MILLER COUNTY, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – There are developments in security in the Fouke School District. Among them, a new drug dog named Major.
A 16 month-old German shepherd will patrol school hallways in Fouke this fall. He’s trained in tracking and narcotics detection. School Resource Officer Jeremy McClure says Major can detect many drugs including marijuana, meth, heroine, crack cocaine and Xanax. McClure is commissioned through the Miller County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
“With his certification, he’s able to use Major to look through the lockers, through classrooms, look at backpacks,” said Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Potter Barrett.
Barrett hopes Major will serve as a drug deterrent.
“If the kids know there’s a drug dog on campus,” said Barrett, “they are less likely to bring those illegal substances here on campus.”
School officials said the security Major will provide goes hand-in-hand with mental health services the school system started providing about a year ago.
“Our first line of defense in school security is our school-based mental health, because any issues we can identify from that perspective are ones we don’t have to deal with from the perspective of the school resource officer,” said Superintendent Dr. Jim Buie.
He adds the district was just awarded $500,000 in grant money to construct a school-based health center.
“It’s very obvious to us that there is a growing need for mental health services in the public school system,” said Buie.
He hopes to have the 3,000 square foot health center complete by this December. The school-based health center will provide physical and mental health services. It will also be available to the public through a separate entrance.
Once complete, the center will be the only medical provider in Fouke.