HONOLULU – The Transportation Security Administration bid farewell Monday to one of its longest tenured working canines at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) when King, a 10-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, officially retired.
King has worked at HNL for the past six years with his handler Lance as an explosive detection canine. A retirement ceremony was held at the airport and included a “ball drop” where dozens of tennis balls surrounded King symbolizing the end to his final search at the airport.
“King has earned his retirement. His unique role as Passenger Screening Canine, trained to detect explosives, has provided an additional layer of security for the people of Hawaii and countless number of tourists who have departed the airport over the years,” said TSA Federal Security Director in Hawaii Jenel Cline. “We are still celebrating our working canine Kajla being named the TSA’s Cutest Canine for 2020. We feel doubly fortunate to be able to celebrate King so we can, once again, highlight the important role that canines play in TSA’s security operations.”
King and his handler have traveled to the mainland to support high profile events including a Presidential Inauguration, Super Bowl 50 and the 2018 NCAA Final Four. They have also worked locally at multiple NFL Pro Bowls and Honolulu marathons as well as the 75th anniversary ceremony of the attack on Pearl Harbor. King has also regularly trained with the Honolulu Police Department and the Department of Defense’s explosive canines teams from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines in special joint venues.
King performs in the top tier for air scent detection of explosives and explosive components. He has been a valuable member of the TSA canine team at HNL and was trained at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.
In retirement, King will live at home with his handler and have more time to enjoy swimming at the beach, sleeping on the couch and undertake his favorite pastime eating. Handler Lance will continue working for TSA at HNL and be paired with a new canine partner Zara, a Belgian Malinois.