By Jeff Gallatin
School and police officials sent a warning last week to would-be drug users and distributors.
Superintendent Clint Keener told the Bay Village school board at its Sept. 9 meeting that police officers and drug-dogs will be making a check through Bay Village High School and its property at some point during the 2013-2014 school year.
“We haven’t had one for several years,” he said.
Keener said he does not believe the district has a drug problem or more issues with substance abuse than any other suburban district, but noted that having such a drug sweep through a school every so often is a good precautionary move.
When Assistant Superintendent Daryl Stumph asked if Keener wanted knowledge of the sweep publicized before it actually takes place, Keener said that he did.
“I want people to know that we’re going to do this,” Keener said. “I don’t have a problem with them knowing it will be done.”
Keener said he was not saying when the actual sweep might be done, noting that the general time frame sharing might prevent some of the items from being on school property or even stop some people from participating in such activities.
When contacted later by West Life, Bay Village Police Detective Kevin Krolkosky, who is the juvenile officer for the police department, said the department and district are working together closely on the matter.
“It’s a good move,” he said. “I understand that the superintendent is being proactive and wants to try and deal with the issues in a proactive manner.”
Krolkosky said letting people know in general terms that some kind of event is coming is a good preventative move.
“It could be next week, it could be in a couple of months,” he said. “And if we do it once, there’s nothing to say that we couldn’t do it again just a short time after we do it the first time if we feel there is a need to do so. I don’t necessarily think we have any extreme problem in Bay, but we do want to deal with any issues we do have and this is a good preventative move.”
Keener and Krolkosky noted that officers and the dogs will be going through the entire school, its property and by vehicles in the parking lot.
“They will react to any trace or residue,” Keener said. “They can pick up just about anything in a locker, book bag, car or wherever there might be something which indicates use.”
School Board member Amy Huntley asked if the district is prepared to deal with upset parents, noting that the dogs might point out someone who might not have used drugs but instead were in close proximity to someone who had been using them. She said sometimes the smell could cause problems for someone inadvertently.
Keener said he understands that, but also noted that its not a good situation for any people to be around drug use or users anyway.