LOS ANGELES (CBS) — LAX will be getting more explosive-detecting dogs in an effort to beef up security at the nation’s third busiest airport.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck made an announcement about the new canines Thursday morning.
With 30 explosive and patrol dogs, LAX already has the largest canine unit in the country.
“I don’t think it can hurt,” traveler Jackie Werblo told CBS2’s Kristine Lazar. “As a regular traveler every week, I want to be safe. And if the TSA thinks that will help, and the police department thinks it will help, then I think it’s a fine idea.”
The additional dogs, which cost $60,000 each, are the result of an airport security review that was conducted after the failed 2009 Christmas Day Al-Qaeda bombing attempt on a plane heading from Amsterdam to Detroit .
President Obama called on airports to enhance their screening technology and procedures at the time.
“We do not have a layer of security in place to detect organic or nonmetallic explosive devices on persons being introduced to the aviation transportation system prior to the TSA screening checkpoints,” LA Airport Chief of Police George Centenno told KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou.
The dogs are able to detect a plume of aroma of explosives coming off of a body from a considerable distance away, allowing for another layer of security.