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Why police K-9s spent their morning in the hallways of Petersburg High School

Posted at 5:14 PM, Feb 09, 2023

PETERSBURG, Va. -- More than a dozen law enforcement K-9s searched hallways, classrooms, the grounds and parking lots at Petersburg High School looking for illegal drugs and weapons on Thursday morning.

While Thursday morning was training for more than a dozen K-9s and their police handlers, the mission was real. This school year, fights and problems at Petersburg High School have generated an almost daily extra police presence.

"The stuff going on in Petersburg, it's just not acceptable for these kids," Tamara Pollard, the parent of two Petersburg High School students, said.

Petersburg Police Chief Travis Christian said Thursday's exercise was a collaborative effort between law enforcement and the school system.

"The message we wanted to send is that our schools are safe. We wanted to make sure that our community members, our staff inside the schools, the parents, as well as the students, feel safe inside the school," Christian said.

The search included K-9s from Petersburg Police, Virginia State Police and K-9s from across the Commonwealth and from out of state. While there were multiple alerts, ultimately no illegal drugs or guns were found.

"The reason for the alert could possibly be that there could either be something inside the bags or at some could either be something inside the bags or at some point, the bag or contacts in the bad could have contained some type of narcotics," Christian said.

The search resulted in students being confined to their classrooms, leaving some parents frustrated with their lack of information.

"I definitely agree with them taking safety precautions for our kids but notify us as parents," Pollard said.

The school system did put a message on social media about the search.

"Who's on social media? I'm at work. All we need need to be is notified. Notify us, letting us know what's going on, then we won't get in a panic," Pollard said.

In an effort to keep the school safe, Christian said this isn't the last time students will see K-9s in the hallways of the high school.

"This was the first of many to come," Christian said.

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