Pubdate: Sat, 04 May 2002
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Copyright: 2002, New Haven Register
Contact:  http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?brd=1281
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/292
Author: Joanne M. Pelton
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/youth.htm (Youth)

COPS SEARCH FOR DRUGS AT SCHOOL

SHELTON -- Police from three communities made a surprise inspection of 
lockers at Shelton High School Friday morning in the wake of several recent 
drug arrests at the school.

No drugs were found.

Detective Sgt. Michael Madden said the surprise inspection took place at 
8:30 a.m. and that police and three dogs from Shelton, Stratford and West 
Haven performed the checks. The dogs and officers inspected more than 1,600 
lockers but found no drugs, said Madden.

The search took about 30 minutes and was done while students were attending 
their first period classes. Classes were not disrupted, school officials said.

Madden said six students at the school have been arrested this school year, 
and Detective Thomas Federowitz, the school's resource officer, has 
investigated at least 19 other drug-related incidents.

"We had some concerns based on the number of investigations we have done 
this year," said Madden.

Madden said police also conducted the search because of rumors around the 
city that "drugs were running rampant" at the school.

"There will always be isolated incidents but this should send a message 
that if we think there may be a problem we won't be afraid to act," he said.

Donald Ramia, the school's headmaster, said the fact the search turned up 
nothing is a testament that the students are not bringing and selling drugs 
in school. "We had three dogs here and not one arrest," he said.

Ramia said he welcomed the inspection. "This keeps the kids on their toes 
and gives everyone a breath of fresh air that they did not find anything," 
he said.

Police Chief Robert Voccola said the inspection was the result of 
cooperation between police and the school system. "This is an ongoing 
commitment to ensuring the safety of our children and the ability to learn 
in a drug-free environment," he said.

The last time school lockers were inspected was in 1995, also after a large 
number of incidents.

No arrests were made at that time, either.
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