This Philly pup went to Super Bowl LIV to help keep people safe

SEPTA loaned 6-year-old Dodi to patrol the stadium in Miami during the Big Game.

SEPTA Security Patrol Dog Dodi worked the Super Bowl this year

SEPTA Security Patrol Dog Dodi worked the Super Bowl this year

Twitter / @spdk9dodi
michaelawinberg-square-crop-feb2018

While former Eagles coach Andy Reid led the Kansas City Chiefs to a comeback win over the 49ers, another Philly favorite was performing a different heroic task in Miami.

Dodi, a 6-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer, helped keep Super Bowl LIV guests safe.

An accomplished bomb-sniffing K-9, Dodi usually works for SEPTA Transit Police. But for the past week and a half, she was stationed 1,200 miles south, helping officials in Florida sniff out potential peril.

For most of her time there, she was deployed along Miami’s public transportation network. But Sunday night, she was called to prime duty: patrolling the grounds outside Hard Rock Stadium.

 

How’d one of Philly’s sweet baby angels end up working the Super Bowl? Turns out this is a pretty regular protocol.

SEPTA Transit Police has a couple dozen police dogs — officials wouldn’t say exactly how many, citing security concerns — and five of them are funded by the federal government. That means national authorities can borrow them if the need arises.

“She’s a TSA dog,” SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel III told Billy Penn. “They pay for all the training, all the upkeep, and in exchange for that we agree to help the TSA with national security events.”

Dodi and her handler, Officer Ted Hrycyszyn, flew south together — and tweeted the highlights along the way.

TSA doesn’t ask for Philly pups that often, Nestel said, and the last time they wanted to borrow one, it was a little more convenient: SEPTA provided the feds with a dog for the 2015 World Meeting of Families, when Pope Francis visited Philly.

For Super Bowl LIV, TSA borrowed a handful of dogs from all over the country.

It’s a fair trade, per Nestel, who said the addition of the five canine officers is a huge help to SEPTA’s security team.

“Unfortunately a lot of passengers leave bags behind,” Nestel said. “Within five minutes, we can be there with a dog to ensure that bag is not an explosive device. It’s a really important part of mass transit.”

Thanks for reading another Billy Penn story

Seems you’re the kind of person who really digs in. Want more? Sign up for our free morning newsletter, the easy way to stay on top of Philly news.

Thanks for reading Billy Penn

Like the story above, everything we publish is powered by our members. If you enjoy reading, join today: Just $5/month makes more difference than you’d think.

Thanks for reading! We need you.

Reader donations power our newsroom. If Billy Penn helps you feel more connected to Philly, we’d love to count you as a member. Will you join us?

Lock in your support

Reader support powers our newsroom. A monthly membership helps lock it in.

Can we count on you as a Billy Penn sustainer?

Winning the local journalism game

Thank you: Member support powers our newsroom.

Know someone else who might like our work? Invite them to sign up for our free morning newsletter.