Man's best friend may help make air travel safer

Monday, May 16, 2016

A new air carrier is slated to take over service to McCook Ben Nelson Regional Airport this summer, and while "lines" are next to nonexistent going through security here, that's not the case at larger airports.

Passengers are told to arrive as much as three hours early because of tightened security measures and tight TSA budgets.

Friday. Jeh Johnson, head of Homeland Security, said he has approved more overtime for screeners, sped up hiring and approved the increased use of bomb-sniffing dogs.

It won't be a hard sell in Southwest Nebraska, where drug-sniffing dogs have made a name for themselves, notably in a major drug bust by the Nebraska State Patrol and other previous arrests.

The use of dogs in law enforcement has a long history -- including occasional abuse by despots -- and man's best friend has more than earned his keep over the years.

Today, specially-trained dogs' finely-tuned senses are put to use providing security in sensitive areas, in search and rescue, investigating arson and finding bodies even under running water as well as detecting explosives.

That's not to mention service dogs that help the visually impaired or provide dozens of other services for people with disabilities.

It only stands to reason that we would turn to our four-footed friends when it comes to helping make travel safe.

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