Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

New dogs at LAX can sniff bombs on the move

May 12, 2011 | 12:37 pm

A team of specially trained dogs has joined anti-terrorism efforts at Los Angeles International Airport.

The airport has long made use of drug-sniffing dogs, but these animals, publicly introduced Thursday, can track down a person who is walking through the airport carrying a concealed bomb, officials said.

They have the ability to "detect a bomb on someone who is moving," said Sarah Hamilton, press secretary for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck were among the dignitaries at Thursday's ceremony.

Elements of the new program are confidential -- namely, the number of dogs. Funding for acquiring the dogs and training them and officers came from the Los Angeles Police Foundation, a nonprofit organization that assists the LAPD with resources and grants for programs and equipment.

The goal of adding these dogs arose out of an airport security assessment. Officials said the city remains a potential terrorism target, a conclusion apparently supported by materials seized in the recent raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.


LAPD official says Bin Laden journal offers evidence L.A. terror threat is real

-- Howard Blume