Airport Security


Senior member
Mar 9, 2001
Lately the airports have been criticized for lack of security...but when you look at the fact that the terrorists were only armed with small knives and not swords, guns or bombs, it doesn't seem like security was that bad since small knives are allowed. I mean for the freedom we have at airports in the US (compared to say Israel), the security doesn't seem to be as bad as the press has been saying. What do you guys think?


Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999

I think that when the press reports on the restrictions that are currently being implemented in our airports and calls them strict, they are more or less comparing them to what we had had in place previous to the WTC attack. Go overseas, to the UK, Europe or Asia. Armed guards walk everywhere, security cameras are boldly sat out in the open, and random bag checks are the norm. The U.S. has been noteably lax with their airport security, because they havent had to deal with the type of terrorist that Europe, Asia or the U.K. have. Now that we're gotten our proverbial lip fattened, we'll give some back and learn not to be so complacent as before.

May 16, 2000
As an 11 yr veteran of the security industry I'd really like to toss some info out to the public.

At 18 with no formal training (beyond a dozen years of sporadic martial arts) I obtained a job with a 'protective escort' company in L.A. Basically it was like having a bodyguard to drive you to the store or whatever. I made $8.00 in L.A. in 1990, no training required, not licensed in any way. No benefits.

At 20 I joined the United States Navy. I'd had 2 years of college at that point, no degree. In less than two years I rose to E5 (unfrocked), received a number of commendations and schoolings, and was honorably discharged. During my stay I became a certified diver, certified cpr/first aid, expert marksman pistol and rifle, certified auxillary security specialist, and completed the Demming TQM training program and was instated as enlisted TQL/TQM facilitator. At the time I was making about 1900.00 a month with awesome benefits. This was at the tag end of the gulf war so I did receive my National Defense medal and verteran status.

At 23 I went to work for Stanley Smith Security. My job was to patrol a pulp mill for safety/security violations and punch in on the detex clock (old style watchmans clock to track rounds). I was licensed as an unarmed security officer in the state of washington after a 4 hour class on general security concepts. During this period I also obtained my concealed carry permit in WA. On the job training lasted 16 hours total. The pay was 5.75 an hour. No benefits.

From 24-25 I had been in a management position with over 20 employees under me, responsible for assisting with budgeting 250k a year for the organization. I had also been involved in PR, Marketing, and education.

At 25 I joined CDS Metro. This company was not only fully empowered (meaning we would assist law enforcement wherever possible, directing traffic, providing second car cover for traffic stops, etc.) but we were entirely self-sufficient. We only called the police IF we had a suspect in custody for transport, or if a situation ever actually degraded into weapons use (which it never did). We had our own assigned patrol cars with full communications equipment, we wore tactical vests, and were fully armed. Among other duties we broke up bar fights, and often responded to breakin alarms requiring full building searches (for those that don't know this is equivalent to seeing a group of police decked out enter a building on a raid). I worked 60 hours a week because of strict financial woes and was paid a whopping $7.00 an hour for all this. The ONLY training I received was an 8 hour armed security officer course, followed by 4 hours range shooting to qualify for my armed license, and an 8 hour oregon unarmed course so I could work in OR occasionally unarmed. Again, no benefits.

At 26 I joined the Wackenhut corporation. This was the first company that actually seemed to have some training and respectability. There were a number of advancement opportunities and over a hundred seperate training modules to be had...not to mention advanced training for more advanced levels of officer. I was stationed at a regional lv 2 trauma ctr hospital, with psychiatric and drug rehab facility. My starting pay was $7.00 an hour. I worked on average 65-85 hours a week, sometimes over a hundred hours a week...because NO ONE would stay there. Our turnover in the 2 1/2 years I was there was about 850%. Our on the job training was non-existent (really the fault of the hospital, not Wackenhut who was trying to get things organized). I averaged 3 violent encounters per week. We had to assist in medical procedures (such as restraining patients during gastric lavages) and were frequently bled on, spit on, pissed on, crapped on, etc. We were with people as they died. We worked in radioactive areas. We worked with Life Flight. We worked in construction areas. Benefits were minimal.

I currently work for yet another company, who thus far leaves them all behind. I'm hoping I see the trend continue here as I'd like to keep a job more than a couple years.

What you should see from all this is that security SUCKS!!! Not only are we not payed, not trained, not given benefits.....but we're laughed at and scorned as well. I have advanced training, I've finished my 3rd year of college (still a few to go), I been in management even. But I've never made 30k a year...not for risking my life daily.

Why do you think security has such a bad rep? It's because there is NO money to be made so no one will take it seriously. I stay with the job because I like the work. The next time you are getting on a plane, remember that a whopping 4-12 hours went into training that security officer and that he probably makes less than the average fast food employee. And people treat fast food employees better.