Security operations at TIA get four-legged help - FOX 13 News

Security operations at TIA get four-legged help

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

"Langley" walks among passengers at Tampa International Airport, sniffing their bags, their shoes and their pant legs. She's looking for anyone who might be a threat to security.

Langley is a 4 year old Visla-Lab mix. She is now part of the new risk-based security screening at TIA.

Gary Milano, a federal security director with the Transportation Security Administration in Tampa, says the idea is to get people through security more quickly.

"It increases the number of people going through pre-check, so it's a more expedited and pleasant experience for passengers who can take advantage of it," he explained.

Langley is the first line of defense. After that, a behavior detection officer will watch passengers, looking for behaviors that might raise a red flag.

Passengers were surprised to see Langley, sniffing beside them, as they walked by, but most had no problem with it.

"I think that's the airport authority being pro-active and taking customers into consideration. Anything to make the exercise more safe and convenient is a better customer service", said Brian Hamilton.

Hamilton and others say security screening can be quite a hassle and take a lot of time to get through.

Sandy Hyde travels with her 7-year-old son Brandon. She says it can be a bit of a headache.

"It is terrible. So if it saves time, then I believe it's worth it, cause sometimes traveling with small children is very difficult," she said.

The new security screening will still have a level of randomness. Even if you pass through Langley and the behavior detection officer, random passengers will be pulled out to go through a separate security area.

Tampa International Airport is only one of two airports in the US currently doing this screening process.

Some travelers do think all this security is a bit much.

"I just think the whole situation with security in the U.S. is overboard. I think the average traveler or the average person is inconvenienced by this. A lot of our rights are being taken away every day," said Steve Hakim.

But TSA says they are taking the "one size fits all" security approach and targeting people who they need to pay attention to.

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