MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Bibb County school district is putting its nose to the ground and sniffing for illegal items brought to schools. 41NBC's cameras were rolling as K9 officers randomly searched Ballard Hudson Middle School as part of the school system's plan to promote safety.
Macon police K9 officers Arco and Rita interrupted morning classes as they barked down the hallways.
"We're authorized by state law to perform these searches at random," Sgt. Matt Gielger with Bibb BOE Campus police said.
Before the random search starts, Sgt. Giegler talks to the students.
"We're looking for weapons," he told them.
Once the students leave the classroom, the dogs get to work. No bag is left unchecked and every nook and cranny is sniffed.
"They've been effective in the past," Sgt. Giegler said. "We have found weapons, drugs, other contraband items that aren't necessarily illegal but are not suppose to be at school, so they are very successful."
Bibb schools director of school safety and risk management David Gowan added these searches keep students on their toes.
"They remind our students that at anytime we have the K9 units available to search the schools," Gowan said. "You can believe that the students, they get the message that it could be any classroom or set of classrooms at any school in the district."
These random searches not only get contraband out of the classroom, but school officials hope they spark a conversation between students and their parents.
"We want parents to talk to their students, their kids about you don't bring weapons to school, you don't bring drugs to school," Gowan said. "It could have serious consequences including up to expulsion from school and exposure to severe criminal liability."
They're taking the necessary steps to sniff out danger and keep schools safe.
The dogs did not find any illegal items during the search.
Gowan says campus police conducts these random searches throughout the year. He adds they are part of the district's efforts to promote safety and security in all Bibb schools.