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Police Dog Makes Stop At Halstead Middle School

Posted 9/28/2017

OFFICER Jacob Garver with the Hesston Police Department leads Atlas around Halstead Middle School’s gym last week during a demonstration. OFFICER Jacob Garver with the Hesston Police Department leads Atlas around Halstead Middle School’s gym last week during a demonstration. By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—A police dog discovered a stash of illegal drugs at Halstead Middle School last week, but the drugs had been planted there by police to show students a drug detection dog’s capabilities.

Atlas and his handler, Officer Jacob Garver, both of the Hesston Police Department, gave the demonstration. During a school-wide assembly, four boxes were set up in intervals along the far side of the gym, one of which contained a quantity of illegal drugs. Atlas was able to identify which box the drugs were in and was rewarded with a chew toy.

After Atlas found the drugs once, Officer Garver took him out of the gym so the boxes could be rearranged and the experiment repeated. The second time around, Atlas was just as quick in identifying the correct box.

Atlas has been with the Hesston Police Department since earlier this year.

Along with the K9 Unit demonstration, Halstead Police Chief Josh Orem also reviewed online safety tips with the middle school students.

Orem showed students a list of popular social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, and asked how many of them had an account with at least one of these sites. Almost every student raised his or her hand.

These sites all encourage people to share personal information about where they are, who they’re with and what they’re doing. Orem warned students of six things they should never share online: their full name, address, phone number, passwords or their plans.

He cautioned students to only add someone as a friend online if it is someone they know in person. He also recommended students adjust privacy settings so that apps do not show their location to others.

“Make sure you’re using those things that you have to keep yourself safe,” Orem said.

He reminded students that things they post online today may have consequences in the future, such as when they begin hunting for a job.

“Something you post today can be looked up forever,” he said.

Orem closed by telling students if they question or problem with something online or relating to social media, they should ask a trusted adult.