Handler from Indianapolis International Airport named TSA’s Canine Handler of the Year

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Transportation Security Administration recognizes the agency’s highest performers, and this year, TSA’s 2020 Canine Handler of the Year was selected from the Indianapolis International Airport.

Explosive Detection Canine Handler Keith Gray was recognized for his “extraordinary contributions in promoting the transportation security mission and TSA Strategy,” the agency said in a release.

Gray’ two operational partners this year included a Labrador Retriever named TTirado and a German Shorthaired Pointer named Ari. Gray and TTirado were partners from March 2012 until June of this year. TSA says TTirado has retired and was adopted by Gray’s family.

“I am honored to be named TSA’s 2020 Canine Handler of the Year,” Gray said. “I appreciate the help and support of my team at the Indianapolis International Airport including my previous operational partner now retired TTirado, and my current operational K-9 Ari. It’s a great feeling to be recognized nationally and I’m sure we will never forget this moment.”

TSA Explosive Detection Canines Ari (left) and TTirado (Photo Provided By TSA)

“This award recognizes a canine handler who worked to achieve the highest level performance of their duties,” TSA said in a release. “Gray’s contributions demonstrated the utmost integrity and professionalism while adding value to the Department of Homeland Security, TSA, stakeholders, and to their position.

“Gray was the lead recruiter for IND’s multi-agency joint training K-9 event which assembled over 100 handlers from around the country. He worked on this event in his off-duty time and created a professional flyer which is distributed throughout the K-9 community.”

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