Three dogs are currently going through a 12-week training program to become bomb sniffers at Union Station. They are expected to be officially on the job by fall of this year, sometime in September, according to CBC News. The dogs will be employed by Metrolinx and will be on call 24/7.

Metrolinx says that the dogs will be on the scene in a matter of minutes in case there are any suspicious packages that need inspection.

“We always encourage our customers to say something if they see something,” says Bill Grodzinski, director of transit safety. “Now with our new K9 officers, we can ensure public safety by investigating these incidents on our network much quicker.”

The dogs are being trained by the Toronto Police Service, where they will be trained to pick up on scents that are associated with dangerous equipment. After the training, the dogs will be partnered with a Metrolinx Transit Safety Officer.

Police will only be called if a package is found to be dangerous, which is usually not the case. The dogs will be reliable indicators of when there is a safety issue. 

 

"They will give us an indication about a particular package and whether we need to escalate it more quickly or whether it's a bag that a costumer has left behind, which is 99 percent of the time the case," says Grodzinski to CBC.

Metrolinx discourages the public from petting the dogs, even though they are friendly and cute. They have been chosen based on a combination of genetic as well as behavioural qualities, as well as their sensitivity to scent, of course.

"It's important to let our handlers do their jobs for [the public's] safety — and for the safety of the handlers as well," said Sgt. Cam Cooper, a transit safety training supervisor. 

 

The dogs were also chosen based on their ability to tolerate crowded and loud environments without getting stressed out. 

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