Bringing Firearm Detection Canines to Schools: Why Now?


Lower Campus of GVHS

In an effort to increase school safety in response  to California’s increasing rates of gun threats and violence against schools- including the 2019 Saugus shooting- all Hart District schools will be conducting random searches using Firearm Detection Canines throughout the school year.

As most of us may know, all schools in the Hart District will be bringing firearm detection canines to all campuses. The district plans to increase campus security to keep students safe on school campuses; especially in California, has been a major worry. They are said to be coming at random about 10-11 times throughout this school year searching main areas and students as they come on campus. 

Golden Valley History and Chemistry teachers- none other than Mr. Abouaf and Mr. Lonsinger- provided  great insight into how they felt about the coming canine detection unit, if they felt this would be an adequate security measure, and how they were informed.

Local news coverage by The Signal states that, “The district connected this service as an additional layer of security in the Hart district”. When talking with Deputy Martinez, he talked about how he’s always here for the most part, and is trying his best to keep our campus safe. On the topic of safety, I had asked Mr. Abouaf if he felt like our campus was safe and he said, “ “Yes and no. No matter how much is protected, it only takes one person to do the wrong thing”. Then Mr. Lonsinger came in to answer that having the canine detection units is a “…fairly decent idea.”. 

School sign at one of the campus entrances

I used to live in San Bernardino County, where every middle and high school similarly had its own security. So, I suppose I’m used to seeing this type of presence at schools, even if every district  has its own distinct rules, problems, and needs. It also gave me a sort of security since I knew who the security was and where they were at all times. He is absolutely right. No matter how hard any teacher, administrator, deputy, or superintendent tries, our schools can never be completely safe. 

Having the canine detection units is the next step to ensuring more safety on campus- which is always great. The largest drawback to the proposed program is that the Canines will only be on campus ~10 times per year. While the prospect of getting caught at the gates should discourage violence year round, one concern is that the dogs won’t even be present when needed. There are still a lot of “What if’s”  and questions with the dogs coming to our schools. The only thing to do is just trust and run along with the process.