12 TSA explosives detection canine teams graduate, go on duty to protect travelers

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National Press Release
Friday, July 30, 2004

WASHINGTON – 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.