(Sugarcreek, Ohio) – Garaway Local Schools are implementing plans for a new safety measure.
Less than a month ago the district voted to approve staff members to be armed on school grounds. Now, the board of education is adding a school safety dog, according to a press release issued earlier this week.
“At Garaway Schools, the safety of each and every child within this community is our district’s highest priority,” explained Superintendent Dr. James Millet. “We are continually examining safety measures for our school district and looking for ways to improve. ‘
Millet explained that the safety dog is very different from a working police dog indicating the animal will be trained to interact with students and to provide calming, therapeutic components in addition to other duties. The dog and training will be provided by Skool Dogs Inc. The dog will have the ability to detect gunfire much quicker than a human and will also be trained to pursue an intruder with a weapon in the case of an emergency.
“We believe a dog provides the fastest possible response to an active threat,” Millet added. Recently appointed Garaway School Safety Official, Jason Wallick, will be the dog’s handler. “The safety and security of our students is the number one priority of my job and this is an excellent added measure in protecting our most valuable assets,” Wallick explained.
Certified Skool Dogs are noted as being social, kid-friendly, and integrated into any school culture seamlessly. The dog will be between 12-15 months old and is a Dutch Shepherd. It is expected that the dog will be able to serve the district for around 10 years. The district received a $10,000 discount on the purchase of the dog and therefore paid $15,000. The district will act as a pilot program for the area and the state.