Fouke School District to get new police dog

FOUKE -- Fouke School District and Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Barrett will introduce the school district's new police dog Major on Tuesday morning at the school.

Barrett is entering her second year in partnership with Fouke Public School District to implement school safety measures in south Miller County.

The partnership came about as school administration sought to modify the traditional model of school security -- which involved articulation agreements between the school and the Miller County Sheriff's office -- and move toward a model that gives the school district more autonomy to create a school safety structure that better met its needs, according to a news release.

"We knew what we wanted to accomplish down here in terms of campus security," Fouke School Superintendent Jim Buie said in a news release. "When we hit a road block with one entity, Mrs. Barrett was there extending the resources of her office to us and we jumped at the opportunity to partner with the Prosecuting Attorney."

Upgrades in campus security include district-wide high definition surveillance cameras with remote-access capability, district-wide access control system on school doors, and the implementation and training of school crisis teams. The district school resource officer, Jeremy McClure, operates with the jurisdiction afforded the Miller County prosecuting attorney's office and provides a daily presence on school campuses and at school-sponsored events.

Through the partnership the Fouke School Safety Team purchased a narcotics detection canine named Major, and McClure has become certified as a canine handler to work with Major at the school and at school-sponsored events.

A recently adopted student drug testing policy also will require all students involved in extracurricular activities, as well as those who drive to school, to pass a mandatory drug screening.

"When we began this partnership with Mrs. Barrett, we were trying to create a school safety design that was suited for a rural school district in the 21st Century," Buie said.

Barrett said in that she is "very pleased" with the improvements in campus security within the school district.

"Dr. Buie has done an outstanding job obtaining the assets needed for the Fouke School District to be prepared for school safety threats," Barrett said. "He has a vision and the determination to get results, and I am pleased to partner with the school so that they may have a certified officer on staff and the ability to use a canine in the school district."

State Desk on 06/14/2019

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