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TSA To Test ‘Behavior Detection’ Techniques With Logan Passengers

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File Image (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

File Image (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

BOSTON (CBS) –The TSA is testing what could be a controversial new passenger screening program at Logan International Airport.

It could slow down security lines, and the TSA is asking for patience from passengers.

Starting Tuesday, specially trained TSA agents will question Logan Airport passengers as they make their way through security in Terminal A.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports

Logan TSA director George Naccara says that this is the first airport in the country to test the program, which will be implemented on a trial basis.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Kim Tunnicliffe reports.

“We’ve trained our behavior detection officers to engage with passengers more frequently, asking some questions and gauging the reaction to those questions,” Naccara said.  “The question itself is not so important, but it’s the behavior that they exhibit, and if they reach a certain threshold, we may ask additional questions, we may ask the state police to get involved, or we may subject that person to additional screening.”

About 70 security workers based at Logan had about 20 hours of special training last week. They will get more as the month goes on. The training, run by an international security consultant, sought to teach agents how find a person who is trying to hide something.

MassPort says the security checkpoint at Terminal A will be re-designed to accommodate more agents and keep things on schedule.

The TSA is also testing a new program in Terminal C, where children under the age of 12 will not have to go through body scanners or take their shoes off when going through security.  All passengers, children included, must still pass through the metal detectors.

Both Test Programs will in place for the next 60 to 90 days, after which the TSA will make a decision whether to expand them.

WBZ-TV’s Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve contributed to this report.

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