Lt. Katherine Cruz, AA/PIO
Pleasant Valley State Prison
Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) participated in career day at John Muir Middle School in Corcoran on May 10. Staff was joined by Corcoran Police and Fire Departments, Emergency Medical Transportation, Kings County Sheriff’s Department and other local Kings County organizations. PVSP staff spoke with the middle-school students about the work their dogs do in detecting contraband, maintaining security in the prison and the pitfalls of drugs.
Students made their rounds to each station and spent 20 to 40 minutes learning about their operations from each subject matter expert.
PVSP K-9 Officer S. Chan and his canine partner Bacardi along with Department of State Hospital-Coalinga (DSH) K-9 Officer E. Em and his canine partner Ryu shared with students each dog’s specialty in the detection of contraband. Both canines are passive alert dogs, meaning they are trained to stare if alerted by the presence of contraband. Bacardi’s specialty is the detection of narcotics and Ryu’s is trained in the detection of narcotics as well as cellphones and tobacco.
PVSP and DSH K-9 Officers used scent boxes to demonstrate the alert the canines make when contraband is detected.
Students were also able to view a wide variety of contraband items that PVSP staff have confiscated during their duties. Some of the items included weapons and cell phones found during routine searches.
Officer Chan and Officer Em shared with the students the dangerous nature of prison in hopes to deter behavior that could lead them there. Both Officers expressed their desire to educate the middle school students about the need to “just say no” and refrain from experimenting in drugs and succumbing to peer pressure as they transition from middle school into high school.
Both Officers spoke about their passion in choosing a career in law enforcement.
Both officer emphasized to the students that it is important to stay focused on their goals, make positive choices, and to study hard by earning their diplomas or degrees.