Little Found During Daily Drug Dog Searches In Escambia Schools

October 12, 2010

Drug dogs have been used daily in Escambia County’s schools since August, and, so far, very few illegal substances have been found.

Each day, at least one middle or high school in the county is randomly visited by a canine officer and his dog. The North Escambia schools — Ernest Ward, Northview, Ransom and Tate — have each had five random searches since the first day of school. Nothing has been found at any of the North Escambia schools, according to data obtained Monday by (See the complete report at the bottom of this page, click to enlarge.)

Of the 17 schools searched, only three have had positive searches — Escambia High, Washington High and the Judy Andrews Center. At Washington High, the K-9 has alerted on three of five visits, including finds of two grams of marijuana in a men’s bathroom, an empty baggie that smelled of marijuana and a third find of a trace amount of marijuana.

The most searched schools have been Workman Middle and West Florida High School with six canine visits each, while Jim Bailey Middle and Pensacola High School have been searched just twice. The Judy Andrews Center, which provides career, technical and adult programs, has only been searched once.

The Escambia County School Board implemented the random drug dog searches this school year, as part of an aggressive anti-drug and alcohol policy. Only one person at the district office, Manager of Protection Services Steven Sharp, knows which school will be visited in advance. The canine officer reports to the principal’s office upon his or her arrival and is accompanied during the search by an administrator or their designee.

Students are not being searched, and they are removed from any classroom that is searched. Searches also include hallways, lockers, parking lots and other common areas.

The district is spending $36,000 from its general fund over the course of a year for the program. Two dozen off-duty canine officers from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the Pensacola Police Department are utilized for the searches.

Pictured above: Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Master Deputy Wayne Gulsby performs a drug dog search late last week at Northview High School. photos, click to enlarge.


25 Responses to “Little Found During Daily Drug Dog Searches In Escambia Schools”

  1. David Huie Green on October 15th, 2010 6:09 pm

    there is a difference between public places and private places.

    Protecting children is a good thing, not a bad thing.

  2. Protect your rights on October 14th, 2010 10:00 pm

    Welcome to Nazi Germany!

    Next your house!

  3. Brady Simmons on October 13th, 2010 7:30 pm

    This is a good thing, but I think that our elementary aged children need education about drugs. What ever happened to the DARE program? Can’t Sheriff Morgan bring that back to the elementary schools? Education would help more than just having dog searches.

  4. huh on October 12th, 2010 10:31 pm

    only a matter of time before kids are planting weed on other kids they don’t like

  5. Angry ewms parent on October 12th, 2010 8:15 pm

    That is a complete lie that the students are not being searched and are removed from the classroom while the search is being conducted. Mt 11 year old daughter was placed in front of the class while being scanned with a metal detector. She also had her purse and notebook holder searched. Do we not need any regard for our rights as free citizens. A warrant used to be required for search of person or property. Did I mention a policeman and huge dog were in the room while this was being done. She was traumatized. Who do I bill for therapy?

  6. Tinkerbell on October 12th, 2010 6:27 pm

    Keep up the great work ECSO! This program is absolutely NOT a waste of time! Drug use is definitely a problem with our young people these days. Don’t our children deserve to be able to go to school to learn without having to deal with some punk sitting next to them in class, high on “who knows what”, or pressuring them to buy/try drugs? This is also an awesome way to keep the
    K-9s trained. It is a no-brainer, people! Drugs have been a problem for years and are more rampant now than we can imagine. As a mother of a high school student and another that will be in middle school next year, I want the schools to be searched.

    Only the supporters of illegal drug use should have a problem with it.

  7. ewms parent on October 12th, 2010 6:00 pm

    is this what was going on at EWMS today??? my daughter said that they use a metal detector on them and had dogs.. They went through all there bags and here we were the parents waiting on them outside and noone came and told us what was happening.. Sorry, but that is my child and when school is over I want her to come to me…

  8. David Huie Green on October 12th, 2010 5:30 pm

    “Don’t all the hours/dollars spent training dogs & officers justify using them only for serious duty, rather than presenting students with the image of a police state, ”

    Absolutely. How dare they make sure the schools are not places of illegal commerce?

    Police state: country repressively controlled by its government: a country in which the government uses police, especially secret police, to exercise strict or repressive control over the population

    Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    Obviously keeping drugs out of schools would be a repressive thing and bad for business

    David in a non police state

  9. deBugger on October 12th, 2010 5:03 pm

    Extra employment for the officer? Isn’t that “moonlighting”, and against ECSO policy?

    Don’t all the hours/dollars spent training dogs & officers justify using them only for serious duty, rather than presenting students with the image of a police state, while performing these little “shakedowns”?

  10. ke on October 12th, 2010 4:12 pm

    I would like to retract the comments I made earlier-these old eyes of mine misread the log of search results-I should have used the enlarge option provided.
    Great job-I support keeping our schools drug free

  11. ke on October 12th, 2010 1:23 pm

    Could someone please explain why it makes sense to search a school where

    drugs were found –ONLY 1 time?

    This does not make sense to me:

    The schools where drugs were NOT FOUND were searched several times

    (up to 6 times!) but the schools where drugs WERE FOUND were only

    searched once??? Some of these schools were searched up to 6 times–never

    finding any drugs. Wouldn’t it make more sense to search schools 1 and

    re-search the schools that drugs were found initially?

    I think its a great idea to search schools, but lets be smart about it.

  12. Splat on October 12th, 2010 12:30 pm

    Good work! Maybe there is less at the schools because they’re afraid of being caught. Keep the searches up.

  13. AL on October 12th, 2010 11:41 am

    hmm…. there was a guy caught with pot at Tate… but I guess maybe just not by the dogs.

  14. Good News on October 12th, 2010 10:30 am

    Keep up the good work, ESCO!

  15. You don't know how it works on October 12th, 2010 10:20 am


    How can this be a waste of ECSO resources? The K-9’s that are being used are hired by the school district and are working these school while they are “off-duty” as extra employment for the officer.

  16. fyi on October 12th, 2010 8:39 am

    Just a suggestion…maybe they should visit the Judy Andrews Center a little more often.

  17. PROUD EWMS MOM on October 12th, 2010 8:24 am

    SO BLESSED !!!!!!!!!

  18. deBugger on October 12th, 2010 8:19 am

    Another fine waste of ECSO resources.

  19. Horrific! on October 12th, 2010 7:38 am

    Well it says that the kids aren’t searched, so does that mean that the drug
    dog doesn’t even walk by the children, if not then the kids can just have
    the stuff on them while you search rooms and lockers. RIGHT! or WRONG?

    Also, the kids know at some point the dog will show up at their school so
    they just may not be taking it to school anymore, but are you searching their

    This may turn out to be a great deterent, but then that will only work as long
    as you spend all this money to keep doing it, but what ever works to keep
    the kids in line

    Of course drug education should have started at home when they’re 5,
    I have said since I moved here that if they taught kids in their homes
    from age 5 about drugs as they do about fire arms then there would be
    no drug problem here.

  20. robert on October 12th, 2010 7:27 am

    What good is the search if they can’t search the studentswhat good is it doing? all they have to do when thleave the room is have it in there pockets.

  21. Concerned citizen on October 12th, 2010 7:10 am

    Still early in the school year and the kids know about the schools being searched daily. I’m sure they will start slipping up soon and stop keeping it somewhere else. I think it is great that the k 9’s are being used in the schools. Good job by all our deputy’s.

  22. aam on October 12th, 2010 7:06 am

    Re: Cheech,

    If you know, how do you know. If you know you have a duty to report. Also when and where are the right times? I graduated from Tate also and know lots of people that smoked, but not at school.

  23. David Huie Green on October 12th, 2010 6:42 am

    “Of the 17 schools searched, only three have had positive searches ”

    So when some people say, “Everyone’s doing it,” they are not exactly accurate, are they?

  24. [_]\coffee on October 12th, 2010 6:15 am

    Good job

  25. Cheech on October 12th, 2010 1:56 am

    If they cant find some weed at Tate…they arent looking in the right places at the right times, because I know it hasnt gotten any better since I graduated.