CES K-9 donations enhance security

When it comes to charitable instincts, CES was barking up the right tree.

In June 2018, the blockbuster trade show’s owner/producer, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), gave the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority the gift of Bo and Wells — two black Labrador Retrievers that are “vapor wake dogs” — to enhance the LVCVA’s security efforts.

The canines are specially trained to detect and deter suicide bombers.

“Las Vegas is a wonderful partner and ensures CES has a great experience each year,” says Karen Chupka, executive vice president, CES, for the Consumer Technology Association. “We are committed to returning that support to the community through grants that help bolster security, law enforcement and the environment. Donating Bo and Wells to the LVCVA was a unique and special way to provide that support.”

LVCVA Canine Officer Marq Finezza and Vapor Wake Dog Wells work the entrance to the Las Vegas Convention Center during a show on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (Mark Damon/Las Vegas News Bureau)

Though CTA continuously donates to the Las Vegas community to enhance security, law enforcement and the environment — with donations just in 2018 totaling $225,000 — this was the first gift to enhance K-9 efforts.

Bo and Wells have already put their talents to work in Las Vegas, welcoming (and scanning) CES exhibitors and attendees, as well as having assisted the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department with its New Year’s Eve security preparations.

As wake dogs, the pair can scan hundreds of people per hour, checking them for concealed, hand-carried or body-worn explosives before entering a building. “Having two additional canines creates faster response times to calls and maximizes safety for employees and guests visiting the Las Vegas Convention Center,” says Ray Suppe, the LVCVA’s vice president of customer safety, in a statement. “They provide a faster method for clearing rooms, checking entrances and searching exhibit space.”

As described on the website, vapor wake dogs “are trained to sample the air for human heat ‘plumes’ that may contain explosive particles. When a person begins moving, that plume trails behind, similar to how a boat or flock of geese may leave a wake pattern in the water. The dogs can detect explosives in large, moving crowds and in distracting environments like airports, concert venues and theme parks.”

Wake dog technology was developed at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University in Alabama. As the college’s dean, Dr. Calvin Johnson, told “When I see vapor wake dogs working at an airport or a stadium, I am confident that the venue has taken the appropriate steps to secure the facility beyond the capabilities of screening personnel, mechanical detection systems or passenger imaging systems.”

In January, CES 2019 attracted more than 180,000 attendees, generating an economic impact of nearly $265 million for Las Vegas.


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by Steve Bornfeld/Las Vegas Newswire

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