The random parking lot sweeps conducted several times per year at Oak Ridge High School with officers and police dogs are meant to help ensure a safe, healthy campus, an official during one sweep Friday.
The school conducted the Friday sweep with help from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and Oak Ridge Police Department and several canine officers.
Officials said it was a successful operation, although they declined to give specific information, including because the searches involve juveniles.
It was the first parking lot sweep since new ORHS Principal Martin McDonald replaced David Bryant, who retired this summer.
McDonald said the sweeps are done a few times per year, and five to six K-9 officers are brought in from ACSD and ORPD. They sweep the parking lot for drugs as part of the random safety check. Students do not know what areas of the parking lot might be searched.
Sometimes they find something, authorities said, and sometimes they don’t. When a police dog alerts or “hits” on a certain vehicle, the student is brought out for further investigation of the vehicle.
“We try to provide a learning environment conducive to student success,” McDonald said. “That typically does not involve drugs…We want our students to be safe and healthy.”
There were at least nine law enforcement vehicles at the high school at one point Friday morning.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
Note: ORPD officers and ACSD deputies randomly searched vehicles on Friday, so officer proximity to any vehicles in any of these pictures does not necessarily mean that officers found anything in that vehicle.
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