Chicago police officer Nick Spencer finds the best reminder of what his job is about at the end of a leash.
There, sniffing packages, garbage cans and even commuters at a downtown subway stop is Ggillis - a 3-year-old black Labrador retriever named after New York Police Department Rodney Gillis, who died when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed minutes after he ran inside.
Spencer is among more than 530 police officers who work with bomb-sniffing dogs named after police officers, firefighters and others killed when they responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
His job, like that of other officers assigned to train stations, airports and bus terminals, is to prevent another attack. "The best thing about naming the dogs after 9/11 victims is it keeps us on task," said Spencer adding that some dogs have been named after military personnel killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The program adds an extra first letter to each dog's name to identify it as a participant.