COSTA MESA (CBSLA.com) — Security dogs will continue to sniff students at Newport Beach and Costa Mesa schools after school officials voted this week to renew a $27,000 contract, according to reports.
KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports board members with the Newport-Mesa Unified school district say the dogs act as a tough deterrent to keep kids from bringing drugs and alcohol on campus.
Board members voted 6-0 Tuesday to renew the district’s contract with Interquest Detection Canines, which will provide detection services at Back Bay, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Early College and Newport Harbor high schools, along with Ensign Intermediate and TeWinkle Middle schools, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Officials have claimed some success with the dogs, who they say led authorities to confiscate drugs, mostly marijuana, from 14 students last year. The dogs were also credited with seizures of weapons and gang-related symbols and signs from about a dozen other students, according to reports.
The dogs made 50 visits to secondary schools in Newport-Mesa in 2013-14 and helped lead to administrator searches of over 7,0000 students’ belongings, the Times reported.
As an added deterrent, district officials are considering allowing the dogs to sniff students’ lockers for the first time starting in the fall.