Canine Searches in Public School
Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)
Every day, parents send their child to an educational institution that is supposed to be a safe haven, a place free from violence. What once was a safe haven has evolved to a gamble on whether or not their child’s school is safe from a school shooting, violence, and other violent crimes. Law enforcement agencies must take proactive initiatives to ensure the safety of students, staffs, and the communities that they serve. As a result, law enforcement agencies should deploy canine units to conduct canine searches in public schools to provide a safe learning environment for students and stakeholders. Canine searches are proactive measures that bring positive dividends to a law enforcement agencies, both short and long term. School administrators benefit from canine searches that allow collaboration with their local law enforcement agency to combat, deter, and decrease school violence at their campuses. This collaboration can have positive community relations for external and internal stakeholders in the community. However, there are potential negative consequences associated with canine searches. There are legalities associated with law enforcement agency deploying canine searches in school. In addition, there are opponents that resent canine searches in school due to the perception that minority children are targeted. Law enforcement can combat these negative perceptions associated with canine searches by having a clear policy, guidelines, and procedures. Furthermore, law enforcement agency must be knowledgeable on the limitations, functions, and purposes of a canine search.
Police dogs, Campus police