BEATRICE – A police K9 with the Beatrice Police Department could soon be a classmate of students at Beatrice High School, if the details can be worked out.
Beatrice Police K9 handler Anthony Chisano is leaving the department.
Toro, a yellow Labrador who is a narcotics detection and search dog…is a bit of a community ambassador as well.
School Resource Officer Zach Lauenstein is working to be certified as Toro’s new handler….and could then bring the K9 to school this coming year. Lauenstein approached High School Principal Jason Sutter, about the idea.
"I think its a great opportunity for Officer Lauenstein to continue to do the great work he does at Beatrice High...as our school resource officer...and have Toro in our school with our students, on a daily basis," Sutter said.
Lauenstein said the idea with acquiring Toro was partly to incorporate the dog into the community, because citizens donated to acquiring the dog and he’s become a valuable resource.
"I presented a couple of different schools with their approach on the K9 within the school. In my opinion, it would be almost solely preventative. But, if someone were to make the mistake of bringing drugs onto school grounds, obviously he would work in the role of detection, as well."
Allowing the K9 in the school would have to be authorized by school administration. The City of Beatrice and Beatrice Public Schools jointly fund school resource officers at both the middle school and high school. Officer Tim Price is the middle school resource officer.
Lauenstein says he will have about a four-week certification process to go through, to become Toro’s full-time handler. He calls Toro one of the best police K9’s in the state….who reacts very well around people.