A new government investigation suggests that the Transportation Security Administration is not collecting enough detailed information to know
By RYM MOMTAZ (@RymMomtaz)
Feb. 1, 2013
A new government investigation suggests that the Transportation Security Administration is not collecting enough detailed information to know if its bomb dogs are well trained and capable of finding bombs at the nation's airports, and includes secret video that shows the dogs failing tests to detect explosives.
TSA has been testing bomb dogs in Miami and Oklahoma City and will be testing them at Dulles airport, outside Washington, D.C., this month.
A GAO report released this week, however, says that the passenger-screening canines have not been adequately tested, and included secret video shot over the past year that showed the dogs failing to detect explosives properly at the test airports.
"As part of our review," wrote the GAO, "we visited two airports at which PSC teams have been deployed and observed training exercises in which PSC teams accurately detected explosives odor (i.e., positive response), failed to detect explosives odor (i.e., miss) and falsely detected explosives odor (i.e., non-productive response)."
The cost of keeping bomb-sniffing dogs on the government's payroll has almost doubled in the past two years, from $52 million to more than $100 million. Each TSA dog team costs the taxpayers $164,000 dollars a year.
"They want to do the right thing," aviation expert Jeff Price told ABC News, "but the homework hasn't been done. A lot of money gets spent before they know something works."