The Granite School District would like to introduce Granite School District Police Department’s new K-9 team. The police department recently adopted a German Shorthaired Pointer named “Bolt.”
Bolt and his handler, Officer Garrett Penrose, are currently the only Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Certified gun detection K-9 team in the state of Utah. We’re proud to have the services of this valuable team as another layer of protection that ensures schools in the district remain safe and secure places for our students, families, and staff.
“As a layer of security, Bolt is a preventative measure to find firearms before a problem occurs – before a tragedy can happen,” said Granite Police Chief Randy Porter. “That’s Bolt’s real mission, to prevent a problem from happening and that’s how he is an asset to our department and the district,” Porter added.
Officer Penrose uses Bolt’s finely attuned sense of smell to search for and find firearms that may be on or near school campuses. “All of the work is odor based,” said Penrose, “I can walk Bolt down a row of lockers, and you’ll be able to see a behavior change from him when he pinpoints a smell.”
While gun-related incidents at schools are uncommon, the district is now better prepared to find potential firearms should the need arise. With the aid of the K-9 team, the police department can quickly and efficiently search a school for firearms if there is an anonymous tip or concern about the threat of weapons. Our hope is that Bolt will act as a deterrent and increase student and staff’s peace of mind so that they can focus on learning.
While the K-9 team is an important resource for ensuring student and staff safety and well-being, it is just one of many tools the district uses in its multi-layered approach to school safety. Some of the other layers of protection the district uses to ensure student and staff safety includes:
- Video security systems.
- Student Resource Officers (SRO) and Incident Command Systems.
- Building hardening strategies (single point entry, secure vestibules, door alarms, weapons detection).
- Student and community reporting using the SafeUT app.
- Mental and behavioral health supports for students and staff.
- Strategic Threat Assessments performed by outside agencies.
Our K-9 duo are also actively training to use Bolt as a “tracking” dog so that his services can be used in future searches for missing students or individuals. With the ever-changing school landscape, the district is grateful that we can offer an additional layer of security for our students, staff, and families with the services of Officer Penrose and K-9 Officer Bolt.