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UK: Schools draft in sniffer dogs

Discussion in 'Marijuana News from The USA' started by weedboss, Mar 1, 2003.

  1. Police sniffer dogs are being sent into schools to hound out drug users.

    Students will be brought into assemblies where the dogs will sit beside
    any student in possession of drugs, or who has recently had contact with
    them.

    The move aims to raise awareness among pupils following the growing use
    of soft drugs, mainly cannabis, among young people.

    Sussex Police has received reports of some pupils in the county rolling
    joints in school toilets and even in classrooms.

    To reinforce the anti-drugs message, three schools in Hove -
    Blatchington Mill, Cardinal Newman and Hove Park - have invited the
    police and sniffer dogs in as part of their drugs awareness programmes.

    Other headteachers in the city may follow suit.

    Letters from David Hawker, the city council's education chief, are being
    sent to parents of pupils at the three schools.

    He said: "Once an indication has been made by the dog, the person
    identified will be kept behind and appropriate action will be taken by
    the school, subject to individual circumstances.

    "This action will include parents being notified as soon as possible."

    Mr Hawker said there was a worrying increase in youngsters taking drugs
    and one survey showed 27 per cent of all local 14 to 15-year-olds had
    taken some form of drug.

    He said: "Many young people do not think cannabis is unsafe and although
    it is being reclassified from a Class B to C drug it still remains
    illegal.

    "There remain considerable health concerns about its usage. For example,
    research recently found that one cannabis cigarette contains the same
    amount of cancer-causing chemicals as five cigarettes."

    Mr Hawker asked parents and carers for their support and said the aim
    was to ensure students were fully aware of health and legal implications
    "not the least, the adverse affects on students' learning and their
    lives outside schools".

    PC Andy Hart, schools liaison officer, stressed police were not going
    into schools to persecute but to educate and to reinforce the "zero
    tolerance" message.

    He said schools had a duty to enforce discipline and a duty of care to
    the vast majority of students who were not using drugs.

    There was no suggestion the three schools had worse or better problems
    than others in the city and he praised them for stepping up the fight
    against drugs.

    He said the message was identical to that concerning alcohol - it was
    dangerous and would not be tolerated in schools.

    Some students might be picked out by sniffer dogs simply because they
    had sat next to a student carrying cannabis.

    He said: "Parents will be sent letters in such cases explaining what
    happened and no further action will be taken.

    "Where this has happened in schools elsewhere, known users have been
    ostracised - no one wants to sit next to them."

    Visits by sniffer dogs to the schools will occur through to June but PC
    Hart said pupils would not be given prior warning of visits.
     
  2. We need officer Hall from Tennessee to make sure there are no dogs as found at www.usdoj-gov.us/terry.html. There would be no dogs roaming the halls.


    Excerpt from Herald-Citizen interview with Cookeville, Tennessee Police Chief Robert Terry on the shooting of James Smoak's pet dog.

    G. Galilei: Police Chief Robert Terry, do you think your officer overreacted in shooting the Smoak's pet dog?

    Chief R. Terry: Hell no! The officer, who wishes to remain anonymous due to modesty, was hoping that the teenager would run so that he could blast him like officer Kent Moore shot Clayton Helriggle in Ohio.

    G. Galilei: I understand that you have videotape of the officer shooting the dog?

    Chief R. Terry: Hell Yes! You should have seen the look on the dog's face, or what was left of it's face. That dog approached the officer thinking he was going to get a treat or fetch a ball. Boy was he surprised! Of course, like everywhere else in the country, law enforcement gets away with the shoot first, ask questions later approach by claiming they felt threatened. Have you ever noticed how many people with a badge and a gun are paranoid and feel threatened? It is why I carry. I can shoot back at rogue officers who take pot shots at me. You common folk can not. You want to shoot folks and their loved ones with impunity, carry a badge. Ask officer David Hawn in Modesto, California. Ask officer Kent Moore in Preble County Ohio.

    G. Galilei: Are you implying that the officer Hall will not be disciplined for this?

    Chief R. Terry: Hell No! And oops on you, you stated his name. Look, the system will say he was justified and did not use excessive force. I can tell you for sure though, if it was my dog, I would use the same justifiable force in the center of his chest, or better yet on his dog. Give the system a chance to work though. If the system fails the Smoaks, then they can hunt Hall down like a dog.



    Attorney General John Ashcroft responds: Acts such as this are what I alluded to during my confirmation hearing with Senator Ted Kennedy. I submit an armed populace can deter acts such as this. I say let's have everybody shoot first and sort it out later. How many more innocent people and dogs must die before we react? All kidding aside though, I have access to the unedited police videotape of this incident. The tape clearly show the family begging the officers on the scene to shut the car doors so that the dogs would not get out. The tape shows the officer was not in danger and fired out of callous indifference or cowardice. If Chief Terry continues to protect this cowardly officer then the Chief and the officers involved should be fired.
     

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