Fri., September 18, 2009 11:37am (EDT)

Macon Schools Using Search Dogs
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 5 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Macon Police Officer Tout with "Arco," who's trained to sniff out weapons. (photo by Josephine Bennett)
Macon Police Officer Tout with "Arco," who's trained to sniff out weapons. (photo by Josephine Bennett)
The Bibb County Board of Education is partnering with local law enforcement to begin random searches in both high schools and middle schools.

The move comes following an incident where a Bloomfield Middle School student was caught with a gun.

The weapon discharged in a classroom where students were serving in-school suspension. Nobody was hurt.

Macon School Superintendent Sharon Patterson called the incident shocking. She said using dogs that are part of local police departments will provide greater safety for students and act as a deterrent for those who might bring weapons and drugs to school.

"These searches will allow highly trained handlers and police dogs to examine our building in an effort to deter wrongdoing and seek out potential illegal items such as drugs or guns," Patterson said.

The 14 middle and high schools will be searched on a rotating basis.

Patterson said the school system has also contracted with the Georgia Chief of Police Association to do a management audit and needs assessment of their campus police department.