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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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Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky and Indianapolis Airports Join TSA Quick-Screen Program

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky and Indianapolis airports are joining the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) new PreCheck program.

Eligible fliers on American and Delta and certain members of Customs and Border Protection’s Trusted Traveler programs will have the chance to move more quickly through security screening by registering ahead of time with the TSA and its member airlines, which will include U.S. Airways, United and Alaskan airlines later this year, said TSA spokesman Jim Fotenofs.

“That expedited screening could include leaving your shoes on, your belts on, your jackets on, your laptops in your bags and your limited quantity liquids would no longer have to come out,” he said.

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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.”