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Unveiling the Power of X-Ray Machines in Security

In 1970 there were two engineers that invented a scanner for airline passenger screening. It was considered a low dose x-ray scanner and was developed for the alarming rise in airplane hijackings.

Fast forward to September 11, 2001. Air travel and security as we know it changed forever. As a young detective at the time I remember rotating shifts at the local airport to assist with security screening until the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was implemented.

X-Ray machines are common in airports, federal buildings, and courthouses, and would eventually make their way to sporting and concert venues. In 2017 a terrorist attack occurred at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester UK. Carrying a backpack the terrorist detonated an explosive device.

Consider the following factors when assessing the location for x-ray machines. All screening checkpoints should have x-ray machines. Wherever the talent, guests, staff, and vendors are to enter.

What are you screening for? Does your staff have experience operating the x-ray machine? On a standard x-ray machine staff can be trained rather quickly.

Orange verses Blue- Many times there are a focus on orange colors on the x-ray monitor. Post 9/11 a big focus was on organic type explosives. Most items that can harm you are made of metal (guns, knives, etc.). These metal items will turn blue in the x-ray machine. You should pay attention to the entire picture on the monitor.

Consider the advantages in using X-Ray machines to keep people safe. Stay safe and stay vigilant.

-Lee Barnard, CPP


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