By Brook Rogers | CBS11 News

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Dallas (CBSDFW.COM) – Pit bulls and police working together to fight crime?

Several local police departments say yes!

Pit bulls plucked from local shelters (where they were close to death) have now completed an extensive narcotics training program. The dogs graduated today and will soon work in local schools.

Like many graduates, the animals have overcome the odds. Pit bull officers Athena and Storm are the newest additions to Dallas and Ferris ISD’s police departments.

“She’s going to be going to the schools, looking for narcotics, and serving as a role model in the community,” says officer Jody Bullard with the Dallas ISD police department.

“Together with their partners in blue, they will roam the hallways of mostly high schools, searching for drugs in places their masters cannot.

“Basically we give them a second chance at life,” says Sgt. John Julin with the Ferris ISD police department. “They’re just as good as $30,000 dollar dogs that you would get imported from overseas.”

The hope is that the dogs will serve as a deterrent – and a friend. “I just hope that the kids will bond with her,” Sgt. Julin says.

In the meantime, the officers say, the program may even erase a stigma about the breed.

“You don’t get to see a pit bull in the schools. And I think with her being there, it might change some people’s minds about how they see pit bulls,” says Officer Bullard.

Nine dogs graduated from the training program, some from as far away as Missouri and North Carolina.