Sunport Canine Police Teams Travel to Miami for Super Bowl Assignment

Jan 31, 2020

This week, explosive detection canine police teams from the Albuquerque International Sunport are on a very special assignment in Miami. The officers, and their canine partners, have traveled 2,000 miles in support of Super Bowl LIV. 

“Our Sunport K9 team scored a touchdown with their hard work, and are off to the Super Bowl,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Not only is it fun for Burqueños to see their police dogs getting some national recognition, it also shows the training and work that goes into keeping our city safe.”

The Sunport teams volunteered for this assignment through the National Explosive Detection Canine Program. They will be part of a large police presence comprised of similar teams from all over the country whose presence and experience will help keep the stadium and attendees safe for the sport’s biggest event.

“To say we were honored to be chosen for this assignment is an understatement,” said APD Sergeant Jonathan Lambert, who oversees the Sunport’s K9 unit. “Our teams are highly skilled and, while this assignment is an exciting one, the experience in a different environment is a great training opportunity.”

The Sunport’s explosive detection canines are trained by the Transportation Security Administration at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. The National Explosives Detection Canine Program is the second-largest of its kind. In their day-to-day duties, these canines and their handlers provide a visible deterrent and are highly mobile and efficient explosives detection tool.

“It is an honor for some of our canine teams to be among those chosen to work for one of the biggest sporting events of the year,” said Nyika Allen, Director of Aviation for the City of Albuquerque. “These officers work hard 365 days a year to protect the Sunport, and now they’re protecting Hard Rock Stadium in Miami – an assignment we are all very proud of.”

There are more than 900 TSA explosive detection teams deployed in airports and mass-transit facilities nationwide. The canines have extensive training and experience detecting and identifying explosives based on intelligence data and emerging threats. At the Sunport, the teams are training on true explosive material on a daily basis and are continually assessed to ensure proficiency and accuracy of both the dog and handler.