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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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TSA administrator announces retirement

TSA Administrator John Pistole talks about risk-based security assessment and other policies at Spokane International Airport in February 2014. (Jesse Tinsley)
TSA Administrator John Pistole talks about risk-based security assessment and other policies at Spokane International Airport in February 2014. (Jesse Tinsley)
From staff and wire reports
John Pistole, who has led the Transportation Security Administration as its longest-serving administrator since June 2010, announced his retirement in a statement on the organization’s website Thursday. Pistole will be leaving the organization to pursue a position in academia, according to the statement. Pistole was nominated by Barack Obama to head the agency, founded following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 to beef up security on the nation’s airways, in May 2010. He was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate a month later. “It has been an honor and a privilege to have served as TSA Administrator. No words can convey my deep gratitude for the hard work and dedication of the thousands of men and women committed to protecting the American public,” Pistole said in a written statement. A Baltimore native, Pistole served 26 years in the Federal Bureau of Investigation before being pegged to head the TSA. Under his watch, the agency revised its passenger screening process to include body scanning technology and advanced pat-down procedures, which he vigorously defended in response to public outcry about privacy invasion. In a written statement, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson thanked Pistole for his years of service. “John Pistole has been integral in leading TSA’s transformation to a risk-based, intelligence-driven counterterrorism agency dedicated to protecting our transportation systems,” Johnson said. Pistole’s retirement is effective at the end of the year. His replacement will be the sixth person to head the agency, founded in 2001.
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