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Press Release

12 TSA Explosives Detection Canine Teams Graduate, Go On Duty To Protect Travelers

Friday, July 30, 2004
Contact:
TSA Press Office
(571) 227-2829

U. S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Transportation Security Administration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Twelve canines and their handlers graduated today from the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) explosives detection training facility at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. They will now go on duty to protect travelers and mass transportation systems.

"The canine program is a critical part of TSA's layered approach to security," said Admiral David M. Stone, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for TSA. "The canine teams have been deployed at airports across the nation and we recently used them at National events including the Democratic National Convention."

The TSA's National Explosives Detection Canine Team program is a partnership between the federal government and local law enforcement agencies that provides direct support to differing modes of transportation – most specifically aviation, mass transit and rail.

"These animals and their handlers are the best of the best," said David Kontny, Director of TSA's Explosive Detection Canine Team Program. "Travelers can feel confident these teams are patrolling America's airports and mass transit operations."

Each team completed an intensive 10-week training course, and must be re-certified annually to assure their proficiency.

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NOTE: News media interested in seeing the new members of the Explosives Detection Canine Team can contact the TSA through their Regional Public Affairs Officer or at the number above. The 12 teams will be deployed to Anchorage, Alaska; Los Angeles, Ontario and San Francisco, Calif.; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Atlanta, Ga.; Chicago, Ill.; Portland, Ore.; Pittsburgh, Pa; and Houston and San Antonio, Texas.