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'Active Shooter K9' bringing specially trained dogs into schools

Updated: August 15, 2019 06:31 PM

Concerns over recent mass shootings have been hanging over many parents' heads as they prepare to send their kids back to school. But, Minnesota may be among the first few states to have a school using trained dogs to stop any potential shooters in their tracks.

It was a law enforcment officer who helped create the concept. He teamed up with a U.S. Navy combat veteran and Iowa-based Canine Tactical to develop "Active Shooter K9."

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Their mission is to have an "Active Shooter K9" team in every school across the country to keep students safe. A video demonstration of a mock shooting inside a school in Iowa shows an "Active Shooter K9" team made up of a handler with a specially trained dog.

"In the event there is an active shooter, that first gunshot, that initial act of violence, that handler can release the dog and the dog can go past all the students and staff and engage the threat," said 18-year law enforcement veteran Matt Seitz.

Seitz said the concept came to him when he was teaching "Run. Hide. Fight." safety training to a community group.

"A couple parents came up and said my child can't run, hide, fight, and we discussed it, and one mother told me her child uses a walker," Seitz recalled.

He said the idea of sending a dog toward danger when everyone else is running away isn't taken lightly. The dogs do wear special bulletproof vests for their mission.

"This dog is a working dog and he's at work when he's at school, and he has a job to protect and make this message positive," said Seitz.

Intelligence and stability are key traits for the dogs, which is why they are cloned by a company in Texas.

With more than 230 school shootings in the country over the last 20 years, Seitz said it's time to do more for our kids.

"Everyone that is on campus, a school campus, we need to protect them, we need to make sure their safety is number one so they can continue to learn," he said.

"We need to solve this problem, and we have a solution," Seitz added.

It takes 9 months to train an "Active Shooter K9" team. Teams cost $125,000 per year.

Already, school districts in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida and Texas have inquired, and a school district in northeast Iowa will be the first in the country to have a team in place in January.

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Credits

Jessica Miles

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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