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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Paul Pushing Online Petition to Abolish TSA

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is urging supporters to sign an online petition that supports legislation to eliminate the Transportation Security Administration.

Since taking office, Paul has been an outspoken critic of the federal agency’s security policies at airports, which have been subject to a number of reports.

Earlier this year, the Senator clashed with TSA agents at the Nashville International Airport after he refused a pat-down and claimed officials told him the scanners were “rigged” to allow random searches.

In a message to supporters through the political committee Campaign for Liberty, Paul says the pat-downs and searches are invasive and that the “police state” is out of control.

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Local News

Louisville, Lexington Airports Install New Security Scanners Soon

The Transportation Security Administration is installing new security scanners at several airports around the country in the upcoming weeks including the Louisville and Lexington airports.

Nearly 140 airports have already made the switch to one of two scanner types in the last few years. Both devices scan the entire body but only one displays a complete image of passengers’ bodies, said TSA spokesman Jim Fotenofs.

The scanners being installed in Louisville and Lexington will display the same body image for every passenger, which should eliminate privacy concerns from travelers, said Fotenofs.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Paul Discusses Clash With TSA, Denounces Airport Policy

Appearing on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on Monday, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., explained his clash with Transportation Security Administration in Nashville on Monday, and once again criticized the federal agency’s security policies.

Kentucky’s junior senator triggered the full-body scanner, but refused a pat down that resulted in him being escorted out of the gate area by local police. During the interview, Paul told Blitzer two unnamed TSA agents told him the scanners were “rigged” in order to allow for a random search.

“And I didn’t realize that until today,” Paul told CNN. “The screener goes off one time, and they finally let me go through it an hour later and then the screener doesn’t go off. That’s because I must have been part of a random pat down and wasn’t told that initially.”

Watch:

In a statement, TSA denied any false positives are used to allow for random searches.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Paul Reportedly Detained By TSA in Nashville

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was detained by Transportation Security Administration officials at the Nashville International Airport on Monday, according to his press secretary.

A spokesman for TSA said the agency is looking into the matter and will release a statement, but would not comment for this story. The account was also relayed by the senator’s father, Texas Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who posted a message on Facebook and Twitter saying his son was being held by security personnel.

From ABC News:

Paul apparently set off an airport security full-body scanner, “on a glitch,” a spokesman in Paul’s office told ABC News.

The Paul staffer said TSA agents would not let Paul walk back through the body scanner they were demanding, according to the staffer, a full body pat-down.

But officials with the federal agency are pushing back against the claim and law enforcement has reportedly denied Paul was held in custody.

Paul has been critical of the federal agency since he took office last year. During a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee meeting, Paul denounced the TSA for conducting invasive searches of U.S. citizens.

UPDATE:The TSA has released a statement denying Sen. Paul’s account that he was detained by federal officials at the Nashville airport. Instead, the transportation agency claims Paul refused to complete the screening process after an irregularity was found and was escorted out by Nashville police.

From the TSA:

“The passenger was not detained at any point. The passenger triggered an alarm during routine airport screening and refused to complete the screening process in order to resolve the issue. Passengers, as in this case, who refuse to comply with security procedures are denied access to the secure gate area. He was escorted out of the screening area by local law enforcement.

The passenger was screened by millimeter wave imaging technology using automated target recognition. This technology uses the same generic image for all passengers to further protect passengers privacy. When an alarm occurs a yellow box indicates where an anomaly is. A targeted pat down is used to resolve the alarm.”

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Local News

New Scanners Coming to Louisville Airport

Louisville is slated to receive new airport passenger scanning equipment.

The Transportation Security Administration will send 300 of the $150,000 Advanced Imaging Technology machines to 16 cities.

The devices are full body scanners, but are different from the controversial backscatter machines that project an image of passengers’ bodies onto a screen for TSA officials to review. Rather, the AITs show an outline of a human form and identify any potential threats.

From Business First:

“The deployment of this technology further strengthens security while also enhancing passenger privacy,” TSA assistant administrator of security capabilities Robin Kane said in a news release. “The ability to safely detect non-metallic threats concealed under layers of clothing provides TSA officers with an invaluable resource.”

The TSA will pay for the machines, but hasn’t yet announced when the devices will be installed or how many will go to each city.

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Local News Next Louisville Politics

Airport Braces For Holiday Travelers

By Sheila Ash

Many people will take to the skies this week to visit relatives and friends for Thanksgiving.

Trish Burke at Louisville International Airport says holiday fliers can make their trip less complicated by planning ahead.

“Check-in on-line if you can and print your boarding pass. Packing light is also very important. The less you have to haul through the airport and check the easier it’ll be for everyone,” she said.

Burke says travelers should arrive at the airport one to two hours before their flight’s departure.

One security measure travelers won’t encounter here is the new full body scan. The machine has not yet been installed at Louisville International.