The Redondo Beach City Council unanimously approved a plan Tuesday to allow drug-sniffing dogs at .
The perfunctory decision ratifies a on May 8, approving a memorandum of understanding with the city of Redondo Beach.
The Redondo Beach Police Department will work in partnership with the and provide resources to the school at no cost, according to police Capt. Jeff Hink.
“We would like to implement the program before the end of the school year on June 4,” said Assistant Superintendent Frank DeSena.
Redondo Union's principal will send a letter to parents explaining the partnership between the school and the police department, DeSena said. Also, a Frequently Asked Questions document will be sent to parents and posted on the school’s website.
The dogs will only be allowed to search lockers and common areas, and the district would decide how to proceed if narcotic substances were detected. No backpacks or students will be searched, said DeSena, citing legal issues regarding privacy.
DeSena said most parents seem to be in support of the drug-sniffing dog program. However, there a few that have raised concerns, he said.
The detection will be limited to open areas on campus, said Hink, who is also a member of the local Drug and Alcohol Community Task Force.
“We won’t conduct any searches where there is large presence of students,” he said. “Clearly with any high school in California and elsewhere, kids are involved with the use of narcotics. The goal here is to provide a deterrent.”
If one of the trained dogs flags a particular location, the area will be searched by school district personnel, he said. The school will conduct the investigation and make a determination if further police action is necessary.
Dogs from the RBPD K-9 Unit and other agencies will be used to canvas the school during searches due to its size, said Hink. The dogs can detect scents from marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, opium and prescription drugs, he said.