NFTA Leaders explain how a bomb-sniffing dogs detect false-positives

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Tense moments yesterday for concert goers at ArtPark. Two bomb-sniffing dogs alerted authorities to an odd odor by the stage.

Fortunately, it was a false alarm. Tonight we’re learning more about how these K-9’s are trained.

We checked in with NFTA Transit Police who train their bomb sniffing dogs to keep downtown venues and train stations secure.

Leaders here say since the Boston Marathon Bombings, K-9 units have become a part of daily protocol.

After the two different dogs alerted near a speaker at ArtPark. Multiple units checked the area by using x-ray equipment, and a physical inspections too.

They cleared a 20 foot radius around the stage, until they found out there was no threat.

No package or device was ever found.

Now, NFTA Leaders say K-9’s are crucial to their task force. And a lot is taken into consideration before an evacuation is ordered.

At ArtPark Tuesday night, the dogs picked up on some kind of odor, but there’s no telling what that could have been.

Leaders say the K-9’s sense of smell is so strong, it could have picked up the scent of a chemical that may be also found in an explosive.

George W. Gast, Chief of Police with the NFTA Transit Police Department said, “There is an extensive list of chemicals that aren’t necessarily explosive, but may be part of that chemical makes up or a component of an explosive. Dogs going to alert on that chemical. The dogs noses are so phenomenal. It could have possibly been left over from a concert where pyrotechnics were used close to the speaker. Now you’ve got explosive residue.”

The NFTA Police Chief says a false positive like we saw at ArtPark isn’t common but it does happen. He says these dogs are trained every week to make sure they can be used as a security resource. They’re also reassessed every year- and have to pass annual exams.

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