Canine Team

  • The EPISD Police Department narcotics Canine Unit was established in 1998, in response to the growing concern over the use and sale of illegal narcotics within the EPISD school system. The overall mission of the unit is to conduct narcotics interdiction throughout the district with the primary goal of ensuring a safe and drug-free environment for students as well as the staff.

    The EPISD Police Department currently deploys four canine teams. Each of the respective teams is assigned to a high school and conducts canine operations throughout the district. The Canine (K9) Unit consists of one sergeant and four officers each assigned their respective canine partners. The officers and their canines work together to develop mutual trust and affection in order to become an effective narcotics interdiction team. Handlers along with their canines are required to undergo 400 hours of intensive training prior to deployment in the district. Canines are police officers, each with their own serial number; police officers badge and photo I.D. Canine teams maintain nationally recognized certifications through the North American Police Working Dog Association as well as the National Narcotics Detector Dog Association.

    EPISD canine teams have been called upon to assist the El Paso Police Department, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the Texas Department of Corrections in conducting canine searches.

    Since its inception, the canine unit has demonstrated that the deployment of narcotic canines within the district has deterred and displaced narcotics activity away from the campuses. The EPISD canine unit is committed to the task of ensuring a safe and drug-free environment and the protection of our future.

    The Department's three canines are deployed directly in the day shift, where they have been specially trained to serve as narcotics detection dogs. Working directly with school staff, the K9 Unit has a positive impact on reducing the ingress and egress of unlawful drugs in EPISD Schools. Canine officers and their partners are also assigned to certain high schools and conduct narcotic searches at all high schools and middle schools. School-Based Law Enforcement Officers (SBLE) and school administrators across the nation are all too familiar with the problems associated with narcotics on school grounds. Chemical abuse presents a host of challenges for schools ranging from disruptive behavior to drug-related acts of violence. Random canine olfactory inspections offer SBLE and school administrators a proactive approach to successfully locate and remove drugs from campus. Such canine olfactory inspections also offer the opportunity to gather narcotics-related intelligence while serving as a deterrent for students who may otherwise attempt to bring drugs into school. The use of canine-assisted narcotics olfactory inspections do not indicate that a particular school has an abnormal amount of drugs on campus. Instead, it indicates the willingness of school officials to remain proactive in their efforts to ensure the safety and security of the school. Supporting this effort are the expectations held by parents and community members. It is imperative that parents know their sons and daughters are attending a safe and drug-free school. School districts have an obligation to use proactive methods to prevent narcotics on school grounds rather than only responding to a drug-related problem when information presents itself. 

    The use of El Paso ISD Police Canine


    • El Paso ISD Canines are used for Narcotics Odor Detection
    • The breeds used by El Paso ISD Police are Shepherd and Belgian Malinois
    • Most dogs work on a toy-delivery system
      • Dogs are trained by trained odor association
        • Example: Odor = Response = toy
    • El Paso ISD Police Canines can alert to the 5 different Narcotics below:
      • Marijuana
      • Cocaine
      • Heroine
      • Methamphetamine
      • Ecstasy
    • Dogs can pick up traces of Narcotic odor that electronic devices and officers cannot detect.
      • Dogs sense of smell is so great that they can detect Narcotic odors a thousand times greater than the human sense of smell
    • El Paso ISD Police Department has 3 K9 teams.
    • The use and presence of Police Canines have shown to be drug deterrence on Campuses. This also has shown to assist campus administrators and officers with:
      • A decrease in violent behavior that is associated with drug use
      • Allowing the Officer to educate the student body about drug use
      • Allows Administration and SBLE Officers to maintain a drug-free school