Crittenden County Schools officials have updated their drug prevention policy by adding random K9 searches of the schools. Board of Education members voted to change the current random drug testing policy this week. Director of Pupil Personnel Al Starnes says there were growing drug problems at the school despite random tests. The board hopes the K9 program will be a better deterrent. Starnes says,
“We’re looking for their dogs to come in, and they sniff all kinds of drugs and not just marijuana… cocaine, but prescription drugs. They sniff that, alcohol, weapons. So we’re just trying to provide a safe environment, as safe as we could possibly provide.”
Starnes says the dogs will visit 18 times a year and cost about $9,000 dollars; A thousand dollars less than the current program. He says the Crittenden County Drug Coalition will pay for the first year of the program, with the savings possibly being used to install a surveillance system at the school. Starnes says the board is undecided on keeping the existing random testing policy.