DALLAS -- Many school districts have police departments with officers working to keep students safe. In Dallas Independent School District, there is a new officer that is hitting the ground running.
Officer Athena is a brown and white pit bull.
Athena is the first K-9 working with Dallas ISD Police Department. The puppy was already hard at work checking out schools on her first official day.
“She is the sweetest dog ever, and some folks are going to have some pre-conceived notions, but that’s why we invite the kids to pet her and love on her," Sgt. Keith Clicque said.
Clicque explained her job is an important one when it comes to narcotics investigations. She will be sniffing around classrooms and checking out lockers on campuses across the school district.
"Previously, we relied on outside vendors, or just our officers’ experience. She adds a whole new dimension to our ability to detect narcotics and keep our kids safe," Clicque said.
Officer Athena’s path to the police department is an interesting one. She was rescued from Dallas Animal Services. A group called Animal Farm Foundation tested her for her ability to do the job and provided training.
Police say Officer Athena will also make special appearances in elementary schools.
"Right here in the City of Dallas, we have a huge pet population, and it’s a big issue. And we’re going to use this as an educational tool, to teach the kids, not only about what’s going on in the schools. But also how they can tie it to the community, and be responsible students and citizens in the City of Dallas," Assistant Chief Jason Rodriguez said.
Dallas ISD Police officers say Athena is a pioneer. The department plans to add more K-9’s in the future, including a bomb dog.