The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is hosting some special guests this week who are helping to keep the public safe and secure leading up to and in the days after Super Bowl LVII.
More than 25 TSA explosive detection canines and their TSA handlers are in Phoenix to assist in security operations at key venues at PHX and throughout the Valley of the Sun. These working canines are specially trained to detect explosives and explosive components. Some of the teams work regularly at PHX while others have come from airports from across the country.
At the airport, TSA’s use of explosive detection canines significantly enhances the efficiency of the security screening process, serving as an added layer of security. Away from the airport, the dogs can work in a variety of locations and use their keen sense of smell to augment existing security efforts.
The canines have been trained to navigate among large groups of people to pinpoint the source of an explosive odor, often without the source being aware and even if the source is mobile. The handlers are trained to read the dog’s behavior when it indicates an explosive scent has been detected. If a dog alerts its handler to something suspicious, TSA follows an established procedure to resolve the alarm.
TSA’s canines are regularly tested to ensure they maintain excellent scent capabilities. While they are sociable, they are working canines so they should not be petted or fed by anyone except their handlers.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has classified Super Bowl LVII as a Special Event Assessment Rating (SEAR) Level 1, which qualifies it for extensive federal support. More than 650 DHS personnel are currently involved in dedicated security operations in and around the Phoenix area.