During a recent assembly at Chisholm Trail Intermediate School, Adam Black and his German Shepherd Bodie demonstrated how the dog searches for contraband with his super nose.
Bodie sniffed at three wooden boxes before alerting to a packet of powder under the fourth box, quickly laying down and looking at Black. His reward? A few seconds of play with a bright yellow tennis ball.
Black, co-owner of Black Creek K-9 Services, is visiting dozens of elementary and intermediate campuses this week as part of Red Ribbon Week to encourage kids to avoid drugs and make good decisions.
“If you make good decisions, you have lots of options to go to college and get a job and do something you love to do,” Black told about 500 fifth graders at an assembly last week.
Black also told them about the history of Red Ribbon Week and how the annual event honors a law enforcement officer who “made the ultimate sacrifice” in the fight against drug abuse.
Education is just one part of the service that Black Creek K-9 Services provides to Keller schools.
The company’s primary role is to take a narcotics detecting dog into the secondary schools to find illegal drugs and to make students think twice before bringing contraband to campus.
This is the first year since 2011 that drug detection dogs have been back in all KISD middle and high schools. The service was cut when the state reduced public education funding, the Keller tax rate election failed and officials cut more than $20 million from the budget.
Marcene Weatherall, coordinator of drug and alcohol abuse prevention, “Having taken drug dogs away for a couple of years, students became pretty bold about what they would bring to campus.”
With the drug detection dogs back, officials are finding more contraband and the dogs provide a deterrent.
Black said that he sees students taking photos of him working with the dog and, most likely posting them via social media, and doesn’t mind.
“We want everyone to know I’m here and I’m here a lot, so they don’t bring it to school,” he said.
Black’s visits are random and he often changes up whether he visits parking lots, hallways or locker rooms first.
Weatherall has also invited Black Creek K-9 Services to assist in parent education.
Black said he is willing to visit parents at home, if they are concerned their children are concealing drugs.
Weatherall said, “The dogs get attention. I think Black Creek helps with education, prevention and intervention.”