Good show, Mr. Polski

A key figure in the technological development of the Transportation Security Administration's airport security devices last week received a Service to America Medal, also known as a SAMMIE.

Paul Polski, chief of staff to TSA's chief technology officer, received the Homeland Security Medal in recognition of his contribution to national security. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he led a team that helped develop new technologies for airport security.

Those innovations include explosive-detection equipment, X-ray machines for baggage, screener training guides and hardened luggage containers designed to absorb the impact of an explosion.

Polski, a 1958 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a Navy pilot during the war in Vietnam, began his federal civilian career at the Federal Aviation Administration in 1990.

The SAMMIES were created in 2002 by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service and Atlantic Media Co. Nine Service to America Medals were selected by a committee that included Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Caroline Kennedy and Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman and publisher of the New York Times.

TSA Deputy Administrator Stephen McHale will receive the Federal Employee of the Year medal for his work in developing the agency's blueprint in 2002. This is the highest award among the group and is accompanied by a $10,000 award.

McHale was one of the agency's first employees. He oversaw the hiring of 158 federal security directors and the transfer of 1,200 FAA employees into TSA.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.