TSA Deputy Assistant Administrator Kimberly Hutchinson testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs at a hearing titled “Dogs of DHS: How Canine Programs Contribute to Homeland Security” March 3 in Washington, D.C.
During the hearing, Hutchinson discussed the success of TSA’s canine program, which is a prime example of federal, state and local governmental entities working together toward a common goal.
“Passenger Screening Canine teams are critical to TSA’s risk-based security efforts and are deployed to operate during peak travel times at 40 of the nation’s largest airports, where they have the opportunity to screen tens of thousands of passengers every day,” Hutchinson said.
In addition to deployments at passenger screening checkpoints, TSA and law enforcement-led teams conduct a variety of search and high visibility activities that address potential threats in the transportation domain.
Currently, there are more than 900 teams deployed in support of security and screening operations. TSA uses a variety of different breeds including Retrievers, Pointers and Viszladors, and the dogs are bred either by qualified breeders or canine vendors.