The US Government Accountability Office (GAO), the audit and investigative arm of Congress, has raised doubts about the Transport Security Administration’s (TSA) plan to deploy bomb-sniffing dogs to screen passengers for explosives. The TSA plans to deploy 120 dog teams by the end of 2013 at airports across the US. Canine teams have been tested in closed parts of the Miami and Oklahoma City airports in 2012 and they’ve been used in passenger areas of the Indianapolis and Tampa airports.
The TSA began using dogs to screen air cargo for explosives in January 2008.
A recently released GAO report says that the canine teams failed to meet the required training-period requirements and the TSA has not properly studied the effectiveness of the screening teams.
One of the main concerns about the program is how to handle a situation if a suicide bomber is detected – especially as TSA inspectors do not carry weapons. One solution to this is to include a law-enforcement officer with the TSA bomb-sniffing dog.
At a cost of $53,000 for a law-enforcement officer and $164,000 for a canine team with a TSA handler, do you think this is a necessary airport security measure?
Read more in this USA Today story here:
GAO questions using TSA dogs to screen passengers