2016 Top 40 Under 40: Argo

Sept. 6, 2016
Argo, Canine Explosive Detection Unit, Dallas Area Rapid Transit


Canine Explosive Detection Unit with handler Corporal Mace De Los Santos

Dallas Area Rapid Transit

More than the other Top 40 recipients, our honorary Top 40 recipient does a lot of his work behind the scenes. And when not working, is more mellow than most and napped during this interview.

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.

For a system covering a large urban area with multiple jurisdictions, Argo helps to keep things moving. It’s not uncommon for someone to leave a bag or briefcase at a transit facility and in a time of heightened awareness and sensitivity, Argo can go in to search for the distinctive odors of explosive devices and determine if there’s no threat and quickly get the trains and people going again.

Argo and his handler cover a 700-square mile service area and works hard and plays hard. While he happily spend time sprawled out sleeping across the hallway at the police headquarters, requiring people to walk around him, there’s nothing he likes to hear more than the word, “work.” When he hears that word, according to his handler, Argo turns it on, knows it’s “go” time and absolutely loves it.

“Every dog has their individual personality. You go from one end to the most laid back, like mine, to hyper-off-the-wall, but when you say “work” all of them are on the same level. Personalities is what makes it fun.”

Fun Fact: Argo’s favorite reward is to play tug-of-war with his Kong, a rubber toy with a rope.