The Transportation Security Administration has rolled out a new and more rigorous pat-down at airports, USA Today reported.
TSA public officers manager Nico Melendez confirmed that the new pat-down measures were implemented Thursday, but said he was "limited on what can be shared" about them. The "universal pat-down" doesn't involve checking extra body parts, though, he added.
A Bloomberg published on Friday quoted another TSA spokesperson who said that the pat- downs "will be more thorough and may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before."
“This standardized pat-down procedure continues to utilize enhanced security measures implemented several months ago, and does not involve any different areas of the body that were screened in the previous standard pat-down procedure," a prepared statement from TSA read. "TSA continues to adjust and refine our systems and procedures to meet the evolving threat and to achieve the highest levels of transportation security.”
The revised searches follow an in-depth study TSA conducted in response to classified test results from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General. The office reportedly condemned the TSA because it discovered that some airport officials didn't detect guns and other weapons that were a part of the test.
One traveler named Joel Stratte-McClure recalled an incident when he was aggressively patted down because he refused to take a gold bracelet off his wrist. The TSA agent told him “we’ve got to do more extensive vertical and horizontal pat-downs” because “bad people conceal weapons in their pants.”
Stratte-McClure described it as "groin scrutiny."
Airport manager Bryant Garrett wasn't aware of the new procedures and apologized "if somebody felt like they had a bad experience out here."