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New York City’s Transit Enhanced Detection Dog program features an experienced explosive detection dog wearing a sensor-laden harness that can detect radiation or chemicals the dogs haven’t been trained to identify.
Transit police patrolling New York City subways have added a high-tech component to their bomb-sniffing dogs.
The Transit Enhanced Detection Dog (TREDD) program features a trained explosive detection dog wearing a sensor-laden harness that can detect radiation or chemicals the dogs haven’t learned to identify.
TREDD was created by Lt. John Pappas, commander of Transit Bureau K9, after he realized that newer or homemade chemical explosives could evade canine detection.
NYPD worked with its IT Bureau and the Blueforce Development Corp. to build a system that could take location and sensor readings and transmit them to a custom-designed app on a handler’s cellphone in real time, giving officers an early alert to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) weapon. The sensors can also be monitored by local commanders who can see the GPS location of the dog and handler on either a laptop or phone.
With the sensor harness, a dog already trained for patrol, tracking and explosive detection becomes part of a virtual CBRNE detection platform, allowing police to respond to various attacks with the same canine, Pappas said in a Blueforce blog.
“The system is plug and play,” NYPD Transit Bureau Officer Edwin Ramirez told Fox News. “So if terror groups change their tactics, I can change sensors and redirect what we need to do.”
Besides detecting explosives or chemical weapons, the team can also quickly sweep subway cars after they pull into the station.
Pappas said NYPD is also the only police department in the world to possess the technology, which it has demonstrated for the Defense Department.
“This is an example of how the NYPD goes out of its way to protect its citizens—and at the same time, the citizens of the world by sharing information like this," he told Fox. "It does us no good to hoard this when there's a threat like this up against all of us. This isn't just a threat to New York City.”