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30/01/2009 – TSA Screeners Leave Airports For The Super Bowl
You’re flight has landed, you’ve got your rolling bag full of bodies at your side, your long lens case arrived on the baggage carousel without incident and you’re headed off to The Super Bowl. Fans and photographers alike will arrive at Raymond James Stadium this coming Sunday to watch the Arizona Cardinals take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLII.
As you enter Raymond James Stadium you’ll notice a familiar site, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Screener uniforms. The TSA working outside airports (they also work in other places, such as cruise ship ports) is nothing new, in fact the TSA was just utilized on the 20th of January 2009 in Washington DC to help with security surrounding the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. What role will the TSA be playing at Super Bowl XLII?
The TSA’s security role at the Super Bowl will not be limited to checking your bags for weapons, liquids and other banned items, and the agency will be deploying Behaviour Detection Officers (BDO). A BDO’s role is to watch for suspicious body language, which is a fairly broad job, and pointing these potential ‘threats” out to law enforcement for further questioning.
BDO’s have successfully caught drug runners, those evading warrants, kidnappers and others wanted by law enforcement through their role of ‘people watching’ in airports since their introduction into service with the TSA.
Of course there are dozens of reasons someone may become a ‘false hit’ for a BDO. Maybe they had a little to much to drink the night before the Super Bowl; they could be worried about how much money they spent getting to the Super Bowl while facing losing their job; they could just be a big football fan who hates being in crowded places. There is no real science behind behaviour profiling, and BDOs have no yet spotted or stopped a single terrorist, or anyone intending to hijack a flight, but overall the use of BDOs at the Super Bowl should help identify some people who are seeking to engage in illegal activities within Super Bowl XLII
For more information on TSA BDOs, I discussed their role in this post:
19/6/2008 – TSA Institutes New Secondary Security Searches At The Gate