TSA brings K-9 training to VRE

Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor
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Virginia Railway Express hosted the Transportation Security Administration for a canine training event at the VRE Broad Run yard in Prince William County.

The July 17 event was part of a continuous effort in interagency surface training, one of many training events hosted by VRE with local, state and federal partner agencies in the area.

The training consisted of TSA explosives detection canines sweeping train equipment and a station to help familiarize the dogs and their handlers with railroad environments.

“Safety and security are priorities for us at VRE. We appreciate the work our partner agencies do and we’re here to help them with these surface training opportunities,” said VRE Chief Executive Doug Allen. “We operate in a security critical region and are committed to pursuing as many opportunities as possible to incorporate security into our operations.”

For the past several years, VRE has partnered with FBI, Homeland Security, local law enforcement, Capitol Police, NIH, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police, CSX police, Norfolk Southern police, Amtrak police, Secret Service, TSA and many other agencies by hosting training activities to detect narcotics and explosives. These training activities help law enforcement officials and canine units become familiarized with VRE equipment and security procedures to ensure the protection and safety of VRE riders.

“We truly value our security partnership with VRE and strive to conduct joint training exercises that expose our TSA handlers and their canine partners to a wide variety of different transportation venues such as the VRE Broad Run Rail Yard, as it enhances the overall response capability of our canine teams,” said Michael Gapinski, Section Chief of TSA’s National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program. “This training exercise is a great opportunity for our TSA teams to become further acclimated in safely and effectively conducting searches along tracks, rail cars, rail equipment and the overall operational environment associated with a rail yard.”

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