity in the passenger areas.
  • Some crewmembers are licensed and trained to carry firearms.
  • Air Marshals travel undercover in the passenger section of the planes.

 

Federal Flight Deck Officers As terrorist threats in the air became more of a concern, the TSA created the Flight Deck Officer Program. Certain crewmembers are authorized and trained to use firearms as well as self-defense maneuvers to defend against anyone trying to get control of the cockpit/plane. On any given flight, it could be the pilot, co-pilot or navigator holding the gun that protects the crew.

 

Federal Air Marshals travel undercover on many US flights, not only domestic, but throughout the world. They protect the people onboard (as well as in airports) by detecting and responding to threats, managing any incidents (such as hostage situations) and generally acting as the law enforcement group within the TSA. The FAMS is most likely to have trained the canines used in patrolling the airports.

 

Federal Air Marshals have been around since 1962 in one form or another, under the jurisdiction of different agencies, at one time special volunteers for the program, but now a mandated position. They also assist other groups (such as the National Counterterrorism Center) when their special expertise in airport security is required.

 

Just knowing the Marshals are onboard, makes me feel safer when I travel. These guys and gals have to work without backup, so they train in all kinds of scenarios in order to protect the passengers and crew while in the air. Marshals are highly skilled in the use of handguns, but shooting inside a plane is pretty much a bad idea. The Marshals have other methods to subdue any people that might be crazy enough to disturb a flight.

 

Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR)

One of the arms of the TSA combines specialists from several areas and sends them out when needed in high-risk situations at transportation hubs throughout the country.  They have been given the authority to work with federal, state and local law enforcement if transportation is affected by a terrorist threat. A team might include:

  • Federal Air Marshals (FAMs)
  • Transportation Security Officers  (TSOs)
  • Behavior Detection Officers (BDOs)
  • TSA certified explosive detection canine teams
  • Transportation Security Inspectors (TSIs)
  • Transportation Security Specialists – Explosives (TSSEs)
  • Local law enforcement officers

The team would receive any (or all) of the following in order to get the job done:

  • explosives operational support
  • security and explosive screening technology
  • radiological/nuclear detection backup  

 

Yup. They do more than screen the baggage.

 

For more information about the TSA, please go to www.tsa.gov.

 

 

 

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