Trump’s budget would cut bomb-sniffing dogs at airports, train hubs

NEW YORK —Travelers could see fewer bomb-sniffing dogs at the city’s airports and train stations if President Donald Trump gets his way.

Trump’s proposed 2021 budget released to Congress last week includes plans to eliminate a program that deploys dog teams to detect explosives at crowded travel hubs across the country.

Last year’s budget allocated $59 million for 31 of the dog units, formally called Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Teams. Trump wants to slash those figures to zero.

“As state and local law enforcement agencies already monitor and maintain jurisdiction in these areas, the VIPR Teams’ efforts are duplicative and unnecessary,” the White House wrote in justifying the cut. “In addition, VIPR Team performance measures fail to articulate program effectiveness, and lack demonstrable results.”

Dogs aren’t the only facet of national security the White House proposes to cut this year.

The budget also contains $84 million in cuts to Transportation Security Administration staffers who monitor access to secure areas of airports, and instead asks to shift those responsibilities onto private airline operators.