New TSA pat-down policy puts Cleveland police on alert

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CLEVELAND-  A warning to local police departments, regarding a new security policy at airports nationwide.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration fears more invasive pat downs couple prompt complaints to law enforcement from travelers.

The new policy went into effect March 2. The TSA consolidated previous pat-down procedures into standardized pat down procedures at airport security checkpoints.

In a statement to FOX 8 News, the TSA said, "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 than were screened in the previous standard pat-down procedure."

A random pat down may include inspection of the head, neck, arms, torso, legs and feet. As well as sensitive areas such as breasts, the groin and buttocks.

Individuals who choose to opt out of the x-ray scans will undergo a pat down.

One traveler said, " I guess I'm all for it if it keeps everybody safe."

"Safety first, so I'm all for it," says another passenger.

On its website, the TSA says employees use the back of the hands for pat downs over sensitive areas of the body. Pat downs over sensitive areas of the body. In limited cases, however, additional screening involving a sensitive area pat down with the front of the hand may be needed to determine that a threat does exist.

Travelers may still request a private screening accompanied by a companion. The TSA says a second officer of the same gender will always be present.

A TSA spokesman says they did meet with Cleveland Police as well as airport officials last week, before the new pat down police was put into place. And despite only one passenger we spoke with who was against it, the majority of people say if the new policy is necessary, they are on board.

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