TSA's Patdown Problems

Wednesday is one of the biggest travel days in the country, but when it comes to the new airport security screening measures that include invasive patdowns, how far is too far?

Newschannel 6 spent the day asking tough questions about the screening techniques and those who do the screening and you may be surprised who can work for the TSA

The Transportation Security Administration wouldn't tell Newschannel 6 details about the pat down procedures. Officials said security screeners will do whatever it takes to ensure blocked materials don't make it onboard.

Many Texoma passengers don't feel like the pat downs are a problem and prefer to be touched than to fly in fear.

Karen Huskonen, a passenger at the Wichita Falls Municiple Airport says that "the security, you can't have too much security when you're flying nowadays. I mean there is just too much terrorism and stuff going on, it doesn't bother me a bit."

Yet it bothers some. According to the TSA, about 3% of the flying population will have to go through pat down procedures. However, if you want to know how far is too far, you may be wondering for a while.

Luis Casanova, a TSA Public Affairs Official explains why. "We don't want to be public about the details of how we screen people, otherwise our enemies will want to try and bypass them if they understood the details."

Newschannel 6 asked specific questions about nudity, clothing, and even body cavity searches. Casanova wouldn't give specifics as to how agents are to act.

"The steps that are taken are to ensure that there is a thorough pat down and whatever that entails at the time is what is done," Casanova says, "Essentially striking that balance between privacy and security. Our TSO's are professionals and they behave as professionals."

What about screening the screeners? The TSA says that officers are trained for 180 hours, before going on the job.

According to a statement sent to Newschannel 6 "All security officers undergo a thorough criminal background check, which includes submitting their fingerprints to the FBI and cross-checking names against terrorist watch lists. it is TSA's policy not to hire sexual offenders."

"From our perspective, people will not be hired if they had felony sexual assault or child sexual abuse or any crime of moral turpitude of that nature," explains Casanova.

The TSA hiring documents tells a different story. It says that a person convicted of a felony, including murder, or kidnapping, within 10 years will not be hired. However, that's not the case if the crime was committed over 10 years ago.

Joy, a traveler at the Wichita Falls airport isn't surprised by the findings. "They've already served that debt to society and I don't think its for me to judge what 10 years of clean living could have meant to him."

Another interesting fact pulled from the TSA hiring documents; a person who has ever had a foreclosure will never be allowed to apply for a TSA position.

Mary Moloney, Newschannel 6