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Decatur County School System acquires drug dog for the 2021-22 school year

Thursday night at the Decatur County Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Tim Cochran provided the Board with his regular Administrative Services report. He was pleased to share in his report that for the first time the Decatur County School System will have a drug dog.

Cochran informed the Board the dog will be added to the Decatur County School Police and be referred to as “Bearcat 1.”

He explained the dogs have been hard to come by, because there are only a few places in the area that have them.

“We do have our very own school police department and we’ve checked it out with Dooley County and we’ve decided to get our own at a very reasonable price,” Cochran said.

The dog will be stationed at Bainbridge High School, but can be used at any school in the district.

“It’s cheaper than hiring a deputy and this one can sniff out drugs,” Cochran joked. “It’ll be a good addition to the force.”

Cochran said the dog will be selected and trained by Dooley County up until it is a certain age. Then, Officer Leroy Akins will attend training with the dog for a few weeks before bringing it back to the school for on-the-job training.

The Board was excited to hear this and BOE member Keith Lyle questioned what the dog’s name would be.

Cochran said although the dog’s title will be Bearcat 1, it will already be assigned a name when Akins arrives for training.

Cochran finished by saying he believes this will be a great resource they did not previously have.

“We want parents to know we are doing everything we can to keep their kids safe,” he said. “Kids sometimes do things, so I think this will be a good presence.”

The acquisition of the drug dog comes at the heels of an earlier addition to the vaping policy stating all kids will now be sent to the alternative school if found with a vape – a decision that was largely due to students being found vaping THC.