TSA to begin training canine search teams for transit
| 11.11.2005 | 08:35:59 | Views: 2363 | ID:
November 11 '05: Bomb sniffing dogs will be added to the security roster at local train stations and metro lines in cities across the US after several major metropolitan areas complete a training course which will familiarize officials with handling the dogs and search techniques.
A Transportation Security Administration announcement earlier this fall detailed a 10-week training course that began in October which would train metro and train security personnel: "Upon graduation, the teams will return to their systems for local training, familiarization and certification," the TSA announcement read.Kip Hawley, assistant secretary of Homeland Security said in the press release, "Expanding the canine program to mass transit and commuter rail systems allows TSA to partner with local resources to protect this critical piece of the transportation network. ... These teams are a mobile and efficient method for identifying explosive materials and they can be quickly deployed to address a variety of situations." Under the program, three different breeds of dogs, German Shepherds, Belgian Malanois and Labrador Retrievers will be used and working with their trainers and handlers the dogs will be required to "undergo exacting pre-acceptance screening to prove they are healthy, smart, highly motivated, and able to detect necessary odors." Traditionally, the TSA has used canine units in airports to search for drugs and dangerous substances. More than 350 canine units are currently in use around the US.
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