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K9 Team Finds Guns, Drugs in DFW Schools

H1 K9 Consultants
H1 K9 Consultants | Image by H1_K9 Consultants/Facebook

A K9 security company has reported having uncovered more than two dozen firearms and facilitated roughly 1,500 drug seizures at schools across the metroplex since August of 2023.

Rockwall-based H1 K9 Consultants‘ dog handlers have been doing the rounds at the campuses of some 100 district partners with their narcotic- and explosive-detecting dogs.

“You know, every time we take a gun out of a school, it’s a good feeling that we did something great that day,” Josh Ellis, owner of H1 K9 Consultants, told NBC 5 DFW. “That maybe we saved a life that day.”

Across Texas, the safety of schools has been a major talking point since the May 2022 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Yet even after the boosting of security measures through state mandates, such as the stationing of an armed peace officer on each public school campus and district initiatives like AI scanners at school entrances, incidents have persisted.

For instance, there was a shooting in April at Dallas ISD’s Wilmer-Hutchins High School that resulted in one student being shot in the upper leg, followed by a fatal shooting at Arlington ISD’s Bowie High School that same month, as covered by The Dallas Express. Lax security protocols were called out by district stakeholders in both instances.

At Garland ISD, dogs trained in detection make daily sweeps of campuses, with students asked to exit the classroom while leaving their backpacks behind during such searches.

“A kid can’t learn when they’re looking over their shoulder — that’s our motto,” said Mark Quinn, Garland ISD’s director of security, per NBC 5. “So we wanted to add the K9 program. It’s just another tool in our toolbox.”

Drugs present another threat to students’ well-being, especially with fentanyl overdoses reaching epidemic levels across the state.

“Our biggest fears are fentanyl and firearms,” Ellis told NBC 5. “Those are the two biggest things, even as a handler.”

Youth overdoses have reached alarming heights these past few years despite overall drug use among the demographic declining. Fentanyl, which is a highly potent yet cheap synthetic opioid, is often mixed into fake pills made to resemble popular prescription medications like Percocet and Xanax, meaning a user may not be aware they are taking it until it is too late.

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