HPD Selected for RNC Security

The Republican National Convention’s last night is tonight — and that means a big night for one of the Houston police department’s K-9 units.
As Laurie Johnson reports, the HPD explosive detection canine details was asked to help provide security at the convention.

The request came from the Department of Homeland Security for HPD to support their operations in Minneapolis. HPD sent four canine teams, more than any other city that was asked to participate.

The Explosive Detection Canine units usually serve at Bush Intercontinental Airport. But this week, they’re sweeping rooms, checking bags and providing dignitary support.

Sergent Tony Paonessa heads up the canine detail. He says they’ve also been able to do training with other agencies.

“There’s teams from all over the country here. Secret Service, of course, is providing quite a bit of their teams and their resources. And of course the military and local resources. And it’s a really good opportunity for Houston to meet with those folks and share ideas.”

Paonessa says they train daily for these types of events, and their expertise in providing security for high profile dignitaries and events is well known.

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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