Hanging up her leash: TSA celebrates retirement of Sea-Tac’s longest serving canine

SEATTLE — A beloved member of the TSA team at Sea-Tac Airport is hanging up her leash.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Wednesday celebrated the career and retirements of Bela, an explosive detection canine who has worked as a Passenger Screening Canine since 2014.

Bela is TSA’s longest serving PSC at Sea-Tac Airport.

During her tenure with TSA, Bela and her handler Tim have screened thousands of travelers and their belongings departing Sea-Tac Airport, sniffing out potential threats to aviation security.

TSA estimates that they have worked more than 1,050 hours in the security checkpoint. This is in addition the hundreds of hours they have trained together to maintain Bela’s certification and keep her explosive detection capabilities sharp.

“As Bela prepares to hang up her leash, TSA is grateful for her more than five years of service to security operations at Sea-Tac Airport,” said Chris Baden, TSA deputy federal security director for Washington state. “We are fortunate to have had Bela as a key member of our TSA team.”

Bela, a black lab, began working at Sea-Tac Airport on April 1, 2014, coinciding with the launch of the PSC program here. She also supported security operations during Super Bowl LI in Houston in 2017.

With her working dog days behind her, Bela, who turned 8 years old in November 2018, will live with Tim and transition to being just a regular dog with a very special skill. Tim will be assigned a new PSC and continue to work at Sea-Tac Airport.

Bela is one of more than 400 PSCs working at airports across the country. She has spent her days capably navigating among large groups of people, adding a layer of security to TSA’s operations.

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