More than 30 K-9 teams from across Texas conduct explosives training in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – More than 30 law enforcement K-9 teams from across Central and South Texas conducted explosive-detection training in San Antonio Tuesday morning.

The San Antonio Airport's Police K-9 Explosives Detection Unit hosted the training session at the San Antonio Independent School District's Alamo Stadium.

Robert Gonzalez, field K-9 coordinator of Homeland Security, said the training is important for both handlers and the K-9 as the teams conducted a series of training exercises including vehicle sweeps, checking unattended backs, building searches and searching for homemade explosives.

Gonzalez said the exercises expose the dogs to various odors that they may not be accustomed to, including the scent of a homemade explosive.

Teams from across the state, along with military and federal teams, participated in the training.

Andrew Lopez, of the San Antonio Airport Police's K-9 Explosives Detection Unit, said that with the threats to large venues such as Alamo Stadium, it's important to have handlers and dogs on the same page when it comes to response.

Lopez added that the event also helps improve a dog's familiarity with working long hours.

"It'll build up (the dog's) stamina. It gets these dogs excited to work," Lopez said. "Not just searching an unattended bag or an unattended vehicle, they're actually searching for 30, 40 minutes at a time, so it's actually building up their longevity and being successful working long problems."