LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — King is a courageous K-9 with the Clark County School District Police Department.
His handler, Officer Kevin Woodland, puts King through a training exercise. He’s searching for specific scents — all to keep students safe.
“Find, find, up,” Woodland tells King.
King is one of four K-9s with the department. Each one tasked with finding firearms at schools.
The program started in January and thanks to a grant, four more doggie detectives will be added to the force this academic year.
“We’re running from one end of the county to the other end of the county, answering service calls for weapons, so with the four other guys, it would cut down on the response time,” said Officer Woodland, CCSDPD K-9 unit.
School district police say their K-9s found one gun on campus and several others off property last academic year. A total of 23 guns were confiscated, 17 from students last school year.
That’s why the dogs won’t just be responding to calls for service anymore.
“It’s probably going to be an expanded program this year where they will respond for random sniffs, but we’re still working that out with the superintendent’s office,” said Sgt. Bryan Zink, CCSDPD public information officer.
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And Zink said that’s not the only improvement the department is making. Over the summer, Metro police did ride-alongs with CCSDPD to get more familiar with the schools.
Both agencies now feel more prepared than ever to handle any situation.
“It’s a great way for us to share tactics just so that if need be, we know how each other operates and we can work together better as a team,” Zink said.
He adds the department’s biggest challenge is manpower. But they’re constantly working to address that issue.
“We’ve got eight officers that are in field training right now,” Zink said.
King finds what he’s been looking for.
“He’s looking back at me. He’s waiting for his reward,” Woodland said.
Officer Woodland hopes the department finds success in their improved initiatives.
“Hopefully, we send a message to the students that the Clark County School District will not tolerate kids bringing weapons on school property,” Woodland said.
“Good boy! Good boy!”