The Middlesex County Sherriff’s Office K-9 Unit, in cooperation with the Reading Police Department and the Reading Public Schools, conducted a lockdown and canine search of Reading Memorial High School on Friday morning, May 2, said police.
All parking lots, common areas, lockers, and several random classrooms were searched in accordance with proper legal procedures and the Reading School Committee Policy JIH on Search and Seizure. This lockdown and search drill was the result of extensive planning with school and police personnel and every effort was made to minimize the disruption to instruction.
"Our continued goal in our schools is to provide a safe environment for your children; where they are not exposed to unlawful and harmful activities such as illegal substance possession. The canines that were used today are trained to search for illegal narcotics. They are part of a highly skilled K-9 unit that conducts school searches throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Similar drills have been held in the last few years at high schools in North Reading, Wilmington, and Melrose."
During the search, no “alerts” were discovered in the school and two “alerts” were discovered in the parking lots. An “alert” occurs when canines are able to detect an odor consistent with illegal narcotics. In the “alerts” identified by the canines, no illegal narcotics were found during the search by Reading Memorial High School Administration.