Board Approves Drug Dog Agreement

The Redondo Beach Board of Education approves a memorandum of understanding with the city to bring drug-sniffing dogs to Redondo Union High School.

With a 3-2 vote, the Redondo Beach Board of Education approved a memorandum of understanding with the city of Redondo Beach on Tuesday night that paves the way to bring drug-sniffing dogs to . Board members Drew Gamet and Todd Loewenstein dissented.

According to Assistant Superintendent Frank DeSena, the has been ready to have the drug dogs at the high school since the beginning of the year; however, City Manager Bill Workman recommended the district and the city sign a memorandum of understanding.

"The initial plan was in January of 2012 we would start using the drug-sniffing dogs at Redondo Union High School, and we were ready to proceed," DeSena said. "It just took a long time for (the memorandum of understanding) to happen."

The board of education first approved bringing drug-sniffing dogs to campus at the end of October of last year in a split vote. Loewenstein and Gamet also voted against that decision.

"I think it's bad judgment on our part," Loewenstein said Tuesday. "I think that we are showing that we don't trust kids, and … I think it's a waste of taxpayer dollars … There's better ways of enforcing our rules."

The use of the dogs and police resources—one K-9 team, two school resource officers and a community-based officer—will not cost school district anything, according to the memorandum of understanding. If the district were paying, it would cost $638.91 for a three-hour operation.

The dogs will only search lockers and "unattended property in open areas," and if the dogs alert on any of the lockers or unattended property, the school district will take it from there, according to the memorandum.

The city still needs to approve the memorandum before it will take effect.

DeSena said that while it's possible the drug-sniffing dogs will come to the high school campus by the end of the year, it's more likely the program will start at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year.

The currently has two dogs trained in narcotics detection. According to the memorandum, if neither dog is available to use at the high school, one from another department will be used.



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