HONESDALE -- K9 officers and their handlers visited Honesdale High School and Wayne Highlands Middle School on Tuesday, March 29, to conduct a proactive narcotic sweep at the request of the district administration.
The search was requested to “maintain a safe and secure learning environment,” said District Attorney A.G. Howell. “When a school district requests a search, law enforcement will work with the district to schedule and assist with the search. We know that increased access to drugs and other substances are a concern for school districts, parents, and law enforcement.”
DA Howell said all lockers were searched but no narcotics were located.
Due to the number of lockers, three K9 officers were required to complete the search. Wayne County Sheriff’s Department K9 deputy “Manfred,” Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office K9 Detective “Riggs,” and City of Scranton K9 Officer “Gunnar” along with their handlers, Deputy Ronald Kominski, Lackawanna County Detective Vince Butkiewicz, and Scranton Police Officer Jerry Tallo searched the high school and middle school.
“Keeping students safe and drug-free remains a priority for area school districts, the district attorney’s office, and area law enforcement,” Howell said.
The K9s are specially trained to detect narcotics. They signal their handlers when they sense a presence of a narcotic. K9 handlers go through extensive training with their K9s to learn the animals’ behaviors as well as to stay current on drug trends and concealment methods.
The Wayne Highlands School District Police were present, along with the District Attorney, Wayne County Detectives, Wayne County Sheriff and Honesdale Police accompanying the K9s.
Anyone who would like the K9s to search your facility or to request a presentation on narcotics for students of any age, contact the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department at (570) 253-2641.