PHOTOS: Sea-Tac Airport goes to the dogs Tuesday – police K-9s that is…

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A statewide K-9 training session was held at Sea-Tac Airport on Tuesday, May 9, and along with some eager, hardworking dogs, Elston and Jackline Hill (and their cameras) were there.

The event was planned and co-hosted by the Port and King County Sheriff’s Office, working with the WA Police Canine Association.

There were more than 120 K-9 teams from across the state working at events throughout the county, with the airport being just one of the sites.

Dogs and handlers trained in numerous scenarios, from airport explosives detection, to things at other sites including vehicle searches, tracking, obstacles, a fire tower and more.

Officers were from across the state, as well as from Portland, Spokane, King County and Port of Seattle Police. The Port of Seattle has 12 K-9’s, including 3 new ones, so travelers can expect to see them quite often while in the terminals.

Here’s more from Elston (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):

At SeaTac airport today (Jackie between dog and officer):


Four different police agencies use dogs at the airport. The Port and TSA concentrate on explosives. Each dog is trained to look for a single scent. The agriculture department uses dogs to look for illegal plants and wildlife. The border patrol uses dogs to find illegal currency. The dogs are trained to stop only if the currency in a bag exceeds a certain large dollar amount:

Ever feel like you were being followed at the airport?:

This bag was simulated with explosives:

The dogs are rewarded with toys:

This hyperactive dog never slowed down. He was just a blur:

The officers at SeaTac pick up and train their dogs in San Antonio and an officer I talked takes his dog home at night:

The dogs are paid much less than minimum wage:

Me in the background:

I was curious about what is done to prevent theft of luggage at the carousels. In addition to officers in uniform, there are plain clothes officers, as well as cameras watching and taking pictures. Sometimes a thief will skip town before being identified. In that case, Sea-Tac circulates the photos to other airports such as Vancouver and San Francisco.

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