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Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
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December 23, 2002

They Work Late in Portland

Well, all those emails kept some poor person after work on the day before Christmas Eve. I just got this, which was sent out about 8:00 pm Portland time.

Dear Mr. Bigwig*

Thank you for the opportunity to provide some details related to an article circulating on the internet written by Nicholas Monahan.

Please understand that the security checkpoints are operated and staffed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a federal agency, and the airport has no control over the management of the checkpoint or the screeners who work there. Therefore, the TSA is the appropriate organization to contact regarding traveler and baggage screening procedures at the checkpoint.

The Port does, however, have supervision and control over the Port of Portland Police officers who responded to this particular matter. Port Police were called to the checkpoint by the TSA to respond to an altercation with a passenger, who turned out to be Mr. Monahan. When Port Police arrived on the scene, they observed Mr. Monahan exhibiting aggressive and disruptive behavior which caused operations at the security checkpoint to be temporarily halted. Port Police first attempted to get Mr. Monahan to calm down, but when those efforts failed, the officers involved felt they had no other reasonable or safe recourse than to take Mr. Monahan into custody. He was detained for less than two hours, cited for disorderly conduct, and then escorted off airport property. After reviewing the citation issued by Port Police, the Multnomah County District Attorney elected to prosecute.

According to Mr. Monahan, he plead no contest.

Mr. Monahan also contacted the Port's aviation director about this incident. After reviewing the incident, and understanding that Mr. Monahan had a business travel need to use the airport, the aviation director used his discretion to rescind the Port's exclusion order. Based on review of this incident, the Port believes the officers acted appropriately.

If you would like any information related to the screening process itself or the TSA, please contact Brian Doyle at (202) 494-9680.

Sincerely,

Name removed to protect the innocent
Customer Information Specialist
Portland International Airport
Port of Portland
email removed to protect the innocent

I'm always a bit surprised when some stranger responds to my missives. My default expectation is to be dismissed as a crank, so it's a bit disconcerting when I'm not.

As you can see from the letter, the buck has been passed up to the Feds, and though it is dressed up in officialese, they don't contradict the version of events on the Net.

So I guess it's off to the TSA, to see that they say.

To report specific violations and concerns about security, please contact the Consumer Response Center. After business hours, please leave a message and your call will be returned promptly.

Phone: (866) 289-9673
Email: TSA-ConsumerResponse@tsa.dot.gov

* no, they didn't write "Bigwig" If you really feel the need to know my name, poke around the site a bit. It's readily available.

Update: More TSA e-mail addresses
Brian Doyle, Transportation Security Agency Spokesman - brian.doyle@tsa.dot.gov Note: I don't know for sure that this is a correct address, but it follows the pattern of the TSA email addresses below, and my e-mail to this address has not yet bounced.

Heather Rosenker, Assistant Director for Media Relations - heather.rosenker@tsa.dot.gov

Emily Chodkowski, Transportation Security Specialist, Office of Security Regulation and Policy - Emily.Chodkowski@tsa.dot.gov

General enquiries - TellTSA@tsa.dot.gov

Posted by Bigwig at December 23, 2002 11:35 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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