Texas' First TSA Passenger Screening Canine Evan Crosses Rainbow Bridge

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) suffered the loss of the first-ever passenger screening canine in the state of Texas. Evan, a black Labrador retriever, who retired in August 2017, passed away earlier this month. He was 10 years old.

Evan was born on May 6, 2010, and trained at Auburn University in Alabama to be an explosive detection canine. Since then, TSA transitioned Passenger Screening Canine Team training to the Canine Training Center at Joint Base Lackland in in San Antonio, Texas. Evan first met his handler, Rick Nicolai, in February 2012. After training together for three months,

Evan and Nicoli returned to Austin where they started their service as the first passenger screening canine team at the airport (AUS).

Their service was not limited to AUS. Evan and Nicolai traveled all over the United States, supporting events ranging from the Papal visits in El Paso, Texas, and Washington, D.C., to jazz festivals and Super Bowl games in New Orleans. They even provided added security in Dallas for an NCAA college basketball title game.

Evan was featured in an Austin local news story about airport security and in a story about his work supporting the Papal visit to the nation’s capital.

Evan retired in August 2017, due to medical complications and was adopted by Nicolai until Evan passed away on Aug. 6.

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