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Dog Teams Fail Bomb-Sniffing Tests in 10 Major US Airports

The K-9 squads had a poor performance between 2013 and 2015, which has raised questions about their training.

Bomb-sniffing K-9 teams have failed tests in 10 major airports across America, NBC News reports. Some of the teams failed to find explosives, while others had too many false alarms that could end up causing unnecessary airport evacuations.

New data obtained by KXAS through a Freedom of Information Act request calls into question whether these K-9 teams are getting enough training before they start working in security screening. Dog teams have failed 21 times at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and 10 times at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) outside Washington, D.C between 2013 and 2015.

However, the team at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) has an impressive score, with only a 3% failure rate. Overall, in the records provided by the TSA for 10 major airports, K-9 teams have passed 87% of the tests. KXAS asked for more comprehensive national figures from TSA but has not yet received them.

Once a K-9 team fails a test, they are pulled out of the job, and can only be reinstated when they manage to pass the test. The TSA says that the failures are just a normal part of keeping high standards. However, multiple failures in some cities do raise some questions about whether those teams have been training enough to maintain the highest level of security.

“If a team does not meet TSA’s rigorous guidelines, it is decertified and restricted from working. The team must successfully meet certification standards before returning to search duties. Dog teams that are unable to return to TSA’s high standards are subject to removal,” the TSA said in a statement to the KXAS.

[Photo: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

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