The union that represents airport police at LAX doesn’t think TSA agents should be allowed to wear badges.
[V]eteran law enforcement agents like Marshall McClain, President of the LAAPOA, say bestowing the title of “officer” to TSA screening agents and giving those screeners police-styled metal badges has granted agents the outward appearance of law enforcement authority – which they do not possess.
“The main mission of TSA agents is to screen passengers and baggage at the airport,” said McClain. “These screeners have not received law enforcement training and do not perform police functions at our airports so why would we ever allow them to wear police-like badges?”
The badges were purely meant for TSA ego. They got to be called ‘officers’ in 2005 and were given badges in 2005 “to boost morale” rather than as to signal their role. The problem with the title and badges is that they do signal authoritah which they weren’t intended to possess. And that’s a toxic combination.