Pubdate: Thu, 17 Mar 2005
Source: Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN)
Copyright: 2005 The Knoxville News-Sentinel Co.
Author: Ericka Mellon
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Security Chief Cites Budget Constraints At Sheriff's Office

The Knox County Sheriff's Office has stopped providing dogs to sniff out 
drugs in the local school system this semester because of budget 
constraints, the schools' chief of security said.

Steve Griffin, who supervises security for Knox County Schools, said 
Wednesday that the Sheriff's Office used to send drug dogs at least twice a 
semester to every Knox County middle and high school.

"We were notified after the holiday break that they would no longer be able 
to perform those," Griffin told the Knox County Board of Education on 

Griffin said later in an interview that a representative from the Sheriff's 
Office, whom he declined to name, informed him about the decision to stop 
the dogs.

"They said due to budget, overtime and manpower concerns that they couldn't 
do it," Griffin said.

Griffin told the board he was trying to work with the Sheriff's Office to 
reinstate the service, which he said discourages students from bringing 
drugs to school.

"If they know we can bring Rin Tin Tin in there any time we want to, it's a 
strong deterrent," Griffin said.

The Sheriff's Office could not be reached for comment after the school 
board meeting ended Wednesday night.

The discussion about the drug dogs arose after Knox County District 
Attorney General Randy Nichols gave a presentation to the board about 

Nichols asked the school board to allow his office and others to give 
presentations to middle and high school students about the dangers of the 
increasingly popular drug. To make his case, he showed board members a 
video, "Meth Is Death," which features images of graveyards, needles, the 
scabbed arm of a user and the disfigured face of another user who shot himself.

Superintendent of Schools Charles Lindsey plans to meet with principals 
today to show them the video and possibly talk about implementing a 
meth-prevention program.

Griffin said meth has not been a problem in the schools, but it could be.

"I've been here 17 years, and we've caught three kids with it, but one of 
them was last year," Griffin said. "I'm not naive. I think some kids are 
trying to experiment with this. It's not an experimental drug."
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