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Published:November 14th, 2007 08:11 EST
TSA Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques

TSA Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques

By SOP newswire


The Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program utilizes non-intrusive behavior observation and analysis techniques to identify potentially high-risk passengers. SPOT is designed to detect individuals exhibiting behaviors that indicate they may be a threat to aviation and/or transportation security. The program is a derivative of other successful behavioral analysis programs that have been employed by law enforcement and security personnel both in the U.S. and around the world.

TSA`s SPOT-trained security officers are screening travelers for involuntary physical and physiological reactions that people exhibit in response to a fear of being discovered. TSA recognizes that an individual exhibiting some of these behaviors does not automatically mean a person has terrorist or criminal intent. SPOT does, however, help our security officers focus appropriate resources on determining if an individual presents a higher risk or if his/her behavior has a non-threatening origin. Individuals exhibiting specific observable behaviors may be referred for additional screening at the checkpoint to include a handwanding, limited pat down and physical inspection of one`s carry-on baggage. Referrals are based on specific observed behaviors only, not on one`s appearance, race, ethnicity or religion.

SPOT adds an element of unpredictability to the security screening process that is easy for passengers to navigate but difficult for terrorists to manipulate. It serves as an important additional layer of security in the airport environment, requires no additional specialized screening equipment, can easily be deployed to other modes of transportation and presents yet one more challenge the terrorists need to overcome in attempt to defeat our security system.

SPOT is currently operating at approximately 40 major airports nationwide.