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Police dogs search Janesville High Schools

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
November 20, 2008
— Police dogs sniffing for drugs Wednesday "hit" on 11 cars in searches of the student parking lot at Parker High School and a search of one of the two student lots at Craig High School.

Students of the identified cars were called from class, and their cars were searched, according to a school district news release.


Two students, one at each school, were arrested on charges of possession of marijuana, said Karen Schulte, district director of student services.


Schulte said staff parking lots were not searched.


"The initiative that we started was that we didn't want students bringing drugs into the school," she said. "Based on that, we searched student lots."


"Substances and/or paraphernalia" were found in four of the cars, according to a news release. Marijuana, a pill and a "lighter/torch for use with smoking crack" were found, Schulte said.


The school administration notified parents of the students.


Officials locked students in classrooms at both schools in conjunction with the search.


The schools were in a "soft lockdown" during the searches. That means everyone stays in their classrooms, but classes go on as usual, said district spokeswoman Sheryl Miller.


The searches lasted about 45 minutes, Miller said.


Dogs from the Janesville, Beloit and Madison and UW-Madison police departments were used in the searches. No dog entered the school buildings, Miller said.


A letter will be mailed to all Craig and Parker parents, explaining the search process.


Police and school officials have been letting drug-sniffing dogs into Janesville middle and high schools for three years.


Dogs have "hit" on student lockers in the past, but no drugs were turned up in those searches. Officials suspect that the dogs' sensitive noses reacted to drug residue that couldn't be detected by any other means.



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