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Thursday, May 23, 2024

TSA Explosive Detection Canine Donna Retires, After Years of Protecting Passengers

The Transportation Security Administration sent one of its most valued Indiana team members off to enjoy retirement — Donna, an explosive detection canine.

Donna, an 8-year-old Labrador Retriever, worked at Indianapolis International Airport (IND) with her handler, Jan Simons, since 2022. The team has been partnered for nearly eight years altogether. To celebrate Donna’s retirement, team members opened a car trunk to deploy a “ball drop,” surrounding Donna with dozens of her favorite toy, signaling the end of her service career.

“We’re happy to celebrate Donna, who has worked tirelessly alongside her handler to provide an additional layer of security for the people of Indiana and countless number of tourists who have departed the airport over the years,” TSA Indiana Federal Security Director Aaron Batt said. “Donna has represented us well and is a favorite of travelers. Best wishes to her, and thanks to Jan, who will continue to care for her in retirement.”

TSA utilizes canines such as Donna in its security operations nationwide. They are trained to detect the scent of explosives or explosive materials. These highly-skilled dogs are paired with handlers and utilize their keen sense of smell when working in a busy transportation environment.

Canines are a visible layer of security, and they supplement TSA’s efforts to keep travelers safe and secure. In addition to working in aviation environment, they are also trained to work in mass transit, commuter rail and maritime venues. TSA currently has more than 1,000 explosives detection canine teams deployed nationwide.

In addition to their work at IND, Donna and her handler have worked at events including the Indy 500 on multiple occasions, the NFL Draft, the NBA All Star game, and in support of Operation Allies Welcome.

In retirement, Donna will live at home with Jan and have more time to enjoy her favorite treats, Pup Cups. She also loves to ride in the car to visit her grandparents, who have a big basket of toys. Handler Jan Simons will continue working for TSA at IND and has already been paired with her new canine partner, Orange, a two-year-old Labrador Retriever.

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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