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Rail News: Safety

Tex-Mex adds second agent to canine patrol unit

Last month, The Texas Mexican Railway Co. added special agent Cesar Gonzales, a licensed Texas peace officer, to its year-and-a-half-old canine patrol unit.

The second officer to join the unit, Gonzales will enter a three-week dog-handlers training program and be matched with a dog trained to locate people onboard trains. The canine unit is charged with locating trespassers and turning them over to U.S. border patrol agents.

"Our first concern is the safety of individuals who trespass on trains or rail property — trespassers are often unfamiliar with rail equipment and can lose a limb or their life," said Victor Garcia, Tex-Mex manager of safety and security, in a prepared statement. "We are also concerned about a trespasser inadvertently contaminating a commodity by entering a rail car."

Last year, special agent Jose Luis Alonzo became the first officer to join the canine unit.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/29/2004