TSA Agents Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges

The union that represents airport police at LAX doesn’t think TSA agents should be allowed to wear badges.

[V]eteran law enforcement agents like Marshall McClain, President of the LAAPOA, say bestowing the title of “officer” to TSA screening agents and giving those screeners police-styled metal badges has granted agents the outward appearance of law enforcement authority – which they do not possess.

“The main mission of TSA agents is to screen passengers and baggage at the airport,” said McClain. “These screeners have not received law enforcement training and do not perform police functions at our airports so why would we ever allow them to wear police-like badges?”

The badges were purely meant for TSA ego. They got to be called ‘officers’ in 2005 and were given badges in 2005 “to boost morale” rather than as to signal their role. The problem with the title and badges is that they do signal authoritah which they weren’t intended to possess. And that’s a toxic combination.

A few bad apples who in no way undermine the hard work that thousands of men and women at the TSA do to keep us safe, day in and day out.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Plenty of room for “day in” and “and day out” to be split to point to other outstanding examples of TSA’s finest.

  2. The security guards at Disneyland also have metal badges and are called officers. Are they next? I would think that they have even less authority than the TSA.

  3. mall security guards do not get metal badges do they? They get the cloth kind do iron onto their uniforms. How is a mall security guard different then a TSA agent? Other then the TSA gets paid a lot more.

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