BY Kathleen Roberts |

New Respect for TSA

In our recent Utah Business Travel Association’s January luncheon, Ronald Malin, Deputy Federal Security Director, Transportation Security Administration, DHS, spoke to us about TSA. To my amazement, he brought along a number of prohibited and actually confiscated items they had found during the past 7 days at the Salt Lake International Airport. Here’s the short list:
• A small portable propane tank (full) for a camp stove
• A taser, stun-gun type item
• Toy gun exact size and look of a very dangerous one
• Large, heavy crescent wrench
• An item shaped and similar in appearance to a hand grenade
• Belt buckle with shape and look of a grenade
• Fire crackers and other fire works
• Ammunition, sometimes just a few but often times numerous bullets
• Knives of different shapes and size
There was also a very long, large knife enclosed in a leather case that was actually attached to a person on his belt as he entered security. Ron also passed around the room a man’s shoe they use for training showing what it looks like when a bomb is placed in a shoe. It could have come from any male’s foot in the room!
During Ron’s presentation he also explained the different levels of security; as to how, why, where they are stationed, some even trained to closely watch the behavior of oncoming passengers making it very clear to me the importance of it all. There of course were some questions about the Christmas attempted bombing. We talked about the “human error” aspect. Ron further explained that at the Salt Lake International Airport, TSA employees are stationed to monitor at all times with no one being left alone at certain stages to more carefully avoid as much human error as possible. I seriously felt very lucky to have our Utah Airports under the direction of Ron. Yes, truly a new respect for TSA.