Pocatello TSA worker gets rare honor — named officer of the year
POCATELLO — Out of 45,000 eligible TSA officers nationwide, Pocatello Regional Airport’s Kimberlee Green stood out and was named TSA Officer of the Year, Thursday.
One of nearly 1,000 TSA officers (or TSOs) to be nominated and entered into an intensive vetting process, Green separated herself. Not just through her exceptional service but by her assistance in developing a realtime tracking process used by all the regional (non-Boise) airports in Idaho.
The honor, which normally goes to a TSO at one of the country’s larger airports, landed right where it belongs, in the opinion of TSA Idaho spokesperson Andrew Coose.
“This is, perhaps, TSA’s most prestigious annual award,” Coose told EastIdahoNews.com. “It’s very unusual that a state the size of Idaho gets it — I only have about 250 employees across the whole state, we have airports that have over 2,000 (nationally).”
Green laughingly agreed that her work with her tracking dashboard and in payroll management was just to move the Idaho regional airports into the 21st century.
“I don’t know if it’s set in yet, for sure,” said Green, who found out about her selection the week of Thanksgiving. “But still, it’s a huge honor. It’s something that I never would have imagined or expected, especially at a small airport like this.”
Green, an Idaho Falls native, said she happened into her job in 2011 out of necessity and lack of opportunity. Since, though, she has developed a passion for protecting the travelers coming and going to Pocatello.
With that passion she has grown into a calming leadership force at the Pocatello airport, one of fewer than 20 employees. And that, TSA Pacific spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said, has been vital during a time when travel has been unpredictable.
“It’s a very, very big deal,” Dankers said. “The reason for that is, there is 40,000 TSOs across the country, who work at airports of all sizes. … Here we are at Pocatello, honoring an officer of the year who has been such a team player — COVID added a whole new layer of responsibility, and she stepped up.”