Schumer slams Trump over cuts that eliminate bomb-sniffing dogs at NYC train stations, airports

1010 WINS Newsroom
February 16, 2020 - 3:58 pm
Schumer VIPR dog teams

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Sen. Chuck Schumer slammed President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts, which would eliminate every VIPR dog team used in counterterrorism operations nationwide.

The budget gets rid of Homeland Security’s VIPR teams—Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response—which are used at transit hubs across the country, including at airports and train stations like Kennedy International Airport and Penn Station.

“I’ve got a bone to pick with the White House over the slashing of these VIPR teams,” Schumer said at his midtown office Sunday, referring to himself as the “safety pit bull” looking out for the bomb-sniffing hounds.

“Just when you think things have really gone to the dogs, you dig through the president’s proposed budget and see something just about no one would agree with,” the senator said.

The VIPR canine teams go from location to location when they’re needed. There are about 30 of the dogs in New York City assigned to transit hubs and special events.

“They’re like a mobile firewall,” Schumer said. “You can bring them anywhere.”

Schumer said the cuts aren’t worth the $59 million they would save.

The cuts wouldn’t affect all bomb-sniffing dogs; for example, the Transportation Security Administration is among the many agencies that use such canines.

But Schumer said VIPR dogs “compliment the work” of other entities like the NYPD. 1010 WINS has reached out to the NYPD for comment.

Schumer said he’s hopeful that the Trump administration will back off the cuts and keep the dogs sniffing away.

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