It sounded good at the time when Superintendent Malcolm Thomas and the Escambia County School Board funded routine drug searches at the schools using drug dogs. The final report shows that few drugs were found on campus and the number of “hits” didn’t decrease because the program.
NorthEscambia.com reports during 352 school searches, there were 28 alerts. Seven of the alerts resulting in findings of drugs; the remaining 21 alerts were for residue or odor. Prescription drugs were found twice during physical searches in conjunction with the drug K-9 searches.
While Board member Jeff Bergosh touts this as a victory, it clearly was a waste of time and money. Less than 2 percent of the searches found drugs. The district spent about $36,000 from its general fund for the program. About two dozen off-duty canine officers from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the Pensacola Police Department were utilized for the searches.