While I do not derive any sort of pleasure from blogging about Transportation Security Administration officers constantly being busted for breaking the law, there is a reason I choose to cover these sorts of stories.
After blogging about the TSA wristwatch thief at LAX yesterday, we learn today about a “lead TSA Officer” at Kona International Airport who was recently busted for stealing money from Japanese tourists in a undercover sting operation.
A former Transportation Security Administration screener on the Big Island who admitted stealing money from an undercover agent posing as a Japanese tourist has been sentenced.
News reports say Dawn Keka was ordered Thursday to serve two months in jail. Keka was lead TSA officer at Kona Airport. The TSA targeted her in a sting operation after reports from Japanese tourists that she stole money from them.
After her jail term she is to serve a year of court supervision.
Isn’t it just a little disconcerting that we are now having to use undercover government agents to root out the criminality in other government agencies?
Of course there are crooks in every branch of government–I ought to know: I worked on Capitol Hill and in the White House and served in the military. But the fact that stories of TSA abuse and thievery are popping up at least once a week should at least cause us to stop and question whether we need to reconsider the way we think about transportation security in the United States.
Surely in a time of high unemployment, we can recruit a better pool of candidates to “guard” our nation’s airports. I think story after story of petty theft, larceny, and in some cases worse demonstrates a colossal failure in leadership. Before focusing on costly new technology and Israeli-style interrogation, I would focus on little things–like working harder to make sure the people I hired were not the type that help themselves to what does not belong to them (or by saying that did I just indict all of Congress?). Isn’t that a reasonable place for the agency to channel its efforts?