DA SHAFFER, DRUG TASK FORCE & K9s PRESENT AT LOCAL SCHOOLS

DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND DRUG TASK FORCE K9s PRESENT AT LOCAL SCHOOLS

(SMETHPORT and ELDRED, Pennsylvania):  Students in Smethport and Eldred had a visit by K9s during a program on Saying “No” to drugs.  District Attorney Stephanie Vettenburg-Shaffer, Chief County Detective Ryan Yingling, Officer Dakota Eaton, Chief Pat Warnick and K9 Officers Bob and Vicki Rinfrette were invited to present to the 4th grade class of Smethport Elementary and grades K-6 at Otto-Eldred Elementary.

On Tuesday, October 25, 2022, Smethport hosted DA Shaffer, Chief Yingling and Mr. and Mrs. Rinfrette who were joined by K9s LG and Nico.  LG is a drug-detecting dog and Nico is an explosive-detecting dog.  Both dogs are handled by Bob Rinfrette.

On Wednesday, October 26, Otto-Eldred Elementary hosted DA Shaffer, Officer Eaton and the Rinfrettes who were joined by LG and Nico as well as the newest member of the County Detective K9 Unit, Rigby.  Office Dakota Eaton is Rigby’s handler.

DA Shaffer: “The program is designed to help children say “no” to drugs as well as how to safely handle medication.  The K9s were invited by the schools as part of the respective districts’ participation in Red Ribbon Week 2022  - a national campaign whose mission is to keep children drug-free.

The children were most excited to meet the K9s, who also loved the attention from the children.  Thank you to the teachers and staff at both schools for inviting us into your school.”

The DA and Officers spoke to the students about how to stay away from drugs.  They encouraged them to say, “No,” walk away, and call an adult if they are offered drugs.  They talked to them about medication – only to take medication that their doctor has prescribed for them, only take it from their caregiver, and to not share medication.

The group also talked about how police officers keep them safe and that police officers are their friend.

In both presentations, the children learned how the dogs use their nose to find drugs.

The District Attorney gave the children pledge cards where they can promise to remain drug-free.

If you would like a K9 at your school or facility for a presentation or a search, please contact the Detective Bureau at the District Attorney’s Office at (814) 887-3312 or da@mckeancountypa.org.  For more information, visit McKeanDA.org.  If you would like to donate to the K9 fund, please send checks payable to McKean K9 Unit, District Attorney's Office, Courthouse, Smethport, PA  16749.