TSA supervisor: Security problems at RSW airport are serious

CREATED JUN. 5, 2012 - UPDATED: JUN. 5, 2012

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Sacrificing your safety? FOX 4 learning new information about what led up to the discipline of more than 40 TSA workers at RSW.

A TSA supervisor says airport security problems are far more serious than you even know.

Travelers we spoke with say safety is their main concern. So they were not happy to hear that when it comes to safety, TSA may be cutting corners.

According to a TSA supervisor who spoke with us on condition of anonymity, during this morning's briefing they discussed problems at RSW.

He says officers there failed to follow protocol at the security checkpoint.

He goes on to say that TSA's staffing shortages is having a negative effect on checkpoint security at many airports. It's not what these passengers at RSW want to hear.

"I think security should be the last to be let go. Especially how things are today." Nicole Haralson said. “That bothers me. I don't like that at all. No."

TSA won't confirm the details of exactly what happened at RSW.
They only say at some point last year,

"Some employees did not follow the proper procedure for applying random, supplemental screening procedures."

As a result, 38 employees may be suspended and five others could be fired. The spokesperson says all bags were screened and passengers were never in any danger.

But the supervisor we spoke with says staffing shortages could be to blame, saying:

"When there is not enough staff then screeners get complacent and, (as a result), there are not enough people to screen all of the bags.
"I don't think it's safe at all, letting unchecked bags go through. Because you don't know what's going to happen." Haralson said.

For instance, when baggage goes through the screener the computer determines if that bag is "checked" or cleared. If it's not cleared, it's up to a screener to check the bag manually before it goes on the plane.

The TSA supervisor says: "when there's not enough screeners they bend the rules and don't follow protocol when screening bags"

Which means TSA workers may not be manually checking bags even though the screening machine indicates that bag should be checked.

FOX 4 asked Nicole if when it comes to security, she want to make sure the TSA is doing their job

"Exactly, for my safety, my kids safety, for anybody's safety, yeah." Nicole said.

FOX 4 reached out to the TSA spokesperson again today. At this point they are not releasing any new information.

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