TSA Officer Named Miami Employee of the Year for his Assistance to a Young Passenger with Special Needs

MIA Employee of the Year Deryck Manduley (centre) with Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Bill Talbert (far left) and MIA Director and CEO Lester Sola (far right)

On December 11, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Officer Deryck Manduley was named Miami International Airport’s 2019 Employee of the Year for de-escalating an agitated young passenger with special needs early this year so that he and his family would not miss their flight.

In January, when a mother, her elderly mother and young son approached a TSA checkpoint on their way to a flight to Bogota, the young boy began to scream loudly and run around in fear of people in uniform and large crowds. For approximately 20 minutes, the boy’s mother did everything possible to control him and TSA officers tried to help as well, but since they were all in uniform, they were unsuccessful.

Officer Manduley was just returning to the checkpoint after completing an assignment and was not in uniform. Even though his shift was about to end, he stepped in to help when he saw the situation. He was the only person able to calm the boy and get him to cooperate. He patiently walked the boy and his mother and grandmother through the screening process. The family was finally able to undergo TSA screening and make their flight.

“Congratulations and a heartfelt thank you to Officer Manduley, who demonstrated the kind of initiative and compassion we want every passenger at MIA to experience, and especially our passengers with special needs,” said Lester Sola, MIA Director and CEO. “I appreciate the efforts of all the employee of the month winners in 2019, who each went above and beyond the call of duty in their own way to provide excellent customer service at our airport.”

Officer Manduley was one of MIA’s employee of the month winners in 2019, who were each chosen by a committee of 18 airport employees from Miami-Dade County and various airlines and service providers. “We are extremely proud of Deryck winning the Miami Airport’s Customer Service Employee of the Year award for 2019,” said Daniel Ronan, federal security director with the Transportation Security Administration. “He is representative of the dedication, professionalism and quality of customer service that has become the trademark of the TSA Transportation Security Officer. Job well done.”

MIA’s Airport Instruction and Readiness (MIAair) programme provides tours and materials to families with special-needs children so that anyone – regardless of their disability – can experience the magic and wonder of flight. Families practise entering the airport, getting boarding passes, going through security, and boarding an aircraft. The programme also provides a learning experience for airport, airline and TSA workers.

MIA Employee of the Year Deryck Manduley (centre) with Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Bill Talbert (far left) and MIA Director and CEO Lester Sola (far right)