In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001, the United States began an unprecedented overhaul of our domestic security preparedness. Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security said “The homeland is secure when the hometown is secure.” One of the most noticeable indicators of America’s more robust security posture is the bomb dog. Yes, man’s best friend has become a cornerstone in the battle to protect America, both at home and abroad. A well-trained bomb dog partnered with a well-trained and experienced handler make a formidable team and significantly decrease vulnerabilities. An Explosive Detection Canine Team (EDCT) is highly mobile, highly visible, and is a tangible and highly effective deterrent. Anyone doing pre-operational surveillance or trying to introduce an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) into a location will see the dog and understand that an organization is serious about security.
Americans have adapted to the stronger security procedures they encounter each day, and never is this more evident than with bomb dogs. Locations where “NO DOGS ALLOWED” was the rule have now welcomed the trained bomb dog. In addition to working in government buildings and serving private clients, MSA Security has provided full time bomb dog teams to some of the world’s most iconic sporting venues around the country.
Fans, athletes, employees, officials, and the press, all feel safer and draw a level of comfort when a bomb dog is present. In addition to being a visible deterrent, one of the most valued services a bomb dog can provide is to respond to and clear unattended items, which in the past would have caused an unnecessary evacuation and a serious and lengthy disruption to a sporting event. A forgotten purse or briefcase, a suspect package mailed to an athlete, a child’s backpack, or a vehicle parked in front of the venue for an extended period are all conditions which may cause an alarm, but can easily be rectified by having a dedicated bomb dog team on-site.
Sports in America generate revenues in the billions, and Al-Qaeda has identified sports venues as possible terrorist attack locations. Trained bomb dogs are a reliable and proven methodology for finding explosives. They are trained to “go to source” – where the odor is strongest and indicate with a passive response--they sit and look at their handler, in anticipation of their reward. The Pentagon convened a committee--the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), spent 19 billion dollars in research, and concluded that the nation’s best bomb detector is a dog. “Dogs are the best detectors,” said Lieutenant General Michael Oates, the commander of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization.