Anti-drugforces congregate on school

Published on Thu, Sep 22, 2005
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Anti-drug forces congregate on school

by Tara Nelson

Law enforcement agencies from throughout Whatcom County joined forces September 7 in a K-9 assisted drug search at Blaine middle and high schools but they left empty handed.

“It was excellent,” Mike Haslip, Blaine police chief said. “We were impressed.”

Five dogs from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s department as well as Blaine and Everson police department, teamed up with administrators and dog handlers to create teams of three to conduct the search.

“We do this on a countywide basis on an open invitation basis,” he said. “We select a day and a time with the administrators. Anywhere up to a half-dozen K-9s and agencies from around the county will meet at a campus and do a sweep for illegal substances.”

Haslip said the effort was part of the safe schools campaign, which began four years ago, and is aimed at reducing drug presence at public schools. No individuals were searched during the exercise and law officials conducted the sweep during class time to minimize disruption, he said.

He said he thinks the random searches are effective at deterring students from bringing drugs to school and would help to maintain a welcoming school climate free of intimidation and fear.

“At the very least, if we deter kids from bringing drugs to campus, we’ve helped the other 95 percent of kids who don’t want to be around them,” he said.

The sweep utilized Blaine police department’s K-9, Yoshi, a five-year-old German Shepard handled by officer Michael Munden.