Unstoppable Expansion of Security Bureaucracy Includes Dogs

A blog about politics, sports, media, stuff
July 20 2010 10:24 PM

Unstoppable Expansion of Security Bureaucracy Includes Dogs

As the Washington Post keeps rolling out its report on the out-of-control growth of government security agencies—and the contractors that feed on them—the Los Angeles Times reports that the Department of Homeland Security plans to expand its canine force by 150 percent , from a current force of 2,000 dogs to 5,000 dogs by 2015.

According to the Times , Homeland Security is soliciting small breeders for untrained (but "alert, outgoing, active, confident") purebred dogs:


The department is looking for Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, German shepherds, Dutch shepherds, Belgian Malinois "or other working, herding or sporting breeds with prior approval."

Shopping for dogs before, in 2006 and 2007, the department spent $4,535 per dog.

The Times reports that the Transportation Security Administration "is requesting $71 million this year to set up 275 new explosives-detection canine teams in airports." That would be $258,000 per canine team. 

Some security experts believe dogs could be cheaper and more effective in screening airline passengers than high-tech body imagers or metal detectors. 

Given what's in the Post , even at a quarter of a million dollars per dog unit, that may be true.

Tom Scocca is the managing editor of Deadspin and the author of Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future.


The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

Are the Attacks in Canada a Sign of ISIS on the Rise in the West?

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Is It Offensive When Kids Use Bad Words for Good Causes?

Fascinating Maps Based on Reddit, Craigslist, and OkCupid Data


The Real Secret of Serial

What reporter Sarah Koenig actually believes.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
Oct. 23 2014 3:55 PM Panda Sluggers Democrats are in trouble. Time to bash China.
Business Insider
Oct. 23 2014 2:36 PM Take a Rare Peek Inside the Massive Data Centers That Power Google
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 23 2014 1:34 PM Leave Me Be Beneath a Tree: Trunyan Cemetery in Bali
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 4:03 PM You’re Doing It Wrong: Puttanesca Sauce
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.