Duluth School District Hires K-9 Company to Search Local Schools for Drugs, Alcohol

Taylor Holt
March 30, 2017 07:22 PM

Canine searches are not a new thing to the Duluth School District. 

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"We've worked with our local police department,"said Amy Starzecki, Assistant Superintendent for the district.

Starting this year, a new company will be assisting in those searches. The company is called Interquest Detection Canines and soon they will start becoming more familiar in the hallways of Duluth East and Denfeld High School. 

"We just are looking to add additional prevention when it comes to illegal substances and weapons on campus," said Starzecki.

Drugs and alcohol aren't huge problems according to the Superintendent, but data from the District shows things like illegal substance use are the primary reason why kids are out of school.

"We've been really intentional about looking at our school data for the last 3 to 5 years and we've sen some nice reductions in our out-of-school suspension data. We look for alternatives to suspensions and really want our kids in the building as much as possible," said Starzecki.

The dogs will search for drugs, alcohol and gunpowder on school campuses including in parking lots.

"They can search hallways and lockers but we don't lock down the school and we don't shut down school while this happens," Starzecki added.

The searches costs about 300 dollars each. Starzecki says it's a good investment in the District.

"My hope is that we reduce out-of-school suspensions and we keep our schools safe, and we see less illegal substances," Starzecki said."We'll likely continue this throughout the school year and see if we continue this into the next."

There are five searches scheduled for the two campuses this year.

The company also searches schools in Wrenshall, Hibbing and Virginia.


Taylor Holt

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