Security training session underway for MIA employees
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Employees at Miami International Airport are undergoing a special training session Friday afternoon on screening passengers.
Controversy continues to grow over the way the US is staying on alert at airports as the holidays approach.
MIA is stepping up their security with about 100 airport employees undergoing a training session on how to detect suspicious behavior and what to do next. "We're looking for not just body language, but for surveillance techniques and even the weight of the vehicles and tinted windows," said Aviation Security Director Lauren Stover.
The exercise comes after TSA recently implemented their new body scanners and more aggressive pat downs for air travelers. "I feel like in America, we want to be safe but somewhere in there, there needs to be a balance of people's rights, privacy," said Chuck Clement.
Some travelers say the pat downs are too personal and the x-ray scans are too invasive and potentially dangerous. Although they are not happy with it, TSA Federal Security Director Mark Hatfield said these security measures will stay in place. "We know that we got to be able to detect them in order to stop them, and so if that AIT, or Advanced Imaging Technology is the best technology we have, then that's going to be out there on the front line for awhile," said Hatfield. "If the pat down that we are implementing today is the best technique or practice, then we are going to continue doing that."
Last Christmas, it was the so-called underwear bomber who made it on to a Delta jetliner with highly-explosive material in his underpants. That is why the TSA calls these invasive new measures necessary.
Now, some in Washington are using flyer's increased anger towards TSA to build a case for ditching the TSA and using private security companies at airports instead. An MIA official said they have no plan to ditch TSA.
Around 800,000 passengers are expected to travel through MIA for the Thanksgiving holiday.
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