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County helps fund K-9 unit to find drugs in schools

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 SHEPHERDSVILLE - It was not a trend that Jamie Goldsmith wanted to see.

And whether there was any correlation between the numbers, the one-year variance may not pass scientific muster.

However, as safe and drug-free director for the Bullitt County Public School System, a rising number of students involved in drug-related incidents is something Goldsmith did not want to see repeat.

With the assistance of Bullitt Fiscal Court, that trend may be reversed this year.

Thanks to an appropriation of $7,300, the Bullitt County school system will have access to a drug-detecting dog for searches.

Instead of an agency securing its own drug dog, Goldsmith said a company would contract services to the school system.

Under her plan, the county appropriation would allow her to conduct drug searches at every middle and high school, as well as Riverview Opportunity Center.

In discussing the situation Tuesday, Goldsmith said she would have enough funding to search every high school three times and every middle school, plus Riverview, on two occasions.

She felt it was important to have the surprise searches. Last year, there was no access to a drug dog and the number of drug-related incidents rose.

Magistrate Rick Clements wasn’t as concerned about the plan for the searches as he was to ensure Goldsmith had the resources available to make it happen.

“I do think it’s important,” Clements said of the searches. “And it is important that they (students) know we are doing it.”

County attorney Monica Robinson suggested giving the school system the maximum amount and allowing Goldsmith to determine how it should be used.

The court unanimously agreed to supply the $7,300 to the school system.

With cutbacks in federal funding, Goldsmith said it is difficult to keep programs, such as the random drug testing and drug dog searches, in place.

The searches are not scheduled with the schools. The searches are to be coordinated through Goldsmith and she said they have run smoothly in the past.

Over the years, various police agencies have had K-9 units trained in drug detection. However, those agencies fluctuate and, at this time, no department has a K-9 unit.

The Kentucky State Police has a K-9 unit but that covers a large area.