WARSAW — The Warsaw Community Schools Board of Trustees engaged in a “dogged” work session on Tuesday, May 14.
Aside from being introduced to star employees of the district, learning about elementary literacy initiatives and new testing programs, the seven-person board ooh’d and ah’d over a plucky pooch turned police pup, who came to the board’s meeting to show off his superior sniffer.
Bubka, a six-year-old English Cocker Spaniel who joined the force in 2015, was introduced to the board by handler Brandon Zartman, a corporal with the WPD.
“He’s a single purpose narcotics dog and he’s also trained in tracking,” said Hartman. “He’s been on our department for four years. The biggest thing with him is we want to deter these kids from bringing it to school in the first place.”
Zartman said Bubka is available to check classrooms and can identify heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine and crack cocaine. According to Zartman, the floppy-eared cop can also check the school parking lot, doing what Zartman called a “free air sniff.”
When Bubka gets a whiff of an illicit substance, he drops down on his belly and points his nose toward the target. Zartman said if his partner detects drugs up higher than floor level, he stands on back paws and places his front paws on the wall, looking intently up toward his target.
“I did hide some marijuana in this room and I will show you how he finds it,” said Zartman. Once Bubka makes a successful detection, he is rewarded with his favorite toy, a slobber-encrusted tennis ball. “That’s (reward) all they care about,” said Zartman. After the demonstration, the board members left their seats and took turns petting the star of the moment.
Zartman told the board that Bubka his highly social, which makes him a hit at the school.
In other business, the board:
- Was introduced to Melinda Oliver, an employee with the information technology department who is responsible for monitoring the school corporation’s more than 8,000 devices used by staff and students.
- Heard a report from Kelly Meeks on WIDA testing in the school district. WIDA stands for World Class Instructional Design and Assessment.
- Heard a report from Chief Academic Officer Dr. David Robertson on the corporation’s elementary school literacy initiatives.
- Received multiple reports from Marci Franks on programs with the corporation’s food services department.
- Received an update on facilities activities from Jim LeMasters.