The nation’s 44,000 airport screeners would lose the title “officer,” their metal badges and maybe even the stripes down their pant legs under a bill sponsored by a Transportation Security Administration critic.
Called the “STRIP Act,” for “Stop TSA’s Reach In Policy Act,” the bill was introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, on Thursday in response to a series of alleged strip searches by TSA officers.
While I doubt the bill will go anywhere, this actually makes a lot of sense. TSA agents are government clerks, whether or not they want to throw around the term “officer.”
I once got in a bit of an argument with a TSA agent who I referred to by his last name, “Mr. Williams.” I was trying to be respectful by doing so, though he insisted that he was worthy of being referred to as “Officer Williams,” so I requested to be referred to as “Officer” as well. He then asked me if I’m a law enforcement officer, to which I responded “no, I’m a chief executive officer… are you a law enforcement officer?” Of course he just shrugged his shoulders…
Seriously though, TSA agents aren’t law enforcement officers, and I think the lack of a badge or title “officer” would help remind them of that.