The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) will receive federal funding to grow its canine unit from four bomb-sniffing police dogs to seven.
This month, three transit police will leave Cleveland for 10 weeks of rigorous training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, which is regarded as the top canine training facility in the nation. The officers and their new canine partners will return to Cleveland in mid-December.
The ongoing funding, $40,000 per year per dog, is being provided by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), part of the Department of Homeland Security.
“The addition of three TSA-certified dogs to the RTA will complement existing security throughout the entire local transit system,” said Michael Young, TSA’s regional federal security director. “These dogs are specially trained to detect improvised explosive devices and will provide another layer of security in safeguarding RTA for its riders, its employees and the public.”
RTA’s first bomb-sniffing dogs were added in 2006.