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Labrador retrievers to be used to help keep Noblesville schools safe

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NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — Labrador retrievers could be a new way for Indiana schools to keep students safe.

Noblesville Schools is testing it out this fall. Three Labradors will monitor the schools for firearms on a regular basis.

Brennan Heckman is going into the 5th grade this fall. He is looking forward to seeing dogs at his school.

“I would want to pet it,” said Heckman.

Noblesville Schools anticipated that, so the newsletter included how students could pet them when the dogs aren't working.

"The dogs will have bandannas on to visually indicate when they are working," stated the release. "We will teach students how to interact with the dogs and appreciate parents reinforcing this message."

Noblesville Schools declined to do an interview about this topic.

So, FOX59 reached out to a similar program that started in Michigan called Elite Detection K9. This company trains Labradors to protect students at schools and other places.

“We are seeing significant interest,” said Elite Detection K9 President and CEO Greg Guidice. “They are household pets, less threatening than a German Shepard.”

The dogs are trained to detect the scent of firearms, as well as ammunition and other gun related products. They can smell it in the air so they don’t have to be close to the students.

Hyde Heckman is a Noblesville mom and member of the group “Noblesville Stands Together”. She is excited for this new program.

“I’m super proud of Noblesville for really doing some great research and finding some new avenues that haven’t been tried and tested yet,” said Heckman.

Ever since last year’s shooting at Noblesville West Middle School that injured a teacher and student, the community has come together to make schools safer.

This program is just one of several measures the district plans to incorporate in the new safety plan.

Noblesville Schools will host a meet and greet with the dogs at the Back to School BASH Friday, July 26 from 5-7:30 p.m. at Federal Hill Commons.

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