Derby schools using K-9 help to curb drugs


DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) – K-9 search dogs will soon make their way down the hallways of Derby middle schools and Derby High sniffing for drugs.

“If it’s opioids, if it’s THC, if it’s marijuana, whatever it is that that dog is trained to smell for, that dog will be able to hit on it,” said Matt Liston, Safety and Security Officer of USD 260 Derby Public Schools.

The district is implementing the K-9 drug searches in response to feedback from parents, students and teachers in a safety survey last year.

The district is partnering with the Kansas Highway Patrol who will provide the five drug dogs.

Lockers will be checked in the middle schools, but since the high school doesn’t have any, students will have their backpacks checked.

“The dogs will sniff down the backpacks in the hallway with the students still in the classroom,” said Liston.

Students will most likely never see the dogs. The schools will go into what’s called a hold, meaning students will be locked in their classrooms while the K-9s do their job.

Liston said the district doesn’t have a big drug problem but says this is all about prevention.

“Our numbers aren’t any lower, bigger or anything like anybody else,” said Liston. “We’re just trying to get on the front side of being able to combat this.”

The district hopes it’s a strong message to students – don’t bring drugs to school.

“We don’t want it in the buildings. This is a safe place for education and we don’t have a place for that here,” said Liston.

USD 260 says the searches will take place twice a year, once each semester. Officials will not say the exact date of the searches, but says parents will be notified by phone and Skylert.


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