Dog days aren’t over: Central searches for drugs

Central conducted the canine searches in an effort to promote a  drug-free environment

Andrew Bitautas

Central conducted the canine searches in an effort to promote a drug-free environment

The Hinsdale Police Department and District 86 conducted a canine search on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at both Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South.

Hinsdale Police do not have a canine unit of their own, so they had to use canine officers and trained dogs from the Oak Brook, Lisle, Willowbrook, and Woodridge Police Departments.

Students and teachers were directed to “shelter-in-place” five minutes into second period. No one was allowed in or out of classrooms or offices, and people trying to enter the building were held in the main doors until the search ended.

“At first, I was surprised and a little nervous by the announcement because it sounded serious,” said Zak Marinko, junior. “After the announcement came on that it was a drug search, I wasn’t nervous anymore but still surprised because they had never done this before in the past three years at Central.”

Despite the search, teachers continued conducting classes, aware that their classroom could be checked at any point during the exercise. The same held true for P.E. classes, as all doors and the locker rooms were locked.

In all, the drill took just over 30 minutes, allowing police and dogs to thoroughly search all school, athletic, and gym lockers. Select classrooms were also searched briefly with dogs.

“I was in study hall, and they brought us up to the library. I’m pretty sure they searched the café when they moved us out,” said Connor Johannessen, senior.

The searches were successful, as the police department did in fact find students harboring illegal substances in the school.

Many students are wondering why the searches have been brought back into use. For the last few years, Central has not conducted canine searches, leaving many wondering if drug use has become a greater concern at the school.

In response of the search, Karen Warner, District 86 spokeswoman, said, “The canine searches will be an ongoing component of the district’s proactive efforts to promote a safe, drug-free environment.”