K-9 Team Sweeps EL for Drugs, More Searches Planned

Dutch, one of the Auburn Police Department's K9 officers. Courtesy of the Auburn Police Department

Dutch, one of the Auburn Police Department’s K-9 officers. Courtesy of the Auburn Police Department

Danica Nadeau, ’15

At 9:25 on Feb. 26, Edward Little High school went into a lock down drill. The students and staff patiently waited in their classrooms with the doors locked as a K-9 team from the Auburn police department searched the school for drugs.

The search was part of a months-long collaboration between the Auburn School Department and the Auburn Police Department. “The goal of the program is deterrence,” said Auburn Deputy Police Chief Jason Moen. “We do not want drugs being brought into our high school.”

In 2014 alone, there were 10 marijuana related incidents at Edward Little and Franklin high schools.

Even though the first drug search was announced to every kid at EL, future searches will be spontaneous, with only the school resource officer and building administration knowing beforehand. “If students know that a canine search could happen at any time, they would be less inclined to bring drugs to school,” said Moen.

 “The number of searches will be fluid and will occur when school administration and the Police Department deem it necessary” said Moen.

Some students believe it will have an impact. “Kids had a lot of time to prepare for this search and get ready for it. But students will probably be more careful with it now,” said senior Abby Cobb.

Others agreed. “I think the searches are a good idea. I feel like if they at least make an attempt to stop it, it will hopefully send a message to the students,” said sophomore Zachary Boyd.

Other students criticized the plan. “I don’t think they should of said anything because they could of caught kids in action,” said sophomore Haley Frohlich. Ultimately, she believes the searches will have little impact. “I don’t think the searches will be successful because no matter what kids will do drugs.”

Many students were curious about where the canines will be able to search. According to Moen, the dogs will be able to search the building and anything within the building, such as lockers and backpacks, but there would not be any direct student contact. The dogs will also be able to sniff cars in the parking lot.

Edward Little is not the only school in the state who currently does drug searches. “Other schools within the state conduct them on a regular basis with good success,” said Moen. “And what I mean by good success is that the amount of drugs found continue to decline as the searches occur.”

 

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