Traditional Explosive Detection Canines have been the industry standard for decades. These canines are trained to search productive areas such as buildings, vehicles, baggage, open areas and other areas for statically placed explosives.
People screening Canines or Person-Borne Improvised Explosive Detection Canines are selected for their traditional detection traits but are additionally trained that people can be a productive area of search, and typically operate within 6 feet of a person to maintain higher explosive detection proficiency. These types of canines can be highly effective in an Aviation type security setting where we channel people into controlled slow moving static lines, but can experience numerous operational shortfalls, such as limits on the number of people they can effectively screen at one time, stereotype individuals that resemble training targets, and can be intrusive or offensive to people. They are not suited for body-worn explosive detection, as they do not see people as a productive area of search.
Mobile Bomb Explosive Detection Key to Concert Security
Arenas, stadiums, entertainment venues, see massive crowds moving unrestricted, and in a disorderly fashion. These types of operational environments are EXACTLY why over a decade of research and development by Auburn University, after Richard Reid the “shoe bomber” tried to board an aircraft in 2001, yielded the first scientifically proven explosive detection canine for body-worn or carried explosives, known as the patented Vapor Wake® Explosive Detection Canine (VW/EDC).
A VW/EDC screens non-obtrusively by sampling the air around people. They are obedient to the odor itself, and do not see people as searchable objects and are focused on the explosive odor and following to source. When people move, they leave behind a thermal heat plume, and these specially trained canines detect particles of explosives that are left behind in the “wake.”
Vapor Wake® Labradors are scientifically bred by Auburn University and typically undergo a Patented 18 month environmental & detection training process. Each step is deliberate and essential to achieving the results desired by VWK9, LLC. The canines are not distracted by the many odors or activities that occur in around the stadium or arena.
After a suicide bomber killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande show in May of 2017 at the Manchester Arena, security directors in the entertainment, concert, and sporting business have asked for the most advanced canine detection technology available today.
The People Behind VWK9
Paul Hammond is the president of the VWK9 LLC training program in Anniston, Alabama. He reported that ever since the Ariana Grande show, known as the Manchester attack, they had been flooded by calls. In the concert business, top advisors have pushed for a more powerful technology that would keep concertgoers safe from suicide bombers, and other explosive threats.
Event and venue executives say that hindsight is 20/20. According to former AEG Live chief executive, Tim Leiweke, recent tragedies like the Boston Marathon 2013 and Manchester Arena could have been prevented with these specially trained Vapor Wake® dogs. Either way, Leiweke goes on to say what fascinates him most about these dogs is their laser focus nose and how comprehensive and accurate these dogs are.
And lastly, even Leiweke must concede that these dogs are not cheap. They can cost as much as $50,000 each year. However, you can also lease the dogs or buy them in bulk for a discount.
But despite these stumbling blocks, Hammond still believes that the key benefits provided by these Vapor Wake® canines are more advantageous to both fans and promoters. Due to the laser focus of the dogs of sniffing the air, the fan experience is protected, they are not being searched individually, are not forced to stand for additional screening in already long security lines, most people do not even take notice that they have been screened by these technologically advanced canines.
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