Private & Charter School Searches

Drug use in schools drastically increases the probability of crime, lowers student performance, and costs the school in both monetary and human resources. The presence of a highly trained drug dog, as well as the knowledge that this dog is regularly present, is a powerful deterrent against the possession and trafficking of illegal drugs by any student or staff member.

Since SVK9 is not associated with any law enforcement agencies and is not required to notify law enforcement of the presence of narcotics this allows school administrators to decide how best to handle the results in compliance with school policy.

SVK9 can provide a single drug sweep of your school or we can create a customized reoccurring program to maintain a safe learning environment for all students, teachers, and administrators.

Our K9 team will work with school administrators to outline a plan to search the following areas:

  • Classrooms
  • Desks
  • Restrooms
  • Locker Rooms
  • Lockers
  • Gymnasiums
  • Auditoriums
  • Administrative Offices
  • Staff Breakrooms
  • Parking Lots
  • Vehicles
  • Sports fields
  • Stadium Seating


Case Law

In Horton vs. Goose Creek Independent School District, the 5th Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals has found that using drug dogs in schools to sniff the students’ cars and lockers is permissible and does not constitute a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Furthermore, regarding the Fourteenth Amendment, which protects against the deprivation of liberty without due process of law, the Court maintained the harassment of using a detection dog was not adequate to produce a violation of due process.


What To Expect School Campus Searches

Prior to arrival at the school we call you to help devise a plan of action upon our arrival and discuss the following:

  • The best time to arrive. Timing is important and we will work with you to find the best time. Most schools prefer during the regular school day either before or after lunch. In most cases, the K9 team will come while students are in their regularly scheduled classes while most of their personal belongings are kept in their lockers.
  • Handler Attire. Most schools request that the handler dress in a uniform that indicates they are a K9 team. However, this is up to the school administrators to make the decision on what is right for their specific school or situation.
  • Should students be notified? SVK9 recommends that the school follow its policy on searches and also recommends that the students and staff not be told exactly when the searches will be performed.
  • Determining the search area. SVK9 will work with the school administrators to determine the areas that need to be searched and the frequency of our visits.  The scale of the search dictates the time involved and the cost of the search. For very large schools additional K9 teams may be used.

Upon arrival the handler will meet your designated contact person (usually the principal or school security officer) and will be led on a preliminary tour of the search areas, leaving the canine in the vehicle. After the tour, the handler will discuss the plan of action, answer any questions and have you sign the SVK9 standard agreement before the search begins.

The Search. We require your representative accompany the K9 team throughout the search. If there is more than one K9 team, we require that you provide an observer for each team. The handler will lead the dog through each area in a designated pattern paying attention to subtle signs that the dog is trained to display. The handler will mark all areas of dog indications. This gives you the specific location where you can look for drugs or evidence of drugs once the search of all areas is complete.  If requested, the handler will then observe the search for narcotics by the school representative.  The handler will give general guidance to the representative of how and where to look but will not actually do the search. Keep in mind, the dog’s nose is so sensitive it may alert on residue of where drugs may have been previously stored, but the drugs may not be present at the time of the search.

If substances are found and there is doubt that they are illegal narcotics, at your request, we can use a field test kit to confirm the substances is actually an illegal narcotic. The drug identification confirmation is $50 per test.  If narcotics are found, it is the responsibility of the principal or school administrator to dispose of the narcotics. SVK9 personnel are strictly prohibited from removing any narcotics. We can provide you disposal recommendations.  If you would like a written report we will provide one within three business days of the search. The cost of the report starts at $75.




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