SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – Security plans across South Florida continue to be beefed up in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings but some specialized security involves man’s best friend.
Specially-trained explosive detection dogs work security details at PortMiami and Port Everglades.
The bomb sniffing dogs are extensively trained for a minimum of 600 hours at Garrison and Sloan Canine Detection before being sent out on assignment.
The dogs and handlers are training harder than ever since the bombings in Boston because their work and their presence is in greater demand.
“We’re getting more calls. There’s the Corporate Run and now you have the stadiums that want additional protection and I think after the incident in Boston, people are going to try and be more proactive,” said Garrison and Sloan’s Tony Guzman.
After 9/11, Guzman’s company grew and now after the deadly bombings in Boston, the demand for explosive detection canines is also growing.
Guzman has been training dogs for law enforcement for more than 20 years and now he’s being asked to ramp up protection with additional dogs and manpower at South Florida’s ports.
“Now we have more screening, you’re going to see a lot more canines out there, a lot more presence. Certain steps have been taken already like the garbage cans being removed and you’ve got more terminal sweeps,” said Guzman.
Major events in Miami-Dade and Broward are expected to draw large crowds like the Heat playoffs at the AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown Miami, televangelist Joel Osteen’s sold out appearance at Marlins Park and the Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run in downtown Miami.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said changes are expected.
“All the canine units will be on the route. There’s going to be more police presence.”
It’ll be the first time the police department’s bomb squad will be at the marathon along with K9 officers. Race runners and fans will be asked to leave bags behind. Water and towels will be provided.
In Broward, at the Lauderdale Air Show, safety is the main priority and police have already reviewed their security plans.
“This is an event that the community looks forward to and we don’t want anyone to be concerned about their safety at this event,” said Ft. Lauderdale Det. Deanna Greenlaw.
The public can do their part by calling law enforcement if you see or hear something out of the ordinary.