Faces light up when he walks through the lobby to report for work each weekday morning. Seth is a real favorite among the more than 50,000 employees here at their Manhattan headquarters. He’s been on the job for only a few months, but Seth keeps his nose buried in his work. His outstanding performance has quickly made him a key asset, earning praise from everyone – including the company’s CEO. Some might say, Seth is a real “top dog.” They would be right.
This three-year-old black Labrador and his handler, Scott DiBisceglio, are an MSA Security® Explosive Detection Canine (EDC) Team working each day to keep company employees and visitors safe. Their job requires quite a bit of footwork, sweeping incoming vehicle deliveries, unattended bags, and areas far and wide in this 20-story office building that spans nearly an entire city block.
One of MSA’s more than 900 Detection Teams, Scott and Seth completed MSA’s Canine Detection Training Program at the company’s state-of-the-art training facility in Windsor, CT. Like all MSA’s specially bred and socialized canines, Seth was imprinted on all five families of commercial explosives, as well as homemade explosives. Operational training specific to intended deployment followed and is consistently validated through testing and certification on nationally recognized NAPWDA standards. Scott looks back fondly on the moment they were paired. “We clicked right away. I knew then that Seth would make a terrific partner, with a keen sense of smell, a good temperament and an eagerness to work,” he says noting that his new partner had impressive paws to fill. Scott’s EDC of five years, a yellow Labrador named Wilson, recently retired after many years of service. “Wilson and I worked this job together for five years and everyone loved him. On his last day, the employees threw him a great retirement party filled with all his favorites,” recalls Scott. “I was not sure any dog could measure up to Wilson and Seth proved me wrong.”
Working in New York City is familiar territory for Scott. Before joining MSA more than two decades ago, he served in the NYPD for 20 years. Early in his career, he worked plain clothes in Harlem. He was later promoted to sergeant and ultimately retired as a sergeant in Manhattan’s Special Victims Unit (SVU) responsible for leading a team in investigating sex crimes and cases of alleged child abuse. The SVU works in partnership with victim advocates and other city agencies. For Scott, the department’s good work and the camaraderie with his brothers in blue are what stand out most from his time in law enforcement.
While their weekdays are focused on the important goal of mitigating security threats, Scott and Seth relish their downtime. Scott tries to hit the links with a few friends for some golf whenever he can although there are some buddies at home that make a strong – and adorable – case for family time. Wilson, who is still adjusting to retirement, and his new best furry friend, Seth, can’t get enough playtime with Scott’s two-year-old granddaughter and three-month-old grandson. Tee time will have to wait.