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PUBLIC RELATIONS UNIT
February 10, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact Information: PolicePRUnit@slcgov.com
SLCPD Explosive Detection K-9s Help with Super Bowl LVII Security
SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Police Department is honored to highlight two of its K-9 officers who are in Phoenix, Arizona as part of an elite group of explosive detection K-9 assets selected from across the country to help protect the 2023 Super Bowl.
Officer Thad Hansen and his partner K-9 Pongo and Officer John Lynn and his K-9 partner Lux are assigned to the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Airport Division K-9 Squad. Officers Hansen and Lynn, along with Pongo and Lux, have undergone extensive training in preparation for this event. They are the only K-9 squads representing the State of Utah.
“This is the first time a K-9 team from the Salt Lake City Police Department has been selected to work the Super Bowl,” said Officer Lynn. “Because our training is so rigorous, it is very rewarding to put our dogs to work for such an iconic and worldwide event.”
“This is very important work,” said Officer Hansen. “It’s also a great experience for our dogs. We’ve been working long days and at several different venues and spaces. Being in different environments makes our dogs more valuable to our department and community.
Officers Lynn and Hansen have more than 32 years of combined law enforcement experience and more than four years working as K-9 handlers. They have trained extensively to maintain high level certifications.
When the K-9 Unit is at home in Salt Lake City, they train regularly with detectives assigned to the SLCPD’s HDU and K-9 teams with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
In preparation for Sunday’s game, the primary responsibility for Officer Lynn and Hansen will be to help ensure all the buildings are secure.
In order to perform at a high level, the SLCPD’s explosive detection K-9s take turns working in shifts giving them time to rest, drink, eat and, yes, play with their toys and enjoy much deserved treats and pets.
The Salt Lake City Police Department’s Airport Division’s K-9 Squad consists of five officers and their K-9 partners and a sergeant. The K-9 teams are trained and certified in the detection of explosive materials. Each K-9 team starts with 16 weeks of initial training in Texas followed by daily training to maintain a stringent annual recertification.
The K-9 teams serve as an asset to the department; they have responded to many calls for service outside the airport and are able to provide assistance to other police agencies throughout the state, region and country.
One of the primary responsibilities of the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Airport Division’s K-9 Squad is to conduct patrols throughout the airport for explosive materials. The teams patrol all areas of the airport—both inside and out.
These specially trained K-9s are an effective tool in detecting concealed explosives, which are known to be one of the greatest threats to the aviation system.
Several photos of K-9 Officer Hansen (K-9 Pongo) and K-9 Officer Lynn (K-9 Lux) are being released. Media may use these photos with proper credit to the Salt Lake City Police Department. Note: Some images have been edited to protect the officers’ security credentials.