Sniffing For Safety: KHSD Introduces New K9 Officer Enzo
The Kern High School District Police Department is welcoming its newest recruit – a K9 Officer. Two-year-old Labrador Retriever Enzo is specially trained to detect firearms, ammunition and explosives on school property. He and his handler Officer Marisol Earnest will be deployed to schools across the district to help keep students and staff members safe.
While introducing the pair during a special commissioning ceremony Monday afternoon, KHSD Police Chief Ed Komin said Enzo will contribute to the safety of KHSD by sniffing out weapons, while also being friendly and non-threatening toward students.
“What’s really important for us is we don’t have an aggressive dog, so we want a dog that specializes in finding firearms, but being nice and friendly at the same time,” Komin said.
Chief Komin says Enzo is specially trained for searches only. He doesn’t bite and will not be involved in detention or arrests.
Enzo has been on the job since October. Chief Komin said there was a recent incident where a firearm was rumored to be on campus at Stockdale High School and Enzo was able to search the area and confirm that there was no firearm.
Chief Komin says Officer Earnest is the perfect fit to be Enzo’s handler. “Really a whole lot of credit for this program goes to her. She was here from the initial inception, and she really worked hard to get this up and running.”
Just as with other K9 officer programs, Enzo will live with Officer Earnest full-time and they will work together on their various assignments.
This is a new K9 officer program that has been in the works for about a year. If it goes well, Chief Komin says he could see adding more K9 officers to the department.
“Let’s start with one and see how it goes,” he said.
By Katie Avery
Katie Avery joined the Kern County Superintendent of Schools in 2023 as a Communications Specialist. As a former journalist and marketing professional, her passions include media and storytelling. Before joining KCSOS, Avery worked for various local TV stations as well as the health care industry.