News Stories

School Resource Officer and K-9 Hired to Build Relationships with Students

5:18 PM, Nov 16, 2018

Good friends can sometimes be hard to come by, and sometimes when you find that good friend, he or she has four legs and a wagging tale.

For over a year Punta Gorda Police Deputy Dean Irving has found a best friend in his dog, Chase.

“If I’m going to meetings, whatever it is, he’s always with me, he’s always with me,” Irving said.

Both of them are SRO’s at Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda.

Other media outlets reported Chase was hired because of high crime and recent threats at the school. That wasn’t the case.

“There was never anything that happened here that we needed the dog here, it was just I was assigned here, and he’s assigned to me. I'm the K-9 handler. So he goes where I go, so when they brought it up it’s a great idea to have him in here,” said Irving.

Part of their work is to sniff out cars for drugs. Dean and Chase have made a few busts.

“He’s trained to find detect marijuana, cocaine, heroine, ecstasy, and meth, so he’s got a nose on him,” Irving said.

During a routine check, a rifle was found in a student’s car at the high school earlier this year.

Deputy Irving said the overall crime rate at the school and the area is extremely low.

According to Punta Gorda is considered one of the safeties cities in the country.

But it’s easy to see why they were assigned to work together. Their connection is so strong.

“If they separate us I don’t know who who would be heartbroken worse, him or me,” Irving said.