K-9 officers at Nashville airport crucial to cutting down crime

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) —  All week on Good Morning Nashville, we are recognizing police K-9’s and their human handlers who make a big difference all across Middle Tennessee.

Nashville International Airport has eight K-9 units; six of the dogs specialize in finding explosives devices, while the other two dogs focus on tracking narcotics.

“They’re trained on certain odors that they have to be able to detect to see if there’s something harmful in a piece of luggage,” said Captain Alan Keene, Special Services division at Nashville International Airport. “The dogs are trained to detect thousands of different chemicals,” he said.

Blues is a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois who patrols BNA along with his handler, Officer Ray Pyron.

“It’s definitely a team effort, they are each others’ partner,” said Keene.

A K-9 unit is a team that stays together 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The dog is an extended part of their family so they go home with their handler every single night, they wake up, they come to work together, they eat together, they are truly part of the family,” he said.

Each K-9 at Nashville International is assigned to a handler based on their personality.

“When they go to Lackland Airforce base, (the officers) go through a 10-week training academy and they are partnered up with a K-9 that best fits their personality so when they are outfitted with that K-9, they work very well together,” Keene explained.

Each of the eight K-9 officers at Nashville International Airport is non-aggressive.

Once Blues sniffs out danger, he is trained to sit to signify to Officer Pyron that he has found something of potential danger.

“Our K-9s are so well-trained that they are invited to participate in special activities. They participate with the Predators and at Titans games for security measures, they get invited to the White House, they get invited to participate in Super Bowl activities,” said Keene.

All of the dogs at BNA are working K-9 officers; if you encounter one of these dogs, remember you are prohibited from petting him.

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