The President's Perspective
The 2016 A.P.C.A North Carolina Spring Seminar in review...
The 2016 Spring K-9 Seminar was held in Cherokee, North Carolina during the week of April 18-20, 2016. This years hosting agencies were the EBCI-Natural Resources Enforcement Department and the Cherokee, North Carolina Fire Department. Our heartfelt thanks to Sgt. Rick Queen, Captain Ken Maney, Lt. Jeremy Blankenship and Connie Cooper who did a phenomenal job in the planning and coordination of this years training conference! The lodging, meals and training venues provided were exceptional. The training week offered numerous training opportunities both in the field and in the classroom. The association also performed a Public K-9 Demonstration before the Cherokee Tribal Council and a K-9 Memorial Service for our fallen K-9 Sam, a APCA Arson Detection Dog. K-9 Sam was a member of the Cherokee, North Carolina Fire Department who passed away in 2015.
This year's conference was attended by thirty K-9 teams from the states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Indiana. The week's training consisted of basic problem solving, classroom instruction and certifications. A big APCA thanks to Mr. Patrick Patten, Tactical Woodland Operations School and APCA Master Trainer Rich Ryan, who presented classroom instruction to our attending teams during the week.
The APCA Accreditation Board also convened for accreditation business and Master Trainer / Trainer Applicant Interviews. The Accreditation Board approved Kevin J. Osuch, Matthews Police Department, NC a Master Trainer Accreditation in Tracking Teams. The Board also approved Matthew R. Harris, Gaston County Police Department, NC and Christopher L. Graham, Kings Mountain Police Department, NC a Trainers Accreditation in Patrol / Narcotics Detection Teams. Congratulations to each of these individuals and welcome to the APCA Instruction Team. We look forward to working with you at future association training events.
The Accreditation Board approved new certification rules pertaining to the Aggression Control Certification. Beginning January 1, 2017: All Aggression Control Certifications shall utilize only the body suit or the hidden sleeve as authorized bite equipment in the certification. The certifying Master Trainer's discretion will dictate the type of approved equipment to be used in the certification. Exposed bite sleeves will not be allowed to be utilized in the certification beginning on this date. A second approved change that will take effect at the 2016 National Conference: All applicants will obtain a critique sheet and have them completed by a Master Trainer they are assigned to. It will be the trainees responsibility to maintain and submit the critique sheets in their respective applicant packets to the Accreditation Board in which they will appear for future applicant interviews. In addition, all applicants will be mandated to attend one lecture class per year and have the critique sheet completed by the instructor.
The association is now gearing up for the 2016 APCA National Conference in Bedford, Indiana. The conference will be hosted during the week of September 25-29, 2016. Each member should have received a registration letter and registration form which was mailed to each of our members. We urge each of you to book your room reservations immediately as the hotel has been booked todate at 75% capacity. Room accommodations at the Four winds Lakeside Inn and Marina, the primary hotel, are limited to 104 rooms. Teams not securing these rooms will be required to commute or seek alternative hotels that are located 20 minutes from the Primary hotel. So book your rooms now!! This year's conference promises to be a first rate event that will offer numerous nationally renown guest speakers, exceptional training venues, great lodging, great food and networking opportunities. We plan to see you there!
Mike Johnson, President
American Police Canine Association
The President's Perspective
The A.P.C.A....It's your association...Get involved in 2016.
As your elected president...I would like to say that our association is off to a great start as we enter 2016. There are two upcoming events in the spring and fall which are being planned and coordinated for our membership, which we hope you will register for and attend this year. As we all can attest, winter months challenge K-9 Units as they continue to maintain their proficiency training in cold and inclement weather conditions....and more often than not, can affect their motivation to train in these adverse environments. Now is the time to get the engines kick started and get involved in this year's training offerings.
The twelfth annual A.P.C.A. K-9 “Sniff-Off” was held on the weekend of March 4-5, 2016 in Crown Point, Indiana. Congratulations and our many thanks to the Crown Point Police Department's K-9 Unit of Jeff Eldridge, Stanko Gligic and Dave Wilkins who put on a second straight year of nothing but a first class performance. This year's event kicked off at the Radisson Hotel with a Friday night “knock your socks off, all you could eat buffet”. The attending members and participants enjoyed an evening of catching up and fellowship prior to the next day's narcotics trial competition. The competition began at 8:00am on Saturday morning with over fifty persons in attendance in which breakfast was served during the “Rules Briefing”. The event field consisted of twenty- four narcotics detection teams and was very competitive throughout the day with only hundredths of seconds separating the standings. This year's judges were Master Trainer Denny Kunkel , Master Trainer Scott Adam, Master Trainer Roger Reardon, Master Trainer Doug Ayres, APCA Secretary Shawn Mayer and Joshua Burke, Vincennes P.D. Our Sniff-Off Event photographer was Master Trainer Robert Lewis. This year's honors went to the top three teams which were presented by A.P.C.A President Mike Johnson and Vice President Denny Kunkel. The 2016 “Sniff-Off” Champion Team Award was presented to Kevin J. Garber Jr. & K-9 Mojo, Hobart Police Department with a competition time of 5 minutes 4891 seconds. The Second Runner-Up Team Award was taken by Jesse L. Crane & K-9 Maximus, Bedford Police Department with a competition time of 6 minutes 6997 seconds. The Semi-Finalist Team Award went to Kenny L. Williams & K-9 Mojo, Hobart Police Department with a competition time of 7 minutes 2066 seconds. Congratulations to each of these finalist at this year's “Sniff-Off” challenge! Most importantly, we wish to thank the many business sponsors who donated free food and services to the association in hosting this training event.
The association's Executive Board convened for it's spring business meeting on March 4, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel in Merrillville, Indiana. Several business issues were discussed and decided upon by the board. Election of Offices for the positions of Accreditation Chairman and Director #5 were also conducted. Membership election ballots were unsealed and counted by the A.P.C.A. Election Committee in which the results elected Richard P. Ryan as Accreditation Chairman and Simon Gresser as Director #5. Each of these officers will serve for a three year term until their offices expire. Congratulations to Rich and Simon. The Executive Board also unanimously recommended the all associate membership to certify under the association certification rules that pertained to any non-aggression areas, which will also include Search & Rescue Team Certifications. This Executive Board recommendation will be brought before the General Membership Meeting during the 2016 National Conference on September 26th for a final vote by the membership. If approved by the membership certification of associate members will be in effect on that date.
There is still time to register for the 2016 A.P.C.A. North Carolina Spring Seminar!
For those that love the outdoors and breathtaking scenery, this year's location is in hills of the Great Smokey Mountains. Our hosting agency is the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Natural Resource Enforcement in Cherokee, North Carolina. The event will be held April 18-20, 2016. Training will include hands on field training, classroom instruction and annual A.P.C.A. certifications. Seminar Coordinators Captain Ken Maney and Sergeant Rick Queen have been involved in months of planning for this annual training event. This event promises to be a first rate training seminar in which the red carpet treatment is being provided to our attending member teams and guests. We encourage you to register for this event as it has been given the attention to every detail. It is an event you will be glad you attended. Event and registration information is posted on this website. Hope to see you each of you in North Carolina!
The A.P.C.A. Accreditation Board will convene during the Spring Seminar on Sunday, April 17, 2016 at the Quality Inn, 2807 US 74 East, Sylva, North Carolina 28779 at 6:00pm. The Accreditation Board will conduct accreditation board applicant reviews for those applicants appearing for Master Trainer and Trainer Accreditations during this meeting.
Planning is underway for the 2016 A.P.C.A. National Conference to be hosted by the Bedford Police Department and the Lawrence County Police Department in Bedford, Indiana. Conference dates are September 25-29, 2016. Conference information and registration forms will be available on this website in the next few weeks. This event promises to provide exceptional K-9 problem solving and numerous street based scenario training venues which will be challenging and educating for this year's participants. This is an event that you do not want to miss. Mark your calendars now as September will soon be here!
A big A.P.C.A. congratulations to the following certified K-9 teams who recently completed a three month law enforcement patrol dog / narcotics detection training program. Congratulations to Captain Richard J. Wehrman & K-9 Xraith - Knox County Sheriff's Department; Deputy Mark E. Wilson & K-9 Citar – Morgan County Sheriff's Department; Deputy Richard J. Clayton & K-9 Lega – Morgan County Sheriff's Department; Deputy Cody W. StJohn & K-9 Daino – Morgan County Sheriff's Department; Deputy Edson E. Westgate & K-9 Behr – Owen County Sheriff's Department; Deputy Damon N. Baker & K-9 Virka – Martin County Sheriff's Department; Officer Case A. Cummings & K-9 Diesel – Washington Police Department; Officer Jerry R.C. Bertelsen & K-9 Cid – Martinsville Police Department; and Michelle R. Weaver & K-9 Kimber – Bloomfield, IN.
Left to Right:
Ed Westgate & K9 Behr, Jesse Crane & K9 Maximus, Mark Wilson & K9 Citar, Richard Clayton & K9 Lega, Jerry Bertelsen & K9 Cid, Case Cummings & K9 Diesel, Michelle Weaver & K9 Kimber
Left to Right:
APCA Trainer Michael Arthur, Mark Wilson & K9 Citar, Jesse Crane & K9 Maximus, Richard Clayton & K9 Lega, Richard Wehrman & K9 Xraith, Michelle Weaver & K9 Kimber, Damon Baker & K9 Virka, APCA Master Trainer Mike Johnson
Membership Dues Reminder! For those members who have not submitted their 2016 Membership Dues, please mail them to the Membership Chairman. For those who have submitted their dues, you will soon be receiving a wallet size 2016 laminated dues card at your mailing address. We welcome our newest members to our association: Case Cummings, Louis Salinaro, Edson Westgate, Jerry Bertelsen, Lucus Harmon and Tyler Ramsey.
Our membership continues to grow monthly consisting of highly trained and professional law enforcement K-9 teams from all four corners of the nation. With this being said, we as an organization are beginning to expand our seminar and conference locations so that all of our membership can access and host upcoming training events in their regions of the the country. The A.P.C.A. has evolved into a highly professional and accredited organization in which many, many individuals and department's are to be thanked and commended. Without their commitment and hard work in stepping up and taking on the required responsibilities, none of this would exist. To each of you, we are indebted for your service and valued contributions in making this a first class association.
Organizations in order to fulfill their mission statement and existence, require individuals to make commitments. It's more than just paying membership dues and being a card carrying member and adopting a position “that's my contribution”. It's being part of something that makes a positive difference in our lives and the lives of others we serve..... a part of belonging to something that is larger than any of ourselves and that defines who we are and our value system. It's being part of and involved in a professional law enforcement affiliation whose mission is to provide education and training to those who protect and serve our nation's citizens, their freedoms and the American way of life. Each of you make a difference, get involved!!
Mike Johnson, President
American Police Canine Association