New Dog at LAX Can Sniff Out Suicide Bombers

Izzy's nose knows whether there is explosive residue in the air

By Jonathan Lloyd and Jennifer Bjorklund
|  Thursday, May 12, 2011  |  Updated 2:05 PM PDT
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Izzy can sniff out suicide bombers by detecting explosive residue in the air. His handler talks about how Izzy stays fit.

Izzy can sniff out suicide bombers by detecting explosive residue in the air. His handler talks about how Izzy stays fit.

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A new canine patrol is on duty at LAX.

Specially trained dogs can sniff out explosive residue in crowds by using air trailing capability. For example, Izzy, a 6-year-old black lab can detect such residue by sniffing the breeze passengers leave behind.

And, he can pick up the scent about 10 to 15 minutes after a person has passed a location. Izzy was top of his training class at Auburn University in Alabama.

Dogs already check luggage at LAX. Izzy will be on the lookout -- with his nose -- for air trails of scents left behind by people. He can then track the scent to the person from whom it originated.

Officials said Thursday the program at LAX is the first of its kind, but more airports are expected to adopt the program.

The dogs are deployed in areas where pre-screened passengers gather -- ticketing areas, screening lines and baggage claim areas.

Izzy's reward for a job well done? A tennis ball.

"Partners are great, but this is one of the best ones I've ever worked with," said Officer Tom Davoren, of the LAPD canine unit. "It's rewarding, it's fun. Especially with a lab, everybody wants to come up and talk about what kind of lab they have."

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