Operation Scratch and Sniff

The WaPo's Sari Horwitz notes that the Homeland Security Department's first line of defense in terror attacks aimed at mass transit systems remains the bomb-sniffing dog. However, there are logistical difficulties:

Local and federal agencies have too few dogs to cover the nation's transit systems, which carry 14 million people daily. Many of the dogs can only work for about a half-hour before they need a break.

Yeah, the Canine Locals have far and away the best-negotiated AFSCME contracts. Meanwhile, though, Horwitz notes that contingency plans are well under way over at DoD:

The Defense Department is conducting experiments with rats, wasps, honeybees and yeast to find other ways to detect explosives

That may well solve the labor part of the equation, but it's going to raise serious procurement problems down the road. Because, you know, that's exactly the same equipment that NASA uses to repair the Space Shuttle.

Man's Best Terror Deterrent Still Somewhat-Reliable Dog [WaPo]


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