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El Paso Int’l Airport deploys new explosive-detecting dog teams

EL PASO, Texas -- The El Paso International Airport on Wednesday received two new canine teams that are trained in the detection of explosives.

Official said the dogs will be stationed at the security checkpoint area on the main floor; the canines will work around travelers to deter anyone from bringing in explosives to the airport.

The security checkpoint has been reconfigured to allow for passengers to walk past the dogs while they are working, airport officials indicated.

How do these canines manage to find explosives? Airport officials offered this explanation...

"The dogs sniff the air currents surrounding travelers and their belongings as they pass through the airport terminal to detect anyone who may be carrying explosives. The canine handlers are trained to read their dog’s change of behavior when it indicates an explosive scent has been detected. If a dog alerts its handler to the presence of explosive odor, officers will follow an established procedure to resolve the alarm."

The dogs will be handled by El Paso police and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

"The use of these highly-trained canines is an effective tool in deterring and detecting explosive devices," said airport spokeswoman Tammy Fonce.

While the explosive-detecting dogs will work primarily at the airport, officials said they could be called upon for other explosive detection tasks in the city to help ensure safety at major events.

Dylan McKim

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