KILLEEN, Texas — The possibility of gun violence in schools has become a common reality for school districts across the country.
That’s why Killeen ISD said they are adding a new member to their police force.
Geri is the school district's newest K9 officer, but Geri isn’t your typical drug sniffing dog.
”He is certified in detecting several different odors of explosives and firearms,” said Kyle Perrow, officer and K9 handler for the Killeen ISD Police Department. “Some of them include C$, TNT, Semtex, PETN Det Cord, black powders, smokeless powders.”
Geri has spent the last couple of months training and working with his new partner Officer Perrow.
Even getting to work with Military Dog Handlers on Fort Hood.
”I worked at Killeen Police Department for 11 years and had a lot of experiences with them but to train on Fort Hood is way different,” said Officer Perrow. “A larger area to train, more resources, and different ways of looking at it.”
With the possibility of gun violence in schools rising, educators with KISD are happy to see Geri join the team.
”For my personal safety, it’s huge. Knowing that when I go to work, not only am I on a campus that focuses on safety but, bringing on resources to make sure that I’m safe in everything that I do,” said Sarah Castleberry, campus instructional specialist at Killeen High School. “That, the students that are my reason for being there are safe. That my staff who I have great relationships with, are safe.”
Castleberry said having more than one type of K9 officer helps her feel a higher sense of safety and said her coworkers will agree when they find out.
”You know, we have a K9 that can focus on drug detection and one on weapon detection,” said Castleberry. “I think that would make them feel more at ease. Knowing that we are focusing on and targeting to ensure safety because I know it makes me feel better.”
And that is why Officer Perrow said he and Geri put the badge on every morning.
”To find those firearms and those weapons, to prevent anything from occurring in the future,” said Officer Perrow.