Pasco K9 deputy sniffs out drugs at schools

Posted at 6:27 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 18:27:14-05
Pasco County high school students have a new reason to say no to drugs.
Dobies is the latest K9 deputy with a nose for sniffing out pot, cocaine, MDMA, heroin and meth.
“Dobies has been trained in finding five different kinds of narcotics, and he showed interest in your vehicle,” Pasco County sheriff's Deputy Cheryl Hazelton said to a student.
It’s not the reason you want to get pulled out of class.
But Dobies and Hazelton are already cleaning up schools of all kinds of drugs and paraphernalia. 
“I’ve found pipes (and) grinders. We found some bud. (We) find a lot of those Swisher containers, where they roll the Philly blunts,” said Hazelton. 
Finding even small amounts of drugs can get students a 10-day suspension and also lead to an arrest
Dobies and the deputy go to at least one school every day. Sometimes 2 or 3.
Sunlake High School in Land O’ Lakes was the first stop Thursday, beginning in the parking lot.
Dobies catches a scent almost immediately.
“Have you given a ride to anybody? Have you been around anybody that does drugs,” Hazelton asks a student.
“The one vehicle, he almost stopped dead in his tracks, so the smell coming off of it is pretty strong,” she said.
Dobies also checks out locker rooms, bathrooms and even classrooms.
With probable cause, those lockers, backpacks and cars can be searched.
The Pasco County school district said the school board supports the random searches and students are made aware of their possibility in the code of conduct.
Even if nothing is definitively found, parents are notified if the K9 gets a hit.
Deputies did not find any drugs during Thursday’s search at Sunlake.
The sheriff’s office said the goal is not to punish students, but to discourage them from ever bringing drugs anywhere near school.
“I have free reign to go to whatever school I feel needs my dog. I’m definitely going to be bringing my dog around. We just won’t tell you where,” said Hazelton.
When his work is done, Dobies doesn’t want a treat. Instead he lives for a simple tennis ball.
School out and it’s time to play.