2015 A.P.C.A. National Conference in Review.........
Congratulations to the City of New Haven, Indiana and the New Haven Police Department in hosting a phenomenal 2015 A.P.C.A. National Conference that was
held September 20-24th. This conference was exceptional in the many training opportunities that were provided both on the field and in the classroom. More than two years of planning were involved in which every small detail was prepared for.
Our association extends it's heartfelt thanks, to New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald, New Haven Chief of Police Henry McKinnon, Executive Assistant to the Mayor / 2015 National Coordinator) Deb-Anne Smith, Sgt. Brent Bolinger (2015 National Coordinator), Administrative Assistant Jen Blackburn, Officer Scott Adam and OfficerJonathan Wenzel. We are indebted to each of them for the thousands of hours they unselfishly gave in providing a top rated training conference for this year's participants. It is indeed one that has forever raised the standard.
This year's conference was attended by one hundred and thirty five members from eleven states. Guest presenters for the week included Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Bomb Tech Booz Moise (FBI Recognition Course), Special Agent Jason Livingston (Unclassified Overview of Terrorism), Rhode Island State Police (Retired), Roger J. Reardon (Boston Marathon Bombing Case Brief), Attorney John M. Peters (K9 Legal Seminar) and Edward McKaig, D.V.M.(Emergency Vet Care Presentation).
Field training included problem solving and certifications, K-9 Boat Deployments, Helicopter Insertion Training with suspect and open area narcotics searches and explosive detection training with peroxides.The association wishes to thank the Lake County Sheriff's Department aviation unit and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for their invaluable support for this weeks training event.
Two notable highlights for this year's conference were the National Awards Dinner and the Public K-9 Demonstration. Nationally renown speaker, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke presented this year's key note address entitled “Law Enforcement in Today's World” during this year's awards ceremonies. Sheriff Clarke was also presented the Key to the City of New Haven by Mayor Terry McDonald. Our association wishes to extend its deepest appreciation to Sheriff Clarke for taking time in his public schedule to give this year's impressive and important address. The association also performed a public K-9 Demonstration at New Haven High School before a packed crowd.
The ninth annual national awards dinner was held on the final night of the conference with over two hundred guests in attendance. Seventeen recipients were presented awards for exemplary professional achievement. 2015 Executive Board Citation Awards went to New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald, New Haven Police Department, Deb-Anne Smith, Sgt. Brent Bolinger, Jen Blackburn, Scott Adam, Officer Jonathan Wenzel and Lake County Sheriff's Department Aviation Unit. Executive Board Citation Awards for Excellence in Service Awards were presented to Roger Reardon, Rhode Island State Police (Retired) and Captain Jeremy Bridges, Bedford Police Department, IN.
The Accreditation Board Professional Excellence Award was presented to Roger
Reardon, Rhode Island State Police (Retired) in recognition as a Master Trainer in Patrol, Explosives and Narcotics Detection. The 2015 Narcotics Interdiction Team of
the year was presented to Officer Todd M. Bradshaw & K-9 Rafa, Pineville Police Department, NC (United States Department of Homeland Security). The 2015 Patrol Dog Team of the Year (United States Large Level Department) was presented to Deputy Lennie B. Rivera & K-9 Storm, Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office, NC. The
2015 Narcotics Detection Team of the Year (United States Large Level Department) was presented to Sgt. William P. Downey & K-9 Indio, Gaston County Police Department, NC. Deputy Shawn S. Mayer & K-9 Arina, Scott County Sheriff's Department, IN received the 2015 Narcotics Detection Team of the Year (United States Small Level Department). Officer Kevin J. Garber Jr. & K-9 Butch, Hobart Police Department, IN received the 2015 Patrol Dog Team of the Year (United States Medium Level Department). The evenings final award was presented to Officer Kenneth L. Williams & K-9 Mojo, Hobart Police Department, IN for 2015 Narcotics Detection
Team of the Year (United States Medium Level Department). Congratulations to each
of the individuals and K-9 Partners.
The final anticipated moment of the awards dinner was the association's raffle prize drawing. Three awards winner were drawn for $7,500.00 in raffle prize money by Sheriff David Clarke for the winning officer's department's K-9 Program funding. The first place prize in the amount of $5,000.00 went to Vice President Denny A. Kunkel, Georgetown Police Department, IN. Second place prize in the amount of $1,500.00 went to Officer Rick Queen, Cherokee NRE, NC. Third place price in the amount of
$1,000.00 went to Officer Derrick Devine, Washington Police Department, IN.
On September 21, 2015 the American Police Canine Association conducted it's annual General Membership Meeting at the Holiday Inn Express, Fort Wayne, Indiana. The association held it's election of expired office terms. Offices for election were that of
Accreditation Chairman, Grievance Chairman and Director #5. For the Accreditation Chairman's position, the members nominated Robert Lewis and Richard Ryan for the office. For Director #5 members nominated Simon Gresser and Brent Bolinger. For Grievance Chairman, members nominated and voted unanimously for Roger Reardon. Roger Reardon was sworn in as Grievance Chairman during the meeting for a three year term as being uncontested.
Within thirty (30) days of the General Membership Meeting held on September 21st, the A.P.C.A. Membership Chairman per the association's bylaws will forward election ballots to regular members for the purposes of casting their ballots for the contested offices of Accreditation Chairman and Position #5. Instructions will be provided as
to the marking and mailing of the ballots. The received ballots will be opened at the
2016 Spring Executive Board Meeting in which the winning candidate will be announced and notified to accept the office until their expired term. Bids were also
accepted on the floor to host the 2016 A.P.C.A. National Conference. Bedford, Indiana was unanimously accepted as the hosting location to be hosted by the Bedford Police Department and the Lawrence County Police Department. Conference dates are September 25-29, 2016.
Other business......It is official. On September 2, 2015 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) granted and classified the American Police Canine Association as a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization. After a year of completing a required documentation process we have accomplished this important business which will be a great asset to the financial stability of our association. Special thanks to association Secretary Shawn S. Mayer who spent months completing this complex process and was the work horse that accomplished this objective for our association.
Certification changes....the Accreditation Board approved a change in the Narcotic
Detection Certification Standards. The change adopted is as follows: In addition to
the five certification narcotic odors being required to certify in, a team may certify in additional narcotic odors if the handler supplies the odor wishing to be certified in.
New North Carolina Seminar decision......the Accreditation Board approved new
changes for future North Carolina's Spring Seminars. The approved change is as
follows: In the event a North Carolina Spring Training Seminar is not held for the years 2016 and 2017, the association will offer two certification workshops annually for certification purposes only at this association's expense. There will be no charge to participating teams. Certification workshops will be held in the spring and the fall for two days each. The associaton will be responsible for all Master Trainers travel, lodging, car rental and per diem expenses. There must be a minimum of 10 teams prior to a Master Trainer being assigned to attend. For each additional 15 teams an additional Master Trainer will be assigned to attend. Per Diem will be established and paid by the association at $50.00 per day for expenses.
In closing, 2015 has been an exceptional year for our association, as President I
wish to thank each and every member for your support and contributions you have given in making this a proud and professional association which is dedicated to the mission of professional service, education and training.
Mike Johnson, President American Police Canine Association