TSA Agent: Blame our Bosses
Screener says Newark Airport is understaffed and employees are overworked. TSA supervisors are to blame for recent security breaches at Newark Airport exposed by The Post - including a fake bomb that got past screeners, an agent said yesterday.
By C.J. Sullivan and Rich CalderSource: The New York Post
Created: March 12, 2013
"The problem at Newark is that the supervisors are more concerned with appearances rather than results like stopping illegal weapons from getting on planes," said one agent with the Transportation Security Administration, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"They don't back up the screeners. They would never come out and help when it gets busy. I work hard here, and it's very busy. We aren't lazy; we are understaffed and overworked."
The agent's remarks came a day after a former TSA screener told The Post of Newark's lax security, saying, "It's not a question of if terrorists get through - it's a question of when."
Rep. Peter King (R-LI), chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, said that yesterday's Post report revealed "a lot of weaknesses" in TSA security and that "improvements must be made."
"There's no room for errors," King said. "One major mistake, and it's a disaster."
But Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) defended the agency.
"We are safer since 9/11, and I think TSA is part of the reason," he said, even as he called on the agency to reverse its decision to allow fliers to bring pocketknives, baseball bats and other potential weapons on flights.
At Newark Airport yesterday, fliers said reports of lax security there had them leery.
"I see how bad it is here," said John Tensel, 51. "I try my best not to even think about it. It's too scary what can happen."
Della Monterella, 27, of Florida, said, "The TSA agents at Newark do seem bored by their jobs. They act like they don't care."
Additional reporting by Antonio Antenucci