Nick McWilliams reporting – With the hopes of ensuring better safety for students and staff, the Garaway School District is bringing in a four-legged protector.

Provided by Skool Dogs Inc., the district hopes to see the new canine by the end of this year.

As a point of clarification, Superintendent Dr. Jim Millet says that the dog is not like ones used by police forces or the military, and will interact well with students.

“The dogs that [Skool Dogs] are training are comfortable in school settings. They’re approachable by students, which is very important to us because we want it to have a calming, therapeutic role also in our school. So, that’s something that intrigued us about working with Skool Dogs.”

The dog will be trained to detect gunshots quicker than humans, along with weapons and ammunition and even to takedown an active threat should that situation arise.

Millet adds that the dog will be purchased and trained without dipping into taxpayer funds.

“[We want] to be fiscally responsible to our community and do the best we can to obtain alternative funding, so that’s what we’ve done in this case. We will continue to do that moving forward, obviously. Also, our local dollars for initiatives are important, too, but like I said, we want to be fiscally responsible in any decisions we make.”

New Safety Officer Jason Wallick will bond with the dog and be its handler when it is implemented throughout the district.

The dog has been selected and is undergoing training currently, and should arrive by December.

Copyright WTUZ Radio Inc., 2019