Of the 137 agencies across the country that applied for the TSA’s prestigious Gold Standard award, only PSTA and two others have won it more than once. “It takes a lot of hard work to win this award and it’s reflective of the dedication of your agency,” said TSA Director of Surface Transportation Division Sonia Proctor as she presented the award to PSTA Board Members and staff Wednesday.
Proctor was part of a small group of TSA officials who attended the February PSTA Board meeting to participate in the award presentation. In a special letter to PSTA CEO Brad Miller, TSA Acting Administrator Melvin Carraway wrote, “Your system attained high scores across all categories. We consider this caliber of performance as deserving of special attention. I commend you and your organization for the commitment and hard work that this level of achievement requires.”
The “Gold Standard” designation is based on TSA’s Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE) pertaining to PSTA’s dedication to building a strong security program. Only four other transit agencies earned the Gold Standard for the most recent evaluation period, which was 2013-2014 and only two of those joined PSTA as back–to-back winners. This year PSTA scored 99 out of 100 improving one percentage point over the agency’s previous high of 98 set back in 2011.
The TSA’s BASE program is a voluntary comprehensive review of transit agency security programs focusing on multiple categories such as an agency’s security plans, training, drills/exercises, preparedness, public outreach and background check programs.