Canine Units Practice at School

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WASHOE COUNTY -- While the students are on spring break, twenty-eight law enforcement canine units trained at a school in Golden Valley.

"Some of the handlers don't have the experience we have in the school like doing lockers or classrooms or school buses," Mario Palascios, a school district canine handler, said.

The canine units came from throughout the region for the training, however the Washoe County School District has three units.

"If somebody would be in the school and we couldn't locate them, we could use the dog to help us locate where that person is," a canine handler said.

The dogs were lunging at officers, who were wearing protective padding, on the soccer field. Officers said the goal of the training is for the dogs to be able to help with suspect apprehension.

"The mere presence of the dog will deter someone who is thinking about fighting or running from the police," Chris Bare of the Sparks Police Department said. He said he and his Belgian Malinois have been on patrol for three years.

"(Training is) just hours and weeks and weeks and weeks an it never stops," he said.

The dogs were also combing school buses, learning to find the scent of drugs.

Administrators may call a canine to a school if there is suspicion of drugs at the school, district officials said.