New TSA Head At Newark Airport Vows Top-Down Review

Recent Lapses Lead To Changes; Likely More To Come

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Newark Liberty International Airport’s new security director said Friday he’s conducting a top-down review of procedures and staffing after several recent security lapses.

Donald Drummer spoke with reporters after meeting with New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a frequent critic of the Transportation Security Administration’s performance.

Drummer Says He Is Ready For The Challenge. 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan Reports.

“I’m humbled and honored by this opportunity to serve our community in this capacity and I’m also ready to make a difference,” he said.

Drummer was named last week to replace Barbara Bonn-Powell, the security head since 2007.

Even though Drummer has only been on the job for nine days, he recently spent 19 hours in the terminals observing the operations firsthand.

The new TSA Federal Security Director said three incidents in the last week in which travelers passed through security without being screened were handled properly once they were discovered. But he admitted that improvements must be made.

“While I recognize that working here at Newark, we work in one of the most challenging operational environments in the nation, I want to assure you that we will never back down from our security standards,”Drummer said.

Drummer said a recent report by TSA managers that described low morale and other problems at the airport “will help us focus on providing the right resources.”

Sen. Lautenberg assured members of the public that the airport was safe, but said more needs to be done.

Sen. Lautenberg Talks About What Needs To Be Done To Ensure Security. WCBS 880’s Levon Putney Reports.

“We’ve got to improve the communication between the screeners,” said Lautenberg, adding it was necessary to “make sure that all the training that is required is there.”

The Homeland Security Department has launched an investigation into several other security lapses at the airport.

Last year, a terminal was closed for six hours after a man bypassed security through an exit corridor to see his girlfriend off.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Steve Scanner

    To those who support the TSA. Please, take a car. I do not want to share a plane with cowards. You have the right to free travel. Go anywhere you wish. You do not have the right to interfere with my constitutional liberty/privacy. You actually don’t have any “right” to fly without risk to your life but I do have a (legally-protected) right to not have my groin groped or viewed without permission. The TSA isn’t due any credit for stopping planes being hijacked. There is more chance of you killing, or being killed by someone by driving your car, so if you are also willing to accept the government preventing you driving your car, your arguments might have some validity. Alternatively, you can accept that there are always risks in life, and while we can do what we can to prevent many of them, we cannot prevent them all and no risks are worth sacrificing liberty and the personal privacy/dignity that these TSA policies take away. If you do not want to get on a plane where people have not been groped or had their body scanned with radiation and had naked images of themselves viewed by strangers, please find other transportation. It is not your right to fly to your destination while insisting other people’s dignity and fundamental human rights are taken away.

    No one is forcing you on that plane; however, I suggest you get over your fear. Nothing is ever totally safe and without risk but some things are worth taking risks and preserving liberty is the most noble risk of all.

  • Gregory

    The TSA is looking like the perverts job of the year. Ms. USA gets felt-up, a three year-old gets groped, an 80 year-old in a walker gets a wand shoved up her dress, men and women get the “Italian pinch” all in the name of airline security. However, the Muslim men and women don’t get searched, felt-up or pinched; afterall, what TSA perv wants to find a hand grennade , box cutter and / or C-4 strapped to hairy, unwashed legs.

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