20 years after 9/11, air security remains in focus


JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – When the two planes crashed into the World Trade Center buildings on Sept. 11, it was clear America was under attack. The horrific event changed airport security forever and led to the creation of what we know now as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

TSA was created in 2002 to oversee security on all forms of transportation. In 2003, it became a part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Kim Jackson, the Federal Security Director for Mississippi, said, “Since 9/11, we have not had any type of incidents especially here in the state of Mississippi. We have not had any incidents with any prohibited items or anything getting on an aircraft and causing bodily harm to the aircraft or the persons getting on the aircraft.”

Over the years, technology played a major role in detecting prohibited items, and Jackson said TSA members also play a key role.

Ursula Wilson, a Lead Transportation Security Officer said, “We’re supposed to keep everything like a threat. We can’t get too comfortable and allow things to slip through that we wouldn’t do on a regular basis. A lot of times the passengers are unaware that those items can go through or unaware that they had it, so they eventually have to go through the process of surrendering it to us or putting it in their checked bag or putting it in their car. Something of that nature.”

Guns are not allowed in carry-on or checked bags. Since the first of the year, 64 were surrendered at the Jackson Airport, including three within the last week.

TSA officers said if a gun is found, police are called, and you could pay federal and local fines.

The Jackson Airports has expanded from two checkpoints to three, so they can screen more people. The airport is also getting K9’s to check explosives to add another layer of security.

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