ICYMI: Chairman Johnson: DHS Canines Are an Effective Layer in Keeping America Safe

WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security showed off its canine program during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Thursday. Members were able to see handlers and dogs provide demonstrations on how to detect weapons, currency, explosives and agriculture products.

Johnson said, “When we take a look at airport security, we talk to Secretary Jeh Johnson, always on his mind is the threat, in terms of air and airline safety. I really do believe canine units can be one of those layers, a very effective layer in keeping this nation and our air traffic safe as well.”

VIDEO: Click here to see the canine teams demonstrate detecting explosives and agriculture products.

Canine participants at today’s hearing are listed below:

Doug Timberlake, Transportation Security Inspector

Canine: Rriverso

The double first letter indicates that he is a product of the TSA’s breeding program, which has since ceased breeding activities. Each litter was assigned a letter, and all the pups from each litter start with the same letter. Each puppy was named after a victim of 9/11. Joseph Riverso was from White Plains, N.Y., and was in one of the World Trade Center buildings.

Patrick Dowling, Customs and Border Protection Officer/Instructor

Canine: Nicky

Jennifer Jones, Agriculture Specialist

Canine: Hudson

Cindy Otto, DVM., Ph.D.

Executive Director, Penn Vet Working Dog Center

Canine: Jerry

Johnson’s opening statement can be found here.

The full hearing can be found here.

Witness testimony can be found here.