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K-9 Drug Detection Training at Warwick Valley High School

on February 25, 2020

As part of the Warwick Valley School District’s ongoing efforts to maintain a safe and secure environment, the Town of Warwick Police Department and local K-9 units conducted training at Warwick Valley High School today, February 25th, at approximately 9:40 am. 

This training is one of many different types held throughout the year to ensure student safety and security. Fire, lockdown, and hold-in-place drills are common examples most people are familiar with, and they take place as announced or unannounced exercises.  

“With recent increases in episodes of school violence in our country, and the reported rise in the uses of prescription drugs, narcotics, and vaping products among teenagers, it is important that we work together to strengthen our school community,” wrote Principal Marguerite Fusco in an email sent to parents at the conclusion of the drill. “Our invitation to have these K-9 units come into the school supports our stance on providing our students with a safe learning environment, in the absence of drugs, alcohol, and weapons. The safety of our students and the security of our building is always our priority.”

Today’s visit was intentionally unannounced. The K-9 unit trains search dogs to passively identify perceived or real threats within a building, such as explosives, weapons, drugs, and narcotics, as well as other items that pose health and/or safety concerns. The dogs searched hallways that included student lockers, common areas, locker rooms, storage items (i.e., backpacks, bags, storage containers, and briefcases) and four randomly selected classrooms.  

As the training took place, the high school held a concurrent “hold in place” drill. Classroom instruction continued as the building check took place. The exercise was completed during the students’ third class period and did not impact any other time of the day. Students did not come into contact with the dogs and were advised of the nature of the exercise upon its completion.   

Parents are asked to talk about today’s exercise with their children and use this as an opportunity to discuss the dangers of alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drug use. Parents were notified that Warwick Valley CSD has many staff members available to support any student in need of assistance or additional resources. For further information, contact the High School Counseling Office at 987-3050, Extension 12600.

In her email, Mrs. Fusco added: “Today’s exercise demonstrates how committed we are to your children’s and our school community’s health and safety. I remain grateful for the trust you give us to provide the best possible education to your children in a safe and secure environment.” 

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