CAMDEN, Maine — Local police conducted random drug searches Friday at two Camden-area schools. The searches resulted in one vial of marijuana being found in a wooded area next to the Camden Hills Regional High School in neighboring Rockport.
The first search was conducted at the Bus Barn in Camden where both an alternative education program for the high school and an adult education program operate. The parking lot at that school also was searched. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office canine and its handler Sgt. John Palmer conducted the search along with officers from Camden and Rockport.
Five-Town Community School District Superintendent Elaine Nutter said Monday that at the Bus Barn the students were in a conference room while the dog searched classrooms. No illegal substances were found in the school or detected in the vehicles, she said.
Rockport Police Chief Mark Kelley said the next search was conducted only in the parking lot and outside property at Camden Hills Regional High School.
During the search, the dog located a small container with a little marijuana inside, the chief said.
Police reviewed security footage from the school and identified a student who tossed the prescription bottle of pot into the woods next to the parking lot. That student was issued a summons for a civil violation of marijuana possession.
The superintendent said the school district also would take disciplinary action against the student as called for in the district’s policies.
The superintendent said the search had been planned since the beginning of the school year.
Chief Kelley said that the search was successful in that almost nothing was found to be on school grounds.
“The goal is to ensure a good place for students who want to be there to be educated,” the chief said.
This was the second random drug search conducted in Knox County in the past few weeks. Lockers, backpacks and vehicles were searched in a similar operation earlier this month at Oceanside High School in Rockland.