Police at Anchorage’s airport briefly lost track of a small quantity of explosives used for training K-9 units Monday, but were able to recover them hours after a rental-car customer drove away the vehicle they were attached to.
According to Jesse Davis, chief of Airport Police and Fire at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, officers routinely conduct controlled exercises during which they hide explosives to help train explosive-sniffing dogs.
While other exercise locations have included airport terminals and warehouses, as well as parked aircraft and vehicles belonging to the state motor pool, Davis says Monday’s exercise was carried out in a parking lot full of rental cars.
In this case, Davis says, one of the rental cars was rented out.
The amount of explosives in the vehicle -- which Davis says are deliberately kept small, to increase the challenge for dogs -- didn’t pose a threat to the driver or the public, so no public request for assistance was made. Anchorage Police Department officers were alerted, however, and the training explosives were recovered without incident Monday afternoon in the Anchorage area.
While Monday’s incident ended safely, Davis says it’s proper procedure to maintain an eye on the training devices. Airport Police and Fire is conducting a thorough review of internal policies to make sure a similar incident doesn't happen again.
“It’s our responsibility to maintain observation on that,” Davis said.
Channel 2's Kortnie Horazdovsky contributed information to this story.