TSA Using Passenger Screening Dogs

Old Jul 1, 13, 10:17 am
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TSA using dogs @ DEN to grant expedited screening

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/06/2...-lines-at-dia/

The change is a Transportation Security Administration program but DIA officials say they are very supportive of it. It won’t apply to all passengers — only those using the “A” bridge security check point and it will run at different times.

The change was tested Friday morning and travelers seemed to be on board. They involved TSA-trained dogs.

“If it makes it safer, I’m okay with it,” one traveler said.

TSA confirms it is using canines to prescreen passengers and if they pass they may be able to go through an expedited security line.
Sounds like TSA is using bomb sniffing dogs to grant expedited/PreCheck-type screening to passengers at DEN's A bridge.

I'm generally pro-dog (presuming a well-trained dog and well-trained handler), but I wonder what the false positive rate is for dogs vs the false positive rate for ETD? I suspect dogs don't alarm on hand lotion, which would be a mark in their favor. I wonder if they alarm on fertilizer?

I also have to wonder if these dogs will be cross-trained for drug sniffing and cash sniffing.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 10:21 am
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I had mentioned this some time back and again last week:

Originally Posted by GUWonder
TSA's "managed inclusion" can lead to somewhat longer/slower PreCheck screening. Also, TSA can still sometimes shut down PreCheck LLL screening outcomes for passengers even when PreCheck LLL is indicated by the boarding pass scan.

The increased use of dogs/swabs and the use of the voodoo "security" "behavior detection" nonsense is part of the "managed inclusion" related changes to boost usage of PreCheck lines, which are rather underutilized.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/20985267-post1434.html
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Old Jul 1, 13, 10:23 am
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The thread title makes it look as though it's the dogs which are granting the expedited screening !
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Old Jul 1, 13, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The thread title makes it look as though it's the dogs which are granting the expedited screening !
In some ways they are.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 10:45 am
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As with anything TSA does, I'll reserve judgement on it until it's been in place long enough to see it's A) intrusiveness, B) use as a bullying or intimidation tool, C) false-positive rate, and D) effectiveness (i.e. false negative rate).

On its surface, however, I like the idea of using sniffer dogs to check out pax instead of the combination of NoS and endless swabs. Removing that swab monkey from our backs can only be a good thing, because it removes one of the most infuriating methods of retaliation and intentional delay that TSOs have.

The truth is, if any ONE item in my carry-on has explosive residue on it, the entire bag will have some residue on it. Swabing more than the outside of the bag is rarely necessary, and swabbing more than the inside of each compartment is never justified. Pulling each item out for an individual swab is nothing more than a giant flip-off from the TSO to the pax.

If dogs can be used instead, I say, buy stock in Alpo and let slip the dogs of peace!
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Old Jul 1, 13, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by studentff View Post
I also have to wonder if these dogs will be cross-trained for drug sniffing and cash sniffing.
I don't think you'll see explosives dogs cross trained with another detection discipline due to the required response. Every alert would have to be treated as if it were explosives and kick in to action the potential bomb threat response.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 12:33 pm
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If these TSA dogs are as well behaved as the one at Atlanta that bit a lady then I can see this program being another TSA failure.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 1:20 pm
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Too bad for the dogs that the TSA is presumably in charge of their care.

Not that the program makes much sense anyway. 99.99999% of people have no explosives. Are they going to let all those people have expedited screening because the dog found them clear?
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Old Jul 1, 13, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by lovely15 View Post
Too bad for the dogs that the TSA is presumably in charge of their care.

Not that the program makes much sense anyway. 99.99999% of people have no explosives. Are they going to let all those people have expedited screening because the dog found them clear?
Expedited screening as the article describes it is basically pre-9/11 screening:

Originally Posted by in the article
One man tweeted, “Through airport security without taking my shoes off, removing anything from my bag or being scanned!”

A woman tweeted, “Straight through security in two minutes with shoes on and laptops/liquids in bag. Testing new security procedures at Denver. Nice job.”
This could become a back-door method of easing liquid and gel restrictions and sharps prohibitions, which are common-sense changes that we've been talking about on FT for several years. Widespread expedited screening of this type could mean that, after the dog sniffs them, very few folks will get anything more than A) Put your bag on the belt, B) walk through the metal detector, C) have a nice flight. Only when the x-ray operator sees something worth stealing, er, investigating, would a traveler have a bag check or any escalated screening.

If it's kept quiet and rolled out slowly, without fanfare, maybe the FA unions won't go ape over it the way they did with the knives and bats change.

This has potential. Given TSA's abysmal record of human rights and basic inteligence, however, I somehow doubt that it will live up to its potential.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 3:18 pm
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Stupid. Mercury fulminate, nitroglycerin, TNT, ammonium nitrate, PETN, picrates.. etc....
explosives are extremely diverse and not very smelly.
Dogs are not the simple solution.
George Carlin was so very right, airport security was implemented in order
to give stupid people the illusion of safety.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
If these TSA dogs are as well behaved as the one at Atlanta that bit a lady then I can see this program being another TSA failure.
Methinks you are correct tho I hope that it does not happen (a person getting bitten by the dog but not the program failing)
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Old Jul 1, 13, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
The truth is, if any ONE item in my carry-on has explosive residue on it, the entire bag will have some residue on it. Swabing more than the outside of the bag is rarely necessary, and swabbing more than the inside of each compartment is never justified. Pulling each item out for an individual swab is nothing more than a giant flip-off from the TSO to the pax.
This is so short sighted
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Old Jul 1, 13, 7:13 pm
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...Besides Denver, right now the canine project is only being tested at airports in Indianapolis, Honolulu and Tampa.
Will we see a cost-benefit analysis or some sort of assessment of program effectiveness before it is launched nationwide? That would mean TSA has learned something from the NPRM public comments on use of NOSs...
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Old Jul 1, 13, 8:27 pm
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Originally Posted by eyecue View Post
This is so short sighted
That is so paranoid.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 8:44 pm
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Originally Posted by lovely15 View Post
Too bad for the dogs that the TSA is presumably in charge of their care.

Not that the program makes much sense anyway. 99.99999% of people have no explosives. Are they going to let all those people have expedited screening because the dog found them clear?
IIRC, when this was first announced, didn't they say that the roving TSOs with the dogs would 'select' (BDO voo-doo, micro-expressions, whatever) candidates to offer the dog bypass to? It was definitely not going to be an option for everyone.
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