Bridget Hallahan was in law enforcement for more than 21 years with the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD). She retired in 2020 as a major in the patrol division. As it turns out, the retired life was short-lived – by her own design.“The time I spent in law enforcement was undoubtedly challenging, but extremely gratifying. Moving around through the community in many different roles, I met great people and had the opportunity to help others – which is what drew me to serve in the first place,” explains Bridget. After enjoying retirement for just a few months, Bridget began to miss the action. She was anxious to return to the security field and answered a call for an Explosive Detection Canine (EDC) handler position at MSA Security®.
Early in 2021, to meet growing international demand for EDC teams, MSA accelerated its canine procurement and staffing. Bridget came on board and was ultimately paired with 14-month-old black Labrador, Polly, to become MSA’s 800th EDC team. Like all MSA canines, Polly was selected for her keen sense of smell, strong drive, intelligence and stable temperament. Teams train at one of MSA’s seven regional training facilities throughout the country. Bridget and Polly recently completed comprehensive training at MSA’s 75,000-square-foot flagship training center in Windsor, CT.
Every phase of MSA’s 6-pronged training philosophy is critical to the ongoing success of single-purpose, single-handler teams in the field. The operational phase focuses on the nuances of intended deployment and for Bridget and Polly, that is air cargo. Bridget says she and her partner are eager to get started. “Throughout training, Polly impressed me and the training team with her odor detection capabilities. She is also pretty feisty with energy for days,” shares Bridget. “That strong work ethic and endurance will certainly serve us well in the field, especially in a demanding environment like air cargo. We’re ready!” Since 2012, MSA has worked with leading carriers to hone and refine its international program. Today, MSA EDC Teams screen more cargo daily than any other private provider.
Although still new to the MSA team, Bridget says she quickly felt right at home. Many of the company’s more than 1,500 employees are retired law enforcement and military. In fact, U.S. Veterans Magazine recently recognized MSA Security as a 2021 Top-Veteran Friendly Company.
“In addition to my incredible partner, Polly, there is a welcomed and comfortable camaraderie with my MSA colleagues. We have similar backgrounds and experiences, which help create a culture where I believe I will thrive,” said Bridget.
Training has kept this duo busy and Bridget expects that an active schedule will continue once deployed to a major international carrier for air cargo screening. This mom of two grown children, Madison and Collin, wouldn’t have it any other way. So much for retirement!