Washoe County School District To Employ Gun-Detecting Dog

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Washoe County School District students will start seeing new additions to security on campuses this spring — including a gun-detecting dog.

A dog being trained to sniff out firearms will join school police officers in a few months, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

The urgent need for new safety measures was magnified last week when a first-grader in Newport News, Virginia, shot his teacher.

The wounded teacher reportedly remains hospitalized in stable condition.

“We can all say after seeing what happened in Virginia last week that it has never been more important to keep our focus on gun safety,” Superintendent Susan Enfield said at a recent board meeting.

The funding to cover the gun-detecting canine came from a grant, said school district Police Chief Jason Trevino. Officials are currently searching for dog handlers.

Other changes expected in the next one to two years include body camera and radio upgrades, more cameras at elementary schools and upgrading emergency communications infrastructure.

The district reported 16 incidents involving a gun on school grounds during the last school year, according to public records obtained by the newspaper. Ten of them were found at middle schools. The rest were evenly split between high schools and elementary schools.

“We have had more active assailant events in this valley per capita than other places,” Trevino said.

Data on guns found on campus this year was not immediately made available by the district. In September, two students at Reed High School were arrested for having firearms.

The district has only documented two school shootings. One was fatal. In 2013, a Sparks Middle School student shot and killed a teacher and wounded two classmates with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. He then turned the gun on himself.