AVON — From local police agencies to TSA at the airport, K-9s and their handlers are an important tool in keeping the community safe.
“Every time we come to something big like this, we learn something from another agency or trainer,” Nate Hibschman, the Training Director for Central Indiana K-9 Association said.
K-9 Ari and his handler Keith Gray have been paired for nearly three years. The TSA canine team is headquartered at Indianapolis International Airport and is tasked with keeping passengers safe.
It is pieces of training, like Friday’s event at Avon Middle School North, that help prepare Ari and Gray for what they may encounter in the field. It is also a time the team can collaborate with others to improve.
The team joined more than 50 handlers and their dogs for the sixth-annual Multi-Agency K-9 Training Event.
Other agencies at the event came from local, county and even out-of-state. It was not just explosives training, patrol, search and rescue and narcotics scenarios that were set up in and around the school.
The TSA National Explosives Detection and Canine Program hosted the event alongside the Central Indiana K-9 Association.
According to TSA, more than 1,000 canine teams work nationwide screening cargo and travelers.
“They [K-9s] let their handlers and police officers, sheriff's deputies they let them go home safe at night, so they're a huge benefit for us and then they're also out here keeping the people the community safe,” Hibschman said.