TSA brings out bomb-sniffing dog to demonstrate explosives detection at airport

VIDEO: Bomb-sniffing dog patrols Charleston airport for explosives
Jack and his handler, TSA Agent Bobby Jones (Source: Live 5)
Jack and his handler, TSA Agent Bobby Jones (Source: Live 5)

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Transportation Security Administration brought out one of its bomb sniffing dogs Wednesday to demonstrate how the K-9s detect explosives.

Jack is an 8-year-old Belgian Tervuren purchased by the Department of Defense from the Czech Republic, according to Transportation Security Inspector and Explosive Detection K-9 handler Bobby Jones.

Jack works at the Charleston International Airport, using his nose to sniff out bombs and explosive making materials, a job he has now performed for seven years.

"Unfortunately in the world we live in, we need extra layers, and that's what Jack is," Jones, said. "Jack is just an extra layer of security for TSA and for the airport."

"The great thing about these K-9's is that they're a split second threat assessor and they're mobile," TSA spokesman Mark Howell said.

Jack usually works an eight-hour shift inside the airport terminal. He covers lots of ground.

"If you can see it, we're there, even in places you can't see," Jones said. "Our responsibility is the airport itself, so every nook and cranny you may find us in."

That includes the baggage claim area.

His handler says Jack's sense of smell is so sensitive that he can break down the components of a hidden bomb. He compares it to a child walking into a home where the child's mother is cooking beef stew.

"You walk in and you smell beef stew. He can smell the carrots, the onions, the peas, the broth and the beef and all that is implanted in his brain," Jones said.

Jack was trained to detect explosive odor at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, Jones said.

Howell says just the dog's presence at the airport helps keep people safe.

"When somebody sees a dog that's sniffing through the airport, I think they're gonna think twice about doing something."

So far it has worked.

Officials say in the eight years the dogs have been on the job, no explosives have been found at the airport or smuggled onto a plane.

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