The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has introduced two explosive-detection canines to screen passengers in the security checkpoint queue at Sacramento International Airport, California. The dogs will work with handlers from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department (SCSD) during key times to supplement existing passenger screening operations.
Passenger Screening Canines (PSCs) are trained to detect explosives and explosive materials in a busy transportation environment. They work with a handler, searching travelers and their belongings in the security checkpoint, and assist with the efficiency and effectiveness of TSA’s screening protocols.
Sid Hanna, TSA federal security director at Sacramento Airport, said, “TSA is pleased to partner with canine handlers from SCSD who will assist us in carrying out an important and visible role in our security operations at Sacramento Airport. Departing travelers will not only see the canines working in the security checkpoint but benefit from this additional layer of security at the airport.”
Cindy Nichol, director of airports, Sacramento County Airport System, the airport operator, added, “The airport is thrilled to continue working with TSA to expand the passenger screening canine program at Sacramento International. The addition of these dogs at the security checkpoint will provide an added benefit to passengers flying though the airport.”
The PSC teams navigate large groups of people to pinpoint the source of the odor of explosives, even if the source is mobile and often without the source being aware it is being tracked. The SCSD canine handlers have received additional training so they can detect their dog’s change of behavior when it indicates a suspicious scent has been detected in the security checkpoint.
Because explosives are known to be the greatest threat to the aviation system, PSCs are regularly tested to ensure they maintain a high standard of operational effectiveness. This continual training allows for all teams to be a reliable resource in detecting threats. Currently, TSA has more than 400 PSC teams that work at airports across the USA.