HENDERSON, Texas (KLTV) - The Henderson police department and Henderson ISD now have two new K9 officers protecting their community and their schools.
The K9 program is something the police department and school district have been working on for a year, according to David Chenault, the director of communications at HISD.
K9 Vick will be primarily a patrol dog, while K9 Barney will be stationed at Henderson Middle School.
Both dogs will be accessible for all Henderson ISD campuses.
Henderson Police Chief, Chad Taylor, said the dogs are still training, but from what he’s seen so far, he’s very pleased.
“The relationship between the city and the school had always been good, I think its just getting better,” said Taylor. “Part of that is making sure the tools are there for both of us to utilize to protect our children.”
Chenault said having a K9 on campus allows the students and staff to focus on learning and feeling safe doing so.
“Our number one job is to educate kids and doing that involves a safe environment, in many different ways,” said Chenault. “One way is to make sure the kids are safe when they get to school and when they’re at school. Having a K9 unit in the school every day — that can be moved around to each campus — that’s something that really is a big, important thing for the district to have because it allows us to ensure that safety for kids and it allows our teachers to teach, which is what they do best.”
Taylor said Barney’s handler, Clint Case is the perfect officer for the job. “He just has the personality for it,” said Taylor. “He loves animals and children, so it’s a perfect match.”
The K9s received training in Austin, but are still training more, now in East Texas, with the Bosco Foundation, according to Taylor.
“The Bosco Foundation stepped in and offered more training and since he’s at a school, you can’t train enough, as far as we’re concerned,” said Taylor.