Longest-serving airport security vet to step down

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A nod and a tip of the water bowl goes today to Pino, the long-serving K9 at the Saint Louis international airport, Lambert Field. The 13-year-old Belgian Malinois is also the oldest working dog out of more than 500 certified in the Transportation Security Administration’s explosives detection canine team program. She arrived at Lambert in September of 1997 after graduating from the military working dog training course at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, Texas. She is part of a 10-team K-9 force at Lambert focusing on explosives detection and other security details.

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During her career, Pino has stretched her expertise beyond Lambert, providing security support to other police agencies. She worked numerous high profile events including protection details of two Presidents, school threats that followed the Columbine Tragedy, the 1999 St. Louis visit of Pope John Paul II, the heightened security levels following 9/11, and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.  She will retire to the home of her police partner, Sgt. Steve Swafford, following her final shift at Lambert this Friday.

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