TAC Texas Brief- Transportation Security Administration
Author: Dr. Daniel R. Coleman, D.B.A., Communications Coordinator, Tenth Amendment Center-Texas
Contributing Author: Steve Baysinger, Chair, Tenth Amendment Center-Texas
Prior to March, 2003 the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was a division of the Department of Transportation (DOT). Today, the TSA is part of the Department of Homeland Security whose mission is to protect “the Nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce,” (TSA 2011).
According to a study by William and Mary University (Atkinson, Boardman, Walters, 2009):
- Prior to the TSA’s assuming the responsibility for security at the nation’s airports, it was the responsibility of each individual airport and the airlines providing service to the public, to provide transportation security.
- Prior to the September 11, 2001, assault on America there were approximately 28,000 screeners in U.S. airports, with an estimated annual security cost of $1 billion to the US airline industry.
- In 2002, the TSA was initially composed of a small group of employees with expenses totaling $95 million. As of 2009, the TSA had more than 50,000 employees and expenses of $4.733 billion!
Approximately 50,000 Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) work at 450 airports nationwide. The TSOs screen nearly 2 million passengers a day,” (TSA, 2011). According to John Pistole, Director of TSA (as of November 2010) there are 385 AIT scanners in 70 airports across the country, but “he expects to expand that number to one thousand by the end of 2011,” (as cited by CNN, 2011). Further, TSA declares “Anyone who refuses to complete the screening process will be denied access to airport secure areas and could be subject to civil penalties,” (as cited by CNN).
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution:Details