The Great Hippo wrote:Jobs that provide power inevitably attract people who enjoy abusing that power.
I think you'll get a lot of these kinds of outrageous situations regardless of the type of people you hire and how you train them. The TSA is judged solely by whether or not terrorists get onto airplanes, all their incentives are built from that. So their procedures and policies will be focused around keeping terrorists off airplanes, not customer service: The director will be hauled in front of Congress and fired if one terrorist makes it through to an airplane. Only one out of every hundred? thousand? groped grandmas will make it to the news, and it will take a large number of such incidents in the news to get the director called in front of congress for that. Even then, the director can present it as a choice between groping grandma or letting airplanes blow up. And if an airplane does get blown up, the director can point to the complaints and tell Congress "See! We are doing everything we can do!" Their procedures will also be non-discretionary because the director (and President) would get crucified
if a terrorist got on an airplane because someone made a bad judgement call, so you'll continue to see soldiers forced to toss their nail clippers while merrily carrying M-4s onto the plane.
Added to that is the constraint that they can't profile passengers due to equal protection laws, so they're between a rock and a hard place: If they aren't profiling, they'll have to grope some grandmas and let some brown people through unmolested. If they don't grope any grandmas and toddlers, they'll get sued for racial profiling.
So the legal environment and their mandate from Congress means the TSA will be groping grandma regardless of how much training the screeners have. Note that customer service never appears. Take a look at the TSA's mission statement,
neither the mission nor the vision says anything about customer service. The closest it gets is saying "We are a people of integrity who respect and care for others and protect the information we handle," under integrity in their core values, but that's pretty vague, and intentionally subordinated to the mission of "The Transportation Security Administration protects the Nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce."
You'll probably see the same things from a private screening company: Frisking grandma and scanning toddlers and not letting soldiers carry on nail files. But they'll almost certainly not be assholes about it since the folks in charge know they can be replaced if the cause too many complaints. They might also be more careful about providing actual security, not just going through the motions since they'll certainly be sued if a terrorist gets through. So still the random scans and pat downs that have to grope grandma (they've still got to obey the equal protection/anti racial profiling laws) but you'll also be likely to face a little chat on your way through with some serious scrutiny if you get squirrely.
The drug stuff? Meh, is it even TSA's job to stop drug trafficking? You'll get corrupt people anywhere, if it's not TSA agents, it will be baggage handlers
or stewardesses or someone.