NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Since the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, we have all learned to go through enhanced security screening at the airport. Besides the usual x-ray detectors used on us and our luggage, bomb-sniffing dogs have also been a major contributor to preventing attacks.
Today, the TSA invited the media for a demonstration of how their canine screening works.
They brought out “Chief” the cute, tail wagging, bomb-sniffing Labrador Retriever. Chief has been trained to smell for certain bomb-making materials. We watched as he sniffed the carry on luggage of passengers, and then the TSA sent through a decoy with a backpack containing materials that the TSA dogs have been trained to alert for.
Chief followed the decoy and continued to tail him silently, instead of barking or alerting the suspect.
Mark Howell, TSA Spokesman said, “They’re trained to give a passive response when they detect a threat. What we don’t want to do is startle somebody that may potentially have a device.”
They even let our own Davis Nolan carry the suspect backpack to see Chief’s response. Chief was quick to alert his trainer.
Davis’ reply? “Good job, Chief! Good job!
TSP spokesman Mark Howell says the dogs are trained for two jobs, cargo screening, and passenger screening. For the later, further training is required. The dogs learn what to sniff for and how at a facility in San Antonio, Texas that actually looks like a real airport, with ticketing, security screening checkpoints, and other places common to an actual airport.