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Troy OKs drug dog in schools

| September 16, 2005 12:00 AM

By BRENT SHRUM Western News Reporter

The Troy School Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a proposal to contract for random searches for drugs and firearms in the schools using specially trained dogs.

At the board's request, district superintendent Brady Selle presented information and a contract for services from Interquest Detection Canines, a Texas-based firm with franchises across the United States, including a location in Polson. The company is headed by a former school principal who is focused on prevention rather than punishment, Selle said.

"His idea is to make sure kids don't bring drugs and firearms to school," Selle said.

The school will contract with the company for a certain number of random, unannounced searches at a rate of $325 per visit. The days of the searches will be up to the company; Selle said he doesn't want to know when they will happen.

"I don't think anyone within the district or community should know," said school board member Steve Garrett.

A law enforcement agency would be called in if a search were to turn up something illegal, Selle said.

"I'm sure there are some people in the community that think this infringes upon their rights, but I can assure you the majority of school districts in Montana do this," Selle said.

Before any searches take place, the company will provide orientation sessions for both students and parents, Selle said.