School district gets donated K9

Published 2:32 pm Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Scoob, a Labrador mix with a golden fur coat, has become the newest addition to the Pearl River County School District law enforcement division as a donation from the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department. He will work in conjunction with the other school resource officers to find and eliminate the presence of illegal drugs on campus.

With the sheriff’s department moving to more aggressive K-9 units, Scoob’s passive personality seemed to better suit a school atmosphere, where the presence of children calls for more laid back personalities, said Sheriff David Allison. School district superintendent Dennis Penton said the district has been considering adding a K-9 to their law enforcement resources, but the expense of purchasing and training a dog held them back. This donation made their plans a reality.

Scoob is trained to find many kinds of illegal substances, such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, acid and ecstasy, Sheriff’s Department K9 supervisor Lt. George Dominguez said.

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Not only will Scoob’s addition help to keep the presence of drugs at a minimal in the school district, he may help bring about the arrests of adults. Penton said the Sheriff’s Department and the school district’s resource officers have already worked drug cases that have led to adult drug charges.

The donation seemed to fit well since the Sheriff’s Department is moving to all multi-purpose drug dogs, who can not only sniff out the presence of drugs, but also help with apprehension, Allison said. Scoob, while an excellent drug dog, does not have the apprehension training or the personality necessary, Dominguez said.

Allison said that Scoob’s’ docile demeanor and his great drug sniffing skills would be better suited for the school district, where children are present and where drugs are a possibility.

The donation was in part due to the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors approval of budget funds that allow Allison’s department to do K-9 training and equip the patrol cars with cages.

School resource commanding officer Brandon Herrin will attend the same K9 training that Sheriff’s Department officers went through at Legends K-9, Penton said.

“It’s important enough for us to put the resources forward to keep drugs out of the schools,” Penton said.