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Anchorage Airport Police Handlers and Dogs Receive Commendation

Airport Police explosive detection canines

Airport Police explosive detection canines

Photo: Courtesy of ADOT &PF

Anchorage, AK -- From March 11 through March 15, 2012, while most were enjoying spring break, several airport employees were having final exams. Annual K9 testing took place during this time for four airport canines and their handlers. Evaluators from the TSA National Canine Program in Texas arrived Sunday morning and tested the three Airport Police and one TSA explosive detection canine teams throughout the week. At the end of the week, the results were in, and all had passed with excellent ratings. Canines "Batman" and "Kay" and their handlers achieved a rating of 100% success! The evaluator went on to say that never before had he written commendations for handlers, but felt compelled to do so this time. He went on to say that both organizations have an outstanding training program in place and completely understand and perform canine training to superb levels of expertise.

Anchorage airport began emloying K9 units in 2002. When a K9 position opens, officers can apply to the Chief of the Airport Police and Fire Department. Those selected spend 10 weeks training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas with their assigned canine. Upon return to Anchorage, canine and handler begin a life-long career that typically spans 7-10 years. The canines are full time police working dogs with their own law enforcement badge. Canines are integrated into the handler's family and not kenneled at the Department. When not responding to calls, canine and handler train side-by-side daily. Upon completion of their tour of duty, the handler is given the option of adopting the dog.

The Alaska International Airport System (AIAS) - comprised of Ted Stevens Anchorage International and Fairbanks International Airports - is home to over 30 international and domestic airlines providing passenger and cargo service throughout Alaska, the United States, Europe, and Asia. AIAS is an extraordinary economic engine; serving nearly 6 million passengers a year and accounting for 1 in 10 jobs in Anchorage and 1 in 20 jobs in Fairbanks. The purpose of AIAS is "To Keep Alaska Flying and Thriving."

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) oversees 254 airports, 11 ferries serving 33 communities, 5,700 miles of highway and 660 public facilities throughout the State of Alaska. The mission of ADOT&PF is to "Get Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure."

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