A partnership between Connecticut State Police and the Transportation Security Administration has taken off at Bradley International Airport as both agencies work to make travel safer. On Friday, officials highlighted the K9 team that has been on the job for several months.
Along with sniffing out explosives in cars and baggage and on airplanes, the K9s can now pick up on moving and stationary explosive odors on passengers. Hector, a Belgian Malinois, was able to detect a planted training aid in seconds.
“Training continues every day,” explained Trooper First Class Todd Gauvin, Hector’s handler. “We still train the dogs every day to make sure they’re proficient.”
According to the TSA, there are three dogs on the team and a fourth one will be joining them shortly. They have all been trained extensively at a TSA center in San Antonio, Texas. Security officials say the dogs will also allow people to move through security more quickly.
“Once they go by the dog, they’re no longer required to take their shoes off or light, outer clothing,” said William Csontos, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Connecticut. “They go through the walk-through metal detector, so it’s a lot quicker for them.”
Something frequent flyers say will make a trip to the airport less painful.
“I like additional measures like having canines for security and for other purposes, said flyer Sreekanth Kartha, traveler. “I don’t think it interferes with travel so much.”
“We’re used to the procedure at this point and as long as you’re familiar with what to do, you can kind of scoot right through, said flyer Ryan Gleson.
The TSA says while the dogs are trained to work exclusively at the airport, they are available to assist other communities if an explosive threat arises.