Biddeford police ‘pleasantly encouraged’ as school sweep turns up no drugs

October 17th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

Biddeford police and agents with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency using drug-sniffing dogs conducted a sweep of student lockers at the high schools and cars in the parking lots, but turned up no drugs.

The sweep at Biddeford High School and Biddeford Regional Center of Technology was organized over the past two months after Police Chief Roger Beaupre and Superintendent Jeremy Ray agreed to the plan as a way to assess safety and send a message to students that drugs on school grounds would not be tolerated.

Three dogs trained to sniff for marijuana, opiates, cocaine and explosive or ammunition checked around student and staff vehicles and around lockers in the main school building, though not those in the gymnasium. The dogs are not trained to detect prescription medicine.

In a few instances, the dogs indicated on an area, but no drugs were found, Beaupre said.

ā€œIā€™m pleasantly encouraged,ā€ Beaupre said. The city is struggling with a serious heroin problem, including 25 overdoses this year, four fatal, and three cases where drivers were impaired while on heroin. None of those involved were students but authorities wanted to take steps to keep illegal drugs out of the schools and away from children, Beaupre said.

The searches are permitted because court rulings have concluded that students have no expectation of privacy in school lockers or in the parking lot, Beaupre said.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

Twitter: @Mainehenchman

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