The Charles City Community School District and the Charles City Police Department are forming a new additional partnership to keep illegal and prescription drug abuse away from students and off campus. The police department's recent acquisition of a Dutch Shepard K-9 narcotics dog named Jordy, who started patrolling Charles City in September, facilities an additional level our school-police partnership.
The partnership will allow officer Dario Gamino and Jordy to train in the evenings on school campuses to gain experience in the schools while will develop the canine’s stamina and will enable him to practice.
The affiliation benefits the Charles City Community School District by continuing to keep students safe while using resources inside our community. The District is reviewing their safety procedures in anticipation of Jordy visiting to conduct sniffs during the school day. The first daytime sweep is anticipated for later this month.
During random campus visits, Jordy will sniff the air around lockers, gym areas, restrooms, vehicles, classrooms and school grounds as they search for potential contraband items.
The District values the role Jordy and the Charles City Police Department play in education and prevention. This proactive partnership prevents narcotics on school grounds rather than only responding reactively to drug-related problems.
“No school in the Midwest is isolated from illicit or prescription drug abuse,” says Bryan Jurrens, Charles City High School principal. “Working with the police department with regular unannounced searches allows us to prevent these substances from being in our schools. Obviously there are consequences for having illicit substances on school grounds; however, we can also get people the help they need and intervene early.”
According to the Iowa Youth Survey, statewide, alcohol and tobacco are the most commonly used illicit substance for minors which Jordy will not respond to. Across all youth in Iowa, 22 percent of students surveyed say they have used marijuana. Iowa is the second lowest state in the nation for youth drug use.
“Having Jordy in the community means we can run checks at regular intervals,” says Charles City Police Chief Hugh Anderson. “The school has been great to work with, and we are working hand-in-hand to prevent Charles City from being a problem community. This welcoming, visible, proactive partnership from school leadership is appreciated.”
Anderson continues, “The use of canine-assisted drug sweeps does not indicate a school has an abnormal amount of drugs on campus. Instead, it indicates the willingness of school officials to remain proactive in their efforts to ensure the safety and security of the school.”
“The best possible scenario when Jordy comes in for the first time is we find nothing in lockers or the parking lot,” says Jurrens.
“Jordy’s presence is intended to send a message,” says Anderson. “Don’t bring drugs to school.”