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Dash on Duty: GO Transit canine unit begins patrolling Toronto’s Union Station

Dash on Duty: GO Transit canine unit begins patrolling Union Station
WATCH ABOVE: Dash began his first day on the job at Toronto’s Union Station sniffing out any possible dangers with suspicious packages or items. Commuters are reminded to not pet Dash as he is on duty.

Metrolinx says Dash, the transit agency’s very own K-9 dog, has “passed his tests with flying colours and earned his badge” to begin his duties at Toronto’s Union Station on Thursday morning.

Anne Marie Aikins, a spokesperson with Metrolinx, tweeted out that Dash’s official shift started “bright and early” at 7:30 a.m. at York Concourse.

Aikins said Dash, one of three dogs, will be called in to assist in examining suspicious packages, primarily at Union Station. Commuters can expect to see the light-coloured canine constables patrolling Union Station with special vests.

READ MORE: New bomb-sniffing dogs to patrol Toronto’s Union Station, GO Transit

Team of bomb-sniffing dogs coming to Union Station
Team of bomb-sniffing dogs coming to Union Station

Global News spoke to Metrolinx in the summer about its new breed of transit officers and the agency’s efforts to boost security and reduce delays.

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Toronto police have had detection dogs at Union Station since 2013, according to Metrolinx, but the agency said having its own canine team available 24 hours a day means much faster response times. Officials said it will potentially save commuters hours in delays.

The agency said the dogs and their handlers underwent 12 weeks of intensive training with Toronto police that included learning the distinct odours of dangerous materials and sniffing out those items.

Dash, along with his handler Transit Safety Officer Brenton Hoffman, reporting for duty at Union Station on Thursday morning.
Dash, along with his handler Transit Safety Officer Brenton Hoffman, reporting for duty at Union Station on Thursday morning. Anne Marie Aikins / Metrolinx
Dash, along with his handler, reporting for duty at Union Station on Thursday morning.
Dash, along with his handler, reporting for duty at Union Station on Thursday morning.
Dash and his handler Transit Safety Officer Brenton Hoffman pose for a photo.
Dash and his handler Transit Safety Officer Brenton Hoffman pose for a photo. Anne Marie Aikins / Metrolinx

Metrolinx said that although the canine unit is based out of Union Station, it can be dispatched anywhere within the GO Transit system.

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The transit agency added that commuters are asked to resist the urge to pet the dogs as they are on the job to help keep customers safe.

The dogs will have collars with the words “Do Not Pet” in yellow, capital letters to remind commuters not to distract the dogs.

— With files from Albert Delitala