Canines sharpen noses at Indiana training event

Thursday, August 12, 2021
Participants instructions photo

Working canines need to keep their skills sharp. Regular training like the TSA Indiana Explosive Detection Canine Program’s Multiagency Canine Training Event keeps dogs on their game.

About 70 handlers and their canines, representing 24 agencies from across the country, traveled to the former Delaware County Justice Center to train and assist law enforcement with explosives detection. Additionally, 23 teams participated in a second day of training solely for explosives teams, hosted in partnership with the FBI.

Multi-agency k9 photo
Proud TSA canine, Ari (Photo courtesy of TSA Indiana)

This year’s location offered new learning opportunities for the participants. Teams were able to run 13 training scenarios in the courthouse, maintenance areas and jail.

“Hosting this in a jail facility that we had the opportunity to explore was a fun experience,” said Keith Gray, TSA’s 2020 Canine Handler of the Year. “It was an exciting venue for the teams, especially those that had never been in one before. Also, having some TSA teams that traveled quite a distance to participate, when usually it’s just our regional cohorts, was a highlight.” 

The event allowed canine handlers to share their knowledge with representatives from different focus areas, including explosives detection, narcotics, patrol, and search and rescue.

“Canines are an important layer in airport security because they increase TSA’s explosives detection capability,” Indiana Federal Security Director Aaron Batt said. “We were thrilled to host this training again to help canines and their handlers sharpen their skills and fulfill their security missions.”

TSA deploys over 1,000 canine handler teams to support security and screening operations nationwide. These highly-trained canines help deter and detect the introduction of explosive devices into the nation’s transportation systems.