ODESSA, Texas (BIG2/FOX24) – Ector County Independent School District’s Police Department will be swearing in a new K-9 officer come February.
Chief of Police, Todd Hiner, says the biggest issues in the district right now are drugs and the threat of violence on social media. However, the district is now stepping up its security even more with a new K-9 for the Weapons Unit.
“After the tragedy, August 31st, you start to assess, ‘What can we do better?'” said Hiner. “Everybody is a little bit more on edge nowadays so… Us as well. One of the ideas we came up with was employing a weapons dog,” added Lieutenant Jeff Daniels.
Currently, the department only has two officers, Diesel and Regan. Both work in the Narcotics Unit and are stationed at Odessa and Permian High School.
“I think he’s going to be a huge asset to our district, to our students, and our staff for security. It opens a lot more doors on things that we can find out, that’re there, that we can’t see or smell,” said Daniels. “We felt that this was also something that was needed within our ranks. And, we want the people to trust that they’re sending their kids to a safe place,” added Hiner.
The new K-9 will be the first of its Weapons Unit. The K-9 and its handler will go through a series of tests, training, and bonding before the officers get to work.
“They’re partners. That’s who he looks to,” explained Hiner. “Tight, close relationship, and it grows. You can watch it grow as they progress in the years of working together.”
The department is currently in the process of interviewing for handlers. The new K-9 officer will cost the district $9,500.