Oakland County Sheriff deputies and canines enter Brandon High School on Wednesday morning. It was the first sweep since 2013. Photos by Patrick McAbee.
By David Fleet
Brandon Twp.-At approximately 8 a.m., April 19, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office K-9 deputies conducted a narcotics sweep of Brandon High School. Twelve K-9 units from the OCSO responded following a school lockdown where students were asked to place their coats and backpacks in the center of the hallways, then return to the classroom. The dogs did not search the students. The narcotics dogs and handlers completed the building sweep in about an hour.
There were no narcotics found in the building and the 977 students resumed classes later that morning.
“The goal is to stop any student from possessing any narcotics on school property,” said Lt. Greg Glover, OCSO Brandon substation commander. “The sweep allows us to be proactive rather than reactive. The process went very well. Students, staff and teachers response was outstanding.
The fact that we did not find any narcotics says something about the students in the Brandon School District. We know there are troubled kids in the district and there are issues in the community; however, no drugs were found in the high school building today.”
Glover said the narcotics dogs did respond or hit on a few backpacks.
“The dog can respond to specific smells from food on backpacks,” he said.
The date and time of the sweep was determined in advance by the school and sheriff’s office.
Dr. Matt Outlaw, district superintendent, said the hard work of school liaison Deputy Hubble and Assistant Principal David Wyatt have made a big impact on drugs in the school.
“We mean business when it comes to drugs,” said Outlaw following the sweep. “We’ll continue to strive for a safe environment for the students and continue to be vigilant in the fight. The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office has been a great partner in a proactive approach.”
The Brandon School District currently splits the $131,509 cost for the school liaison officer with the township.
The narcotics sweep on Wednesday was the first since 2013.
“This was a wakeup call to the students—we wanted this to be a surprise and random,” added Glover. “Its been several years since a sweep has been done and it should be a reminder to all students that drugs will not be tolerated in the schools.”
The K-9 units searched for narcotics only.
“There was also a sweep of the parking lot area and the vehicles,” said Glover. “In one vehicle several illegal knives were recovered. No legal action was taken at this time.”
Glover was happy with the results.
“Most parents in the school district are doing a great job with their children,” he said. “Keep asking questions and looking in that backpack of your student. Let them know you’re watching.”