Maryland mass transit employs canine units
| 05.23.2006 | 08:18:47 | Views: 3044 | ID:
May 23 '06: The Baltimore Business Journal reported earlier in the month that Maryland officials working with the Transportation Security Administration have begun a pilot program along Baltimore's commuter train lines to use canine units to search for bombs and explosives.
"Maryland is one of the first states in the country to expand the canine security program to include rail service and buses. The TSA's dog handler training program trained 400 dogs at 77 airports nationwide," the Journal reported.According to Dave Kotny, the director of the National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program, the advantage of using dogs in mass transit areas is that "they can go almost anywhere in the rail and mass transit environment so we can significantly increase security across a very diverse system," the TSA's website read. Cooperation from the Maryland Transit Authority with federal explosive experts included officers training in "handler skills, explosives safety, and safe handling and accountability of explosives canine training aides. ... The canine team spent much of their time searching for explosives in specialized indoor and outdoor training areas that resemble the airport/mass transit environment, including aircraft searches where teams check cockpits, cabins and overhead storage bins." The Business Journal continued: "The state participated last month is a trial program to test a TSA security screening box at the Dorsey MARC Station in Howard County and Hunt Valley Light Rail Station in northern Baltimore County."
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