Metro ups security with canine patrols

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NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – Metro is doubling the size of its K-9 force to make passengers safer.

'You`ll see these dogs on the trains, you`ll see them on the platforms and we also use them to check the buses as well,' said Richard Zott, Metro`s Public Safety Chief.

Metro has been using two K-9s provided by the city police department for the past couple of years. But now, the force is expanding with the transit agency adding two dogs of its own.

One of them is already on the job, a 3-year-old Dutch Shepherd name 'Kilo,' who will soon be joined on the job by a one-year-old Malinois named Blitz.

Metro`s dog force has two specialties: bomb detection and drug detection.

But Metro also sees them as safety ambassadors, so easy going you can pet them.

'We don`t want aggressive dogs, we want dogs that can do their job but are also friendly with people,' Zott said.

Passengers we spoke with seem to like the idea.

'I love it because we need that in society today,' said passenger Tracy Merchant. 'These people are so disrespectful, these bad people are smoking weed on the trains now,' he said.

That would be a bad idea with Kilo around.

But it`s also unlikely to happen when Kilo`s around because police dogs seem to have a way of making troublemakers turn tail before ever getting on the train.

I`ve seen people turn around a run and I`ve seen people turn around non-chalantly and kind of skirmish away,' said Kilo`s handler Sgt. Gerald Abernathy.

'They turn around and they leave,' he said.