The President's Perspective
A Synopsis of the 2013 A.P.C.A National Conference........
If a single word could summarize the association's opinion of the September 2013 Nationals, it would be Magnificent. Just when you think that past national conferences could not be topped, you leave this conference saying to yourself that this event was without question, one of the best nationals conducted in the history of law enforcement K-9 conferences. The City of Hobart, Indiana and it's Police Department are to be congratulated on hosting an exceptional conference which will be remembered for years to come.
Hobart's K-9 Unit members Cpl. Simon Gresser, Bill Granzow, Ryan Snedecor,
Kevin Garber and their wives organized this year's event in which every small detail was addressed to accommodate our attending participants. The Radisson Hotel was a wonderful center stage providing great lodging accommodations and huge five star buffet breakfasts. Training venues at this years conference were exceptional and challenging. The conferences huge success was also greatly attributed to the regions local businesses who provided immense financial support. In addition there were several national companies who attended and donated their products during our daily raffle drawings.
A big A.P.C.A. thanks to our many sponsors Eukanuba, American Aluminum, Designing Health, Hobart Community Foundation, United Steel Workers, FOP #121, Enbridge, Local 697 Electricians, US Info Search, Allen and Associates, South Lake Auto Body, Star Uniform, Allpets, Gander Mountain, Alberts Jewlery, Smith and Wesson, North Coast, Mettallic Forest Creations, Glock, Chevrolet, OEM Holsters, Wilson Tennis Balls, Magpul, Saint Mary's Hospital, Taste of the Wild, Elbco, Ray Allen, Ace K9, Wal-Mart, Pepsi Company, Motorola, Blauer Company, The Port of Indiana, Elbeco. Ellney's Bakery, Strack N Van, Jjs Pizza Shack, Beggars Pizza, TGI Fridays, Abuelos, Buffalo Wild Wings, Hooters, Olive Garden, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Chilis, Paragon Family Restaurant, Old Chicago, Don Pablos and County Line Orchard. To each of these companies, we say to you Your gracious financial support made this conference a world class event Thank you again!
Several K-9 Teams throughout the United States and Canada attended this year's training which included team problem solving, tactical scenarios, certifications and classroom lectures with guest speakers Charles R. Kirchner, Brad Smith, Attorney John M. Peters and Robert C. Anderson. The association also had opportunity to work with Thomas Schoder, a world class decoy from Germany who assisted in aggression training during the conference. Also attending this year's training conference was Case Files Chicago Crime Stoppers. The television series Executive Producer and Host, Lisette Guillen and her filming crew covered all aspects of this years training and conducted interviews with several of this year's participants for their upcoming fall season documentary. One of the big highlights included tactical training utilizing helicopter and boat deployments at the Port of Indiana which provided a unique training opportunity for this year's teams. A big thanks to the Sgt. George Nestorovich, Sgt. Randy Phillips, Deputy David Eicleburg and Sgt. Greg Martin (Gary P.D.) assigned to the Lake County Sheriff's Department Aviation Unit and the Indiana Department of Conservation who provided several jet helicopters and commercial landing boat vessels during our K-9 deployment operations along Lake Michigan's beach front.
On Sunday, September 22nd, the association's Fall Executive and Accreditation Board's convened to conduct annual business. Talking points discussed during
the Executive Board meeting included membership fees, registration fees of future A.P.C.A. National Conferences and financial reviews /considerations. The Executive Board by a vote of 9-1, with the president abstaining, made a recommendation to raise 2014 Membership dues to $50.00 per year and an increase in National Conference registration fees to $300.00 per team to include all meals and training services currently provided by the association. Association hotel expenses pertaining to Master Trainers lodging was also addressed in reducing expenditures incurred by the association by 50% per fiscal year. The board also discussed issues regarding a highly debated and controversial effort regarding K-9 Minimum Certification Standards within the State of Indiana.
The boards primary point of discussion addressed a present effort being attempted by a self-appointed committee of K-9 Trainers within the state seeking to gain an endorsement of it's recently proposed standards and their implementation through the creation of their self-appointed oversight committee in their governance. Todate, this group has convened several private meetings by an invited few, which has purposely excluded the presence and involvement of the four major nationally recognized canine associations elected Executive Boards which are now and have been involved within the State of Indiana for decades. The Executive Board expressed it recommendations during the American Police Canine Association General Membership Meeting. The American Police Canine Association's leadership is currently in ongoing discussions with prominent Indiana State legislatures, county prosecutors, national canine associations and has made the association's concerns known to members of the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board. The American Police Canine Association maintains an opposed position to this effort as a result of the negative impact this groups proposal would create through increased department liabilities, future increased costs to Indiana taxpayers and the disruption, if not the elimination of national law enforcement canine association's training conferences, seminars and workshops within the State which offer ongoing invaluable training and free national certifications to K-9 Units throughout Indiana and the United States. This proposal will be submitted and an endorsement sought in October/November 2013 before the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board (ILETB) and the 2013 IPAC Conference (Indiana Prosecutors Attorneys Council). The American Police Canine Association will stay monitored as to this process and continue to keep our national membership apprised as to this important issue.
The American Police Canine General Membership Meeting convened at the Hobart Police Department on Monday, September 23, 2013. The General Membership Meeting held General Elections for Offices of the American Police Canine Association's Executive Board for three year terms through September 2016. By unanimous and unopposed vote the following officers were elected; Mike Johnson as President, John Dunham as Secretary, Ken VanSlyke as Membership Chairman, Mike Vaccaro as Trustee Position #1 and Scott Adam as Trustee Position #3. Nomination bids were also presented for the hosting agency for the 2014 A.P.C.A. National Conference. Bid Presentations were presented by New Haven, Indiana Police Department and Knox County, Indiana Sheriff's Department. By secret ballot, Knox County, Indiana Sheriff's Department was voted by the general membership to receive the bid nomination for the 2014 National Conference. A vote for the 2015 National Conference by the general membership chose New Haven, Indiana Police Department as the hosting agency for the 2015 National Conference. The general membership also approved the increase of membership annual dues to $50.00 per year and a increase in National Conference registration fees to $300.00 per team with all meals inclusive and training services currently provided by the association.
The Accreditation Board convened and approved two candidates appearing before the board for Master Trainer Accreditation. Deputy Richard P. Ryan, Will County, Illinois Sheriff's Department was approved in Patrol / Narcotics Detection K-9 Teams. Deputy Tommy E. Willcox, Alachua County, Florida Sheriff's Office was approved in Patrol / Narcotics Detection / Explosives Detection K-9 Teams. The association extends it's sincerest congratulations to each of these individuals.
Eleven National Awards were presented during this year's A.P.C.A. 2013 National Awards Dinner which was held in the Radisson Hotel's Ball Room. Over two hundred association members and their guests were in attendance which included honored dignitaries of Mayors, Chiefs of Police, Circuit Judges, Indiana State Representatives, Coroners, TV Film Producers and Corporate CEO's. The evenings featured Key Note Speaker, Mr. Charles R. Kirchner presented the evenings remarks entitled Loyalty, Character and Commitment. Mr. Robert C. Anderson introduced Mr. Kirchner with personal remarks of Mr. Kirchner's professional career.
Association President Mike Johnson, Vice President Denny Kunkel and Awards
Chairman Scott Adam presented the evenings awards. Executive Board Citation Awards were presented to the Hobart, Indiana Police Department and the Lake County, Indiana Sheriff's Department Aviation Unit. The 2013 President's Awards for Professional Excellence (Level III Trailing Team) were presented to Officer Andrew L. Phillips & K-9 Neko - Lawrence County, Indiana Police Department; Officer Ryan A. Bonebrake & K-9 Zeus Spencer, Indiana Police Department and Master Police Officer Lennie B. Rivera & K-9 Storm Concord, North Carolina Police Department.
Accreditation Board Professional Excellence Awards were presented to Master Trainer Scott R. Adam, New Haven, Indiana Police Department and Master Trainer Douglas A. Ayres, Indiana Department of Correction.
The President's Award for 2013 A.P.C.A. Narcotics Detection Team of the Year (United States Small Level Department) was presented to Sgt. Greg Dietsch & K-9 Drago Washington, Indiana Police Department. The President's Award for 2013 A.P.C.A. Narcotics Detection Team of the Year (United States Medium Level Department) was presented to Officer Ryan K. Snedecor & K-9 Fax Hobart, Indiana Police Department. The President's Award for 2013 A.P.C.A. Narcotics Detection Team of the Year (United States Large Level Department) was presented to Deputy Doug Parker & K-9 Rocky Lake County, Indiana Sheriff's Department. The President's Award for 2013 Patrol Dog Team of the Year (United States Large Level Department) was presented to Master Police Officer Lennie B. Rivera & K-9 Storm Concord, North Carolina Police Department.
The Association is currently planning for 2014 upcoming events. The 2014 A.P.C.A. Winter K-9 Sniff-Off will be hosted by the Nashville, Indiana Police Department on Saturday, March 1, 2014 in Nashville, Indiana. For those interested in attending the 2014 A.P.C.A Spring Seminar, it will be hosted by the Mooresville, North Carolina Police Department during the week of April 14-17, 2014. Please mark these dates on your calender. Event information pertaining to these events will be posted on our website under the Events Section in December 2013.
As a reminder, you will soon be receiving your 2014 A.P.C.A. Membership Dues during the month of November 2013. Please be sure to mail in your dues no later than January 31, 2014. Lastly, if you have a new change of address, please make these changes known when mailing in your dues so that we may update your information. This will ensure that you continue receiving your six issues of Police K-9 magazine.
The A.P.C.A. Wishes to welcome our newest members to the association during the month of September. We are excited in having the following new members as part of our growing association and are looking forward to working with you at our upcoming events. Welcome to Seth Brown - Sauk Village, Illinois Police Department;
Dave Wilkins - Crown Point, Indiana Police Department; Henry James - Jackson County, North Carolina Sheriff's Office; Jamie Benge Troutman, North Carolina Police Department; David Hall Spencer County, Indiana Sheriff's Office; Justin Hester Spencer County, Indiana Sheriff's Office; James Yaeger Milltown, Indiana Police Department; Ray Brock Allen County, Ohio Sheriff's Department; Skyler Newfer Kenton, Ohio Police Department; David Godfrey York County, Pennsylvania Sheriff's Office; Donald Dennis Fostoria, Ohio Police Department; Tommy Wilcox Alachua County, Florida Sheriff's Office; Raymond Walters Brazil, Indiana Police Department; Randy Gutierrez Griffith, Indiana Police Department; Kyle Lerch Portage, Indiana Police Department and Richard Schmitt Portage, Indiana Police Department.
In closing, thanks again to the City of Hobart, Indiana, the Hobart Police Department and the Hobart K-9 Unit for hosting a phenomenal world class event. Each member of the American Police Canine Association salutes you for going up and beyond for a Conference that will always be remembered as "The Event"!!!
Until our next Update, Stay safe and keep training those dogs!
Mike Johnson, President
American Police Canine Association
Latest Information & Events.........
Since our last update the A.P.C.A. has seen a noticeable increase in membership growth from across the country. The association is growing particularly strong along the eastern seaboard states. In order to facilitate this growth, the association is in the process of planning additional training seminars in these geographical regions in providing training and certifications to our membership. We will keep you posted as to upcoming dates and times for these training seminars.
A reminder to our membership..... If you have a recent case that pertains to narcotics/money seizures or suspect apprehensions, please feel free to forward it to us and we will post it on the news section of our website along with any photographs that you submit with the narratives. A big hats off to Master Police Officer Lennie B. Rivera and his K-9 Partner Storm, Concord, North Carolina Police Department. Lennie and Storm have five suspect tracking apprehensions this year since becoming recently certified as a new patrol dog team together. Keep up the great work Lennie B. and K-9 Storm!
The association currently has nine (9) current certified trailing teams who have been admitted to the Level III Group. During the month of May, four new teams received Level III Certification and are inclusive in this prestigious group of K9 Tracking teams. Congratulations to Deputy Andrew L. Phillips & K-9 Neko Lawrence County, Indiana Police Department; Officer Ryan A. Bonebrake & K-9 Zeus Spencer, Indiana Police Department; Deputy Shane T. Keith & K-9 Sophie Florence County, South Carolina Sheriff's Office and Anthony B. Moore & K-9 Savanna Florence County, South Carolina Sheriff's Office. Great job to these teams in achieving this career milestone.
This past week I received an email from association member, Doug Parker, Lake County, Indiana Sheriff's Department. Doug provided information for our tracking teams concerning a Safety Alert, and Info Cards are available to print and share, to inform others. For those teams who reside and work in areas where Giant Hogweed plants are known to grow please use caution and click on the attachment provided in this Officer Safety message. These plants are hazardous to those teams encountering them. Please review measures involving working around these plants and what to do if you become exposed to them.
The A.P.C.A. Nationals Conference is now less than four months away. For our members who will be attending, now is the time to begin reserving your hotel accommodations and mailing in your registration fees. We strongly encourage you to get the ball rolling in getting your plans finalized. This year's conference information, registration and lodging reservations can be found in the Events Section of the website. The 2013 Nationals will be held September 23 27, 2013 with check in on Sunday, September 22, 2013. This years conference will be hosted by the Hobart, Indiana Police Department. Special guest speaker during this year's seminar will include Brad Smith, Founder and CEO of Canine Tactical Operations-Skidds-Cats. The association is anticipating a very high attendance for this years annual event. Training at this years conference will include Training & problem solving, Tactical scenarios, Helicopter operations with K9 Insertion deployments, S.W.AT. & K-9 Entries, Classroom instruction and A.P.C.A. Certifications.
For those interested applicants in Master Trainer / Trainer Accreditation, the American Police Canine Association's Accreditation Board will convene the 2013 Fall Executive Board in Hobart, Indiana at the Radisson Hotel. Please submit your accreditation packet which must be postmarked no later than July 25, 2013 to the A.P.C.A. Accreditation Chairman, C/O Master Trainer Robert A. Lewis, 2772 S. 350 W., LaPorte, Indiana 46350. Accreditation application packets per accreditation rules must be received no later than sixty (60) days prior to the convening of the Spring and Fall Executive Boards. Please be sure to read the accreditation requirements online and forward a complete copy to both the A.P.C.A. Accreditation Chairman and the A.P.C.A. Secretary John H. Dunham. Please forward Secretary's copy to A.P.C.A. Secretary, C/O John H. Dunham Jr., 1783 Homeward Avenue, Lima, Ohio 45805.
The American Police Canine Association National Awards Banquet will be held during the National Conference on Thursday, September 27, 2013 at the Raddison Hotel in Merrillville, Indiana. For those members wishing to submit letters of nomination of fellow regular members, please submit these to A.P.C.A. Awards Committee Chairman, Scott R. Adam. Letters of nomination will be reviewed by the A.P.C.A. Awards committee. Each nominee being approved will be notified by the association' s president per association bylaws as to the time and place for the presentation of the award. Please review the awards criteria under the Awards Section of this website.
A.P.C.A. Presidents Awards will also be presented during this year's awards ceremonies. Categories will include (1) Narcotics Detection Teams of the Year Awards based on Small, Medium and Large Size Departments. (2) Patrol Dog Team of the Year Awards will be presented also based on the same criteria. Those teams certified in Level III Trailing Certification by September 1, 2013 will also receive (3) Presidents Awards for Professional Excellence (Level III Trailing Teams). Requirements of the award is that the certification is the first time passed for the handler and K-9 certifying together. Re-certifications by the same team are excluded from consideration.
Please submit all letters of nomination pertaining to the Awards Committee categories to: A.P.C.A. Awards Chairman, Scott R. Adam, 3308 Cedar Valley Drive, New Haven, Indiana 46774. Nominations for A.P.C.A. President's Awards may be submitted to: A.P.C.A., Mike Johnson- President, P.O. Box 382, Bedford, Indiana 47421. All letters of nomination must be postmarked no later than July 25, 2013.
The A.P.C.A. Wishes to welcome our newest members to the association during the month of May. We are excited in having the following new members as part of our growing association and are looking forward to working with you at our upcoming events. Welcome to Dennis Suroviak Lynwood, Illinois Police Department; Andrew Franczak Oakbrook, Illinois Police Department; Richard Ryan Will County, Illinois Sheriff's Police; Matthew Wingo Wilson County, North Carolina Sheriff's Office; Austin Spell Florence County, South Carolina Sheriff's Office; Jason Brodt Florence County, South Carolina Sheriff's Office; Brooks Urquhart Darlington County, South Carolina Sheriff's Office; Hollis Baker Rowan County, Kentucky Sheriff's Department; Matthew Gill Allen County, Ohio Sheriff's Office; Erik Dirker Stow, Ohio Police Department; Robert Workman Menifee County, Kentucky Sheriff's Office; Kenneth Fuller Maysville, Kentucky Police Department; Marc Smith Garfield Heights, Ohio Police Department; Mark Glanz Henry County, Ohio Sheriff's Department; John Butler Allen County, Ohio Sheriff's Office; Amy Glanemann Lima, Ohio Police Department; Nick Hart Lima, Ohio Police Department; Chad Reid Florence County, South Carolina Sheriff's Office; Toby Bellamy Clarendon County, South Carolina Sheriff's Office; Shane Keith Florence County, South Carolina Sheriff's Office; William Stone Clarendon County, South Carolina Sheriff's Office; Anthony Moore Florence County, South Carolina Sheriff's Office; Joshua McClanahan Buchanan County, Virginia Sheriff's Office and Ricky Jackson Buchanan County, Virginia Sheriff's Office.
Until our next Update, Stay safe and keep training those dogs!
Mike Johnson, President
American Police Canine Association