Airport Security: Dogs vs. Body ScannersPublished August 1, 2011
With today’s high security lockdown, everyone is wondering, what is the best way to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe when traveling? How are we assured the best detection from harmful situations? With the advancements in technology, such as full-body scanning, would we all feel comfortable with these technological detection methods?
No need to fear, last Wednesday Congress had a hearing on airport security to figure out the best way to provide airport security— a full-body scanner that would costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, or a friendly canine who might sniff your shoe. According to CNN, Rep. Jason Chaffetz led the dog caucus arguing that canines are cheaper and less invasive than body scanners. Dogs are exceptional at sensing explosives, do not require software upgrades, don't depreciate with use, and might even be able to detect bombs implanted under a person's skin.
Canine’s are a fan favorite amongst the public and are widely used in many government and everyday jobs. According to CNN,Transportation Security Administration Assistant Administrator John Sammon noted the TSA has fielded both body scanners and canines. But dogs have limitations, he said. They require frequent breaks, he said, while the imaging machines can be worked tirelessly.
According to The Poodle (and dog) blog, Inspector William Parker, head of Amtrak's K-9 unit, says "Scientifically, right now there's no data that says a dog can or cannot," But he noted that dogs can detect cancer and tumors. "Dogs can detect anything that they're taught. I think if the dog is taught to do that, he'll be a very good asset for that."
To see what other jobs canines take part in, check out Petside’s Working Dogs.
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