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Report released highlights misconduct by TSA employees

Published On: Jul 31 2013 05:04:14 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 31 2013 08:23:15 PM EDT

A report released this week says misconduct by TSA workers has increased more than 26 percent over the last three years


The Transportation Security Administration is in some hot water.

A report released this week says misconduct by TSA workers has increased more than 26 percent over the last three years. It's a number that's not sitting well with travelers.

"That's really shocking,” said passenger Bettina Altizer. “Somebody's got to have some supervisory capacity in doing some checking."

The TSA is supposed to keep travelers safe, but the recent report shows more than 9,000 cases of misconduct were documented over that three-year span, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Sleeping on the job and stealing from passenger's bags were among some of the top offenses.

"I don't like people going through my stuff,” said Altizer. “I think most people feel that way too, but I've never had an issue and I try to keep my valuables close to me rather than put them in my bag."

But what's even more disturbing is the report discovered TSA workers were letting family and friends go through security without being screened. Frequent fliers say there's no excuse.

"That's absurd,” said passenger Jerry Browning. “That's just absolutely not right. I realize they know the people but everyone has to be screened."

While the numbers represent TSA workers across the board, those fliers who frequent Roanoke Regional said they have always had a pleasant experience.

"Roanoke seems to do a good job compared to other cities," said Altizer.

TSA does not breakdown the violations by airport, but Roanoke Regional officials told WDBJ 7 that they have not had a formal complaint in eight years.

The audit is raising many red flags with passengers. They say it's up to TSA to turn it all around for the sake of our security.

"It's like anywhere else,” said Browning. “You have good employees and you have trouble causers. It's up to the supervisors to make it right."

TSA released the following statement to WDBJ 7 regarding the report:

“TSA holds its employees to the highest ethical standards and expects all TSA employees to conduct themselves with integrity and professionalism. TSA concurs with GAO's four recommendations to ensure that the agency establishes a process to verify that TSA staff at airports are in compliance, and is already working to implement these recommendations. All aspects of our workforce regimen - hiring, promotion, retention, training, proactive compliance inspections, investigations, and adjudications - are driven by adherence to the highest ethical standards.  There is zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace and TSA takes appropriate action when substantiated, including anything from a referral to law enforcement or termination of employment.”