K9 Billy and her trainer keeping Hidalgo ISD safe!

     Hidalgo Independent School District’s seeks to foster a safe environment by designing effective implementations of safety and security policies that will continue to serve the students and the staff members throughout the district.
     Hidalgo ISD hosted a K9 Training to make sure its newest employee, Billy, an 18-month-old female Belgium-Shepard mix was to part with all her certified narcotic odors such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and ecstasy.
     Billy and her handler, K9 Officer, Sergeant Jaime Gonzalez’s job is to help contribute to keeping Hidalgo ISD safe.
     Gonzalez has been a K9 handler for the past seventeen years. He’s fully aware of his and Billy’s mission while protecting and serving Hidalgo Independent School District.
     “My ultimate goal here, at Hidalgo ISD is to continue to keep the students and staff safe in the school environment,” emphasized Gonzalez. “My dog is trained for weapon detection and narcotics.”
     Hidalgo ISD welcomed different police agencies to partake in the training. Divergent agencies were being represented at the training, officers from the Constable precinct 1 and 4 were in attendance, officers from the Constable from Hidalgo, Edinburg, and Weslaco, along with Edcouch Elsa, and Palmview K9 units were also present at the training.
     Javier Solis conducted the training, a highly skilled and qualified K9 training coordinator for the Constables Precinct 4 Office.
     “The goal of having an inter-agency training is so that we are all able to network with each other by sharing information about training, and what’s happening within our communities, and what we can do to improve,” explained Javier Solis. “Networking with different police K9 unit agencies is important to us all because at the end of the day, we all have the same common goal and that is to get these drugs off the streets and keep our community safe.”
     The training began in the transportation department to utilize the bus scenario. The focus was on bus and backpack searches. This exercise was useful and replicated a school setting search for the dogs.
     Solis set up different kinds of narcotics trying to keep the dogs proficient, while constantly evaluating their handler.
     “We evaluate the handler on how they hold the leash and if they’re holding it correctly, are they giving the proper amount of praise, is the reward timing on point the way it should be,” explained Solis. “This serves as dual training, not only for the dogs, but also for the handlers
because it’s very important that the handlers are doing everything they have to do, to keep these dogs proficient.”
     After the bus setting, Solis shifted the scenario over to Hidalgo ISD’s Old Central building, which served as a new and different interior setting for the dogs. Solis emphasized the importance of constantly introducing the dogs to different training environments.
     “We’re always trying to give the dogs a different look, we never want to train in the same area over and over again that way the dogs don’t become accustomed to that one area, they’re very intelligent animals,” stated Solis.
     Billy is a very wise dog. As Gonzalez guided her throughout the search during the training, she automatically knew what her goal was, and she executed the mission with poise and determination.
     Solis was pleased and very satisfied with Billy’s drive and potential in executing her mission.
     “Billy shows excellent drive, she has exceptional environmental conditioning, she’s an excellent dog and I see her doing a lot of good things for Hidalgo ISD,” said Solis.
     Hidalgo ISD goes above and beyond to ensure the safety of all students and staff members!