TAMPA – If an officer asks if you need help on Super Bowl Sunday, he might be more than just gracious.
For the first time, the Transportation Security Administration’s “Behavior Detection Officers” are enhancing security at the championship event by watching people for combinations of suspicious behavior.
“They’re trained to do exactly that – pick people out of a crowd,” Gary Milano, federal security director for the TSA’s Tampa office, said today.
These officers don’t have the power to arrest but are uniformed behavioral experts, Milano said.
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The TSA and the U.S. Secret Service trained about 70 Tampa police officers and Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies working the event in their techniques. Milano described them as “telltale signs of people about to engage in wrongdoing” based on the Israeli security system.
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Each behavior, such as profuse sweating, could be innocent on its own but raises eyebrows when coupled with other behaviors, Milano said. He declined to elaborate.