K9s Working to Keep our Transit Systems Safe

March 23, 2017
K9s and their handlers work at transit systems across the country helping in a variety of ways, putting their lives on the line.

A few of the K9s we've covered:

K9 Officer Aren of the Port Authority of Allegheny County Police Department

The American Kennel Club (AKC) announced its AKC Paw of Courage award recipients and included in this 2016's list K9 Officer Aren of the Port Authority of Allegheny County Police Department in Pennsylvania. Aren was a 5-year-old German Shepherd Dog at the Port Authority that was stabbed to death during an apprehension in January, 2016.


DART's Argo and handler Corporal Mace De Los Santos

Argo is a 7-year-old German Shepherd and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) employee for nearly three years. A graduate of the National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program at Lackland Air Force Base, he is assisted at DART by Corporal Mace De Los Santos, a 13-year DART police officer that has been part of the Canine Explosive Detection Unit for six years.


Houston MPD K9’s Reno, Hank, Alex, Aimy, River, Jesy, & Soptik received body armor

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Metro) Police Department K9’s Reno, Hank, Alex, Aimy, River, Jesy, & Soptik have received bullet and stab protective vests thanks to a charitable donation from the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The K9s' vests are sponsored by the late Otto W. Vollenweider of Bolingbrook, Illinois, and embroidered with the sentiment “May you always stay safe — Otto W. Vollenweider."


Preparing for the President

Last September John Carlson, superintendent of Service Management at Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) got a call from U.S. Secret Service: President Barack Obama would arrive in just three days and VTA's assistance was required. Light rail continued to run as scheduled but every vehicle would have to be swept by law enforcement K-9 teams for explosives at the light rail station stop prior to coming into range of the president's hotel. 


K9 Beni, working out of the community policing office in MetroLINK's transit center

MetroLINK has a community policing office in its transit center, including two K9s and handlers.


K-9 Unit Helps Keep MARTA Safe

In 1997, MARTA added a canine unit to its transit police force and in 2000, it became the first transit agency in the nation to receive a TSA-certified dog and served as the pilot program for TSA.