This school year, police canines may be visiting Newark schools more often, but not without permission from school officials.
Last February, the Newark Unified school board approved a policy allowing the to conduct drug sniffs on sites.
The policy is the newest regulation put in place at Newark to help curb the possession of and use of drugs on school campuses in order to ensure schools are drug free, according to Superintendent of Schools Dave Marken. It permits specially trained canines to “sniff the air around lockers, desks, or vehicles on district property or at district-sponsored events.”
But while the regulation allows “specially trained, nonaggressive dogs to sniff out and alert staff to the presence of substances prohibited by law or Board policy,” Marken said Tuesday that there will be no regularly scheduled times for the canines to sniff for drugs on school campuses.
Instead, the drug-sniffing dogs will only be allowed on campus with the authorization from administration.
So before the school year begins, here is some information about drug-sniffing dogs (as provided by the Newark Police Department K9 Unit’s officers):
- A dog’s sense of smell is one million times better than that of humans.
- Different collars are used when police canines are searching for drugs versus when the canines are looking for a suspect connected to a crime.
- Police canines have different ways to indicate that they have found narcotics – some may paw toward where the narcotics are located or sit near it.
For more information on Newark Unified Board policies, click here and follow the link on the right side of the district’s webpage. To see how police canines find narcotics, view the video above.