Meet Auburn High School’s new safety patrol dog

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 6:55 PM CDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - A first of its kind school safety program launched at Auburn City Schools this year. “Paws on Patrol” uses detection dogs to mitigate shooting risks and empowers students to feel safer on campus.

It’s part of a partnership with Global K9 Protection Group (GK9PG) based in Lee County. The new blueprint for school safety standards is now being used across the country.

Global K9 Protection Group trains dogs to detect explosive materials and firearms. The canines have been used across the country at professional sporting events, entertainment venues, and airports. Now, for the first time, the dogs are being used to detect guns in schools.

“The use of this technology is used all around the world, everywhere, we just don’t really use them a lot in schools, specifically for firearms,” said Michael Larkin, Vice President of Commercial Services for GK9PG. “Very quickly you can move a dog through a campus, across campus, through large crowds, and use them as a technology that is on the move in searching for odors that they are trained to define.”

The Paws on Patrol program is the first public/private partnership to test a new initiative aimed at reducing shooter incidents on campus. It’s a program first launched in conjunction with Auburn City Schools that’s now being used across the country.

“The consortium brings together law enforcement, school officials, community stakeholders and detection dog experts with the goal of protecting students from shootings and building community confidence,” Larkin said.

Amos is the friendly black lab trained under GK9PG helping protect students on Auburn High School’s campus this year.

“It puts the community at ease to see that we are being intentional with our efforts when it comes to safety and security,” said Daniel Chesser, Public Relations Coordinator for Auburn City Schools. “We are very honored to be considered to pilot this program for the first semester of the school year and it’s gone very well so far.”

“We’re really building this model so that if a campus or a school sat down and said we want to start a program we can give them a road map to say here’s how you do it,” Larkin said.

A veteran-owned and operated business, GK9PG is the largest Transportation Security Administration (TSA)-certified third-party canine program provider and the second largest canine security company in the U.S.

The dogs trained by Global K9 are bred by the Canine Performance Sciences Program at the Auburn University Veterinary School, which is also well known for its training programs.

Paws on Patrol is finding unique ways to provide these dogs to schools that can’t afford them. If your school system is interested in taking part in the program visit their website.

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