Airport Dog Receives Protective Vest

July 15, 2019

Gainesville Regional Airport's furriest worker will soon receive a new uniform.

Beamer, a 2½-year-old female yellow Labrador Retriever, will be given a new bullet- and stab-proof protective vest for her job detecting explosives, airport officials said in a news release.

Beamer works for the airport authority, which is not part of the Transportation Security Administration, said airport spokeswoman Erin Porter.

"She's definitely a big part of our airport family and a critical part of our security team," she said.

Beamer also works on the University of Florida campus before football games in the stadium and has assisted the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, Porter said.

The vest is a donation from the nonprofit organization Vested Interest in K9s, sponsored by Fairwood Pet Center in Renton, Washington, the release said.

The vest is expected to be delivered within eight to ten weeks.

Beamer joined the airport in April 2018 after successfully completing all requirements for the Tripwire Operations Group's homemade explosives and large explosives course, the release said.

She also received her certification from the American Detective Canine Association in April 2018.

Beamer was named for Todd Beamer, who led a takeover by passengers on United Airlines flight 93, the fourth plane to go down in the Sept. 11 attacks, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

He and others are credited with foiling the hijackers from crashing the Boeing 757 into a second target in Washington, D.C.

The airport received permission from Lisa Beamer, Tom's widow, to name the K9 after her husband and to print his final words to dispatchers, "Let's Roll," on her vest.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950, the release said. Each vest has a five-year warranty, weighs about four to five pounds and is valued between $1,744 and $2,283.

There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the nation.


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