Bright Spots: LuLu is the bomb dog

There are hundreds of new faces this school year at Demopolis Middle School in Marengo County. Among them is one who’s a little different. She’s got massive ears, plenty of fur and one super important job.

LuLu is a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois trained in explosive device detection, but the best thing she provides students and their parents is a sense of security.

“She actually was flown in from the Netherlands,” said LuLu’s partner, Demopolis Police Department School Resource Officer John Carlson. “She’s like my child. She sleeps in the bed with me.”

The duo will spend most of their time at Demopolis Middle School. In fact, Demopolis City Schools purchased LuLu for the school system and the entire community.

Before LuLu’s arrival, law enforcement in the area would have to wait hours for a dog from Montgomery if they were to need it for an investigation.

“We actually started making this decision about October of last year, well before the shootings in Texas,” said Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Tony Willis. “It helps give parents and families and community members some peace of mind to feel like we are being proactive to do everything we can to help prevent and deter those actions here.”

Students including Claire Hasty are excited to welcome LuLu to the DMS family.

“I am very proud because it’s not every day that you can say my school has a bomb dog,” Hasty said. “It is exciting because she is really nice and really smart, but she also has a way to connect with you instead of just being a working dog.”

School officials said they hope having LuLu visible around the system will help students and parents feel safe, but also serve as a deterrent for anyone considering causing trouble.

“We always want to do everything we can in terms of security,” Willis said. “We know that if someone was determined, there is no way to keep everything from happening. We feel like this could be a deterrent and the students know that if they were to bring a weapon to school, we have the ability to check for that every single day.”

LuLu is also making it easy for students to communicate with their school resource officer. Because who doesn’t want to ask about the dog?

“I feel like it has helped us gain a bond with Mr. John better,” Hasty said. “It kind of helps you connect with Mr. John and make you feel more comfortable to ask questions and say ‘hey, I feel unsafe about this.’ ”

Lulu wears a lot of hats around the town of Demopolis, but she’s only wearing one jersey. Of course, it’s Demopolis Tigers blue.

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