Charleston airport expands K-9 presence to increase security
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston International Airport welcomed two K-9 officers and their handlers to their security team on Monday morning.
The new officers have been trained by the Transportation Security Administration through a rigorous four-month program, airport spokesman Spencer Pryor said. The program trains and deploys both TSA-led and state and law enforcement-led canine teams that protect the transportation industry.
“Our goal, working alongside our federal partner, is to collectively enhance the passenger experience while maintaining a high level of safety,” Charleston International Airport Executive Director and CEO Elliot Summey said.” “This partnership with TSA will allow us to provide additional resources to the millions of passengers that use our facility.”
Pryor said the highly-trained explosive detection K-9 teams are “a reliable resource at detecting explosives and provide a visible deterrent to terrorism.”
The K-9 teams graduate from the TSA course after demonstrating proficiency in multiple types of transportation environments including the airport, the terminal, freight, cargo and baggage areas; vehicles, buses, ferries and rail.
“This is a true example of teamwork, David McMahon, TSA Federal Security Director-South Carolina, said.”“CHS was willing to sponsor their own officers to work alongside us to provide more resources to effectively screen passengers during peak times at the state’s busiest airport.”
The two new officers and their K-9 counterparts introduced Monday were Officer Browning, who is paired with German Shorthaired Pointer Boa; and Officer Peterson, who is paired with German Shepard Ribi.
Last week, the airport introduced one of its newest K-9 officers, Luther, who is named after Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds. Reynolds died on May 22 from cancer.
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