Everyone on the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency (a name which just rolls off the tongue) was recently in agreement on one thing no matter which political party they hail from. Dogs are great. Specifically, the dogs which are trained to work with their human partners in K-9 units serving in ICE, the Border Patrol and the TSA. That last group reportedly has more than 800 human-canine partner teams working at airports around the country. And why wouldn’t you love them? They are trained to sniff out bombs, drugs, corpses and pretty much anything else you might be on the lookout for and they work for biscuits.
But even this topic couldn’t escape at least a bit of controversy. One Republican congressman from Alabama wanted to know why the TSA was bringing in dogs from other countries when there are so many American dogs still out of work. (Okay… he didn’t exactly say that, but you get the idea.) That had the agency on the defensive trying to explain how they “source” their dogs. (Government Executive)
Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., provided the only contentious moments of the hearing when he questioned Harvey on TSA’s dog procurement practices. Palmer noted that he himself had recently been at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and saw very few canine teams…
Palmer, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, pressed Harvey on the procurement issue, citing Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” executive order. Harvey assured Palmer that the TSA has “an interagency agreement with DoD. We use the same vendors that they use . . . We also have a couple of agreements with domestic vendors from which we also get dogs.”
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