TSA’s Canine Training Center in San Antonio, Texas, typically prepares dogs for explosives detection and passenger screening duties at airports across the country. However, it is now coordinating with the Department of Homeland Security Canine Office for State and Local Law Enforcement to provide additional dogs at no cost to police units at the southwest border.
This new partnership allows promising dogs not suitable for TSA’s unique mission to serve smaller, underfunded agencies as they patrol their areas. By capitalizing on the remarkable abilities of dog-and-handler teams, the program helps local law enforcement officers perform critical functions such as disrupting the flow of narcotics and preventing human trafficking.
The Real County and Edwards County Sheriff’s Offices in southern Texas are the first to partner with TSA on this initiative. Both operate with limited resources. Now they can train with talented dogs to further combat illegal activity.
Max (pictured) is the first dog in the transfer program. Max is a two-year-old German Shepherd with a lot of personal motivation, a high reward drive, and an excellent ability to overcome any challenge that comes his way. He also bonded quickly with his handler, Deputy Francisco De La Paz, which is key to a high-performing canine team.
According to Greg Fischer, TSA’s adoption coordinator, Max “commands attention when he enters the room, not just because of his size but also due to the confidence he carries with him.” He is a perfect match for the Texas law enforcement officers.
TSA will continue to support the program, especially since many other law enforcement organizations have expressed interest in participating. To TSA, it’s a privilege to offer capable dogs like Max to support the nation’s security and help people in need.