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  1. #1
    RRKM is offline RRKM RRKM is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Behavioral Detection Officer questions

    A good friend of mine just got a job as a Behavioral Detection Officer with the TSA. He was a baggage screener for about 2 years, and now hes doing this.

    Anybody have any advice on how/where he should try to go with it .. i.e. FAMS, or the overall growth potential in the long term?

    Thanks in advance.

    Be safe.

  2. #2
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    what does the job of a behavior detection officer consist off. I have a mental image of some TSA guy looking for nervous people in the security lines.
    Failing to train is training to fail

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDS View Post
    what does the job of a behavior detection officer consist off. I have a mental image of some TSA guy looking for nervous people in the security lines.
    I'd say your right. TSA calls it Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques:cool:. They have a page on their website about it.
    http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/spot/index.shtm

  4. #4
    standstills is offline Junior Member standstills is on a distinguished road
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    what a BDO Behavior detection Officer does!!

    For privacy reason i can not reveal my job title or what airport i work out of but i will answer what a BDO does. First off, we dont only look at people who looks nervous that is what most cops does. We look for over 50 different behavioral cues that would suggest the person is undergoing some psychological or physiclogical reactions within their body that would cause that person to emit one of thes behavior cues. That is what we look for. sometimes i would have more than one person and its all about who raise my suspcison more. Normally it is sometimes just a person ready to go home, but soemtimes it involves ppl who have fradulent travel documents or have excessive currency, which would involve other Federal LE's to get involve. BDOs do have document training and skills to tell a real ID from a fake id or if the BDO is really good able to tell if someone is lying within 5 mins of talking with them.
    Some cops are only good at identifying id's from their state only. I have seen every id from all 50 states and passports from countries people dont even know exist or ever heard of. not to sound cocky, but the job requires alot of attention to detail and understanding of people that most people just dont have.

  5. #5
    TXICE is offline Senior Member TXICE is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by standstills View Post
    For privacy reason i can not reveal my job title or what airport i work out of but i will answer what a BDO does. First off, we dont only look at people who looks nervous that is what most cops does. We look for over 50 different behavioral cues that would suggest the person is undergoing some psychological or physiclogical reactions within their body that would cause that person to emit one of thes behavior cues. That is what we look for. sometimes i would have more than one person and its all about who raise my suspcison more. Normally it is sometimes just a person ready to go home, but soemtimes it involves ppl who have fradulent travel documents or have excessive currency, which would involve other Federal LE's to get involve. BDOs do have document training and skills to tell a real ID from a fake id or if the BDO is really good able to tell if someone is lying within 5 mins of talking with them.
    Some cops are only good at identifying id's from their state only. I have seen every id from all 50 states and passports from countries people dont even know exist or ever heard of. not to sound cocky, but the job requires alot of attention to detail and understanding of people that most people just dont have.

    :rolleyes:

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    dis thread b old y resuret da ded
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDS View Post
    what does the job of a behavior detection officer consist off. I have a mental image of some TSA guy looking for nervous people in the security lines.
    It's an old thread, but the program ought to be rolling by now.

    My understanding, is that they finally started doing, what drug interdiction officers had been doing for twenty five years in airports before 9-11, and that TSA was advised to do when they started up. It took them a few years to realize that the people who had successfully made finding people carrying illegal things on to airplanes into a fine art, might have had a point. There's no reason to talk about how it's done now, any more than there was to talk about it when just drug and drug money interdiction officers were doing it.

    Politically, though, it basically came down to a fight in the upper level management of TSA, which heavily consisted of ex-USSS and ex-DEA. USSS, is of course, heavily biased towards checkpoints, scanners, and random searches, because that's how they protect the president at large gatherings and find people bringing weapons with them. DEA was heavily biased towards indicator and intelligence based searches, because that's how DEA previously operated in airports, finding drug and money couriers who were trying to conceal these items onto planes. It is also more like the system the Israelis use, generally accepted as the best system in the world for airport security.

    The logistics problem is that it takes a lot more training to conduct successful indicator based interdiction, than it does to run a scanner, and TSA didn't have the time, or the people, to do it right. But, the word I have been getting from all the ex-DEA guys I know who went there, was that they never gave up the push for units like these. And, BDO's are the result.

    In my humble opinion, one of the few things, TSA hasn finally done that makes the least bit of sense.
    Last edited by Group9; 03-25-09 at 06:03 AM. Reason: horrible mispelling!
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  8. #8
    ifineed2 is offline Junior Member ifineed2 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by standstills View Post
    For privacy reason i can not reveal my job title or what airport i work out of but i will answer what a BDO does. First off, we dont only look at people who looks nervous that is what most cops does. We look for over 50 different behavioral cues that would suggest the person is undergoing some psychological or physiclogical reactions within their body that would cause that person to emit one of thes behavior cues. That is what we look for. sometimes i would have more than one person and its all about who raise my suspcison more. Normally it is sometimes just a person ready to go home, but soemtimes it involves ppl who have fradulent travel documents or have excessive currency, which would involve other Federal LE's to get involve. BDOs do have document training and skills to tell a real ID from a fake id or if the BDO is really good able to tell if someone is lying within 5 mins of talking with them.
    Some cops are only good at identifying id's from their state only. I have seen every id from all 50 states and passports from countries people dont even know exist or ever heard of. not to sound cocky, but the job requires alot of attention to detail and understanding of people that most people just dont have.
    This guy sounds like a recruiter who can't spell:D just giving you a hard time. Honestly though, if you guys are amazingly trained, why is it that everytime I use my military ID you freak out? I swear everytime I've used it to go through screenings they act like they don't know what to do! I use to fly with my pack, but when I was in Iraq I carried a lot of C-4, rounds and frags in it so I'd set off their little sensors...I don't carry it now.

  9. #9
    USMC0844 is offline Junior Member USMC0844 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by ifineed2 View Post
    This guy sounds like a recruiter who can't spell:D just giving you a hard time. Honestly though, if you guys are amazingly trained, why is it that everytime I use my military ID you freak out? I swear everytime I've used it to go through screenings they act like they don't know what to do! I use to fly with my pack, but when I was in Iraq I carried a lot of C-4, rounds and frags in it so I'd set off their little sensors...I don't carry it now.

    When I was artillery, our gear used to be around the powder bags and rounds a lot. When we would come back through the airport, we would trip the sensors and everyone would go crazy. I guess it is better than them just letting us waltz on through after a positive reading

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXICE View Post
    :rolleyes:
    Double :rolleyes::rolleyes:
    Wrong door, buddy

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by standstills View Post
    For privacy reason i can not reveal my job title or what airport i work out of but i will answer what a BDO does.
    Privacy reasons? You can't say your job title because of privacy reasons? Posting on the internet with nobody who knows you and you are worried about privacy as a TSA employee? Wonder if I should be here with thousands of post and working undercover for federal crimes..... :rolleyes:


    First off, we dont only look at people who looks nervous that is what most cops does.
    Thanks for clarifying:
    1) You are a BDO
    2) Cops do not "mostly" look at people who are nervous.

    We look for over 50 different behavioral cues that would suggest the person is undergoing some psychological or physiclogical reactions within their body that would cause that person to emit one of thes behavior cues. That is what we look for. sometimes i would have more than one person and its all about who raise my suspcison more. Normally it is sometimes just a person ready to go home, but soemtimes it involves ppl who have fradulent travel documents or have excessive currency, which would involve other Federal LE's to get involve. BDOs do have document training and skills to tell a real ID from a fake id or if the BDO is really good able to tell if someone is lying within 5 mins of talking with them.
    Isn't this what CBP does does? They are those folks in blue with guns? BDO's don't handle travel docs that much. Their job is BEHAVIOR indicators. I am well aware of what a BDO does. MY NYPD partner retired after 22 years and is doing this job here in NY.

    Some cops are only good at identifying id's from their state only. I have seen every id from all 50 states and passports from countries people dont even know exist or ever heard of.
    That is a big assumption. Most LEO's are familiar with these docs. Even cops in small town USA. Most are trained and most have a book from a company who has pics and info on each one.

    The job is important and requires an eye for detail with a ton of patience. But lets not make it out to be rocket science or something a street cop does not do every day as a small part of their routine, or for the locale, something that CBP does not do every minute of their day.

    But there is one thing cops are much better at, well, two: grammar and spelling.
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  12. #12
    FlyMIA is offline Junior Member FlyMIA is on a distinguished road
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    The TSA guy above talked about knowing IDs, So are these the people who look at my ID take a look at my face and put the black light through it to make sure it is real?:confused:

    As for knowing if a US State ID is real or not any bar or club bouncer or college student would be good at that too. :D

  13. #13
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    I can't speak for any other airport other than the one I work in, but I know quite a few SPOTS & imho they are all(well I can't say here you fill it in) These people need to understand that they are not leos & that customers are not required to talk to them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by besafe2 View Post
    I can't speak for any other airport other than the one I work in, but I know quite a few SPOTS & imho they are all(well I can't say here you fill it in) These people need to understand that they are not leos & that customers are not required to talk to them.
    Very true.

    I will also add that no one knows what every state ID looks like, let alone IDs from different countries. The folks at the entrance to the checkpoints have the state ID books to compare to should they be weary of a possible fake ID. I can bet 100 to 1 that none of the BDOs at my airport could remember every state DL.

    As far as growth potential, the only advantage most TSA personnel have over joe public with regards to federal employment is the fact they are already in the federal system. I do not see any training they receive (including BDOs) that would put them over those with LEO experience when applying for FAMs or 1811 positions.

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