The President's Perspective
News & Upcoming Events.........
A Summary of the 2014 National conference........
The American Police Canine Association has just concluded it's National Conference in Vincennes, Indiana. We wish to congratulate the Knox County, Indiana Sheriff's Department, Sheriff Mike Morris, Knox County K-9 Unit and the Vincennes, Indiana community for hosting again an outstanding training conference which was attended by several member states from across the nation.
During the conference the Executive Board and Accreditation Board convened for semi annual business. The Accreditation Board reviewed the current trailing certifications being offered by the American Police Canine Association and voted unanimously to adopt a single certification standard which will be announced to the members in April 2015. Several applicant's for Master Trainer and Trainer Accreditation also appeared before the Board. Master Trainer's accreditation was granted to Roger J. Reardon, Rhode Island State Police in the disciplines of Patrol / Narcotics / Explosive Detection. A.P.C.A. Trainer accreditations were granted to Michael L. Arthur, Martinsville, Indiana Police Department in Tracking K9 Teams. From our eastern seaboard states the following members received trainers accreditation in Patrol / Narcotics Detection Teams; Gaston County, North Carolina Police Department, Billy J. Downey Jr. and Robbie L. Waldrop III; Lennie B. Rivera, Concord, North Carolina Police Department and Michael B. Mitchell, Statesville, North Carolina Police Department.
The conference kicked off on Sunday, September 21st with a welcome cookout to our attending K9 Teams and Instructors. On Monday, September 22, 2014 the association conducted it's annual general membership meeting. Election of Offices were held for 1/3rd of the Executive Board positions. Vice President Denny A. Kunkel, Treasurer Harvey L. Holt and Trustee Position #4 Bryan K. Hicks were re-elected for a three year term. The members nominated two candidates for Trustee Position #2. Election Ballets will be forwarded during the month of October 2014 by the Membership Chairman. Voting Instructions will be outlined in the voting ballet packet which will be mailed to each of our members.
This year's conference included several training venues for problem solving and certification. Tactical training included helicopter and boat insertion training scenarios during the week. Night training incorporating helicopter / K9 deployments with FLIR systems were also conducted. A big A.P.C.A. Thanks to Lake County Sheriff Department Aviation Unit and The Indiana Department of Conservation who did a superb job in assisting us in this training. The association also performed a public K9 Demonstration before several thousand people at Inman Field. The event was praised as a huge success and was covered by several TV News Channels. Also attending the conference this past week from England were John Sandford- Hart and his daughter Emma. Emma whose career aspiration is to become a K9 Officer in England was provided an inside view of a K9 Officer's training in the United States. During the Public Demonstration, John Sandford-Hart, who was a member of the British Army and suffered life changing injuries during Operation Enduring Freedom received a standing ovation from the audience as he was invited to go onto the field and make a few brief comments. One of the main featured highlights of the demonstration was the presentation of former Air force Sgt. Harvey Holt and his retired military K-9 Partner, Jjackson, who were presented a hero's welcome and a standing ovation on the field for their service to our nation. Harvey & K-9 Jjackson served as a Presidential Security Team Member to two United States President's and were involved in combat action in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Harvey and K-9 Jjackson were reunited this past March 2014.
The A.P.C.A. Awards Dinner was held on September 25th, the final evening of the conference with one hundred and thirty persons in attendance. Knox County Sheriff Mike Morris opened the evening's ceremony with a few remarks summarizing the conference from his perspective. He also presented Emma Hart with a Knox County Sheriff campaign hat as a unexpected gift for her return to England. Association President Mike Johnson, Awards Committee Chairman Scott Adam and Accreditation Chairman Bob Lewis presented thirty awards during this year's ceremonies. Top honors were presented to Officer Kevin Garber & K-9 Butch, Hobart, Indiana Police Department for the Uncommon Valor Award in the Line of Duty. Kevin & K9 Butch are only the second recipient team in the association's history to receive this award. The Executive Board presented the Excellence in Service Award to Officer Dave L. Wilkins & K-9 Ace, Crown Point, Indiana Police Department. The Accreditation Board presented Professional Excellence Awards to Master Trainers Richard P. Ryan and Tommy E. Willcox. Executive Board Citation Awards were presented to Knox County Sheriff's Department, Lake County Sheriff's Department Aviation Unit and Mr. Robert C. Klein.
President's awards were presented in three categories. Master Police Officer Lennie B. Rivera & K-9 Storm, Concord, North Carolina Police Department received the 2014 Patrol Dog Team of the Year (United States Large Level Department). Corporal Lloyd J. Eldridge & K-9 Buddy, Crown Point, Indiana Police Department received the 2014 Patrol Dog Team of the Year (United States Small Level Department). Corporal Jamie Renfroe & K-9 Roby, Florence County, South Carolina Sheriff's Office received the 2014 Narcotics Detection Team of the Year (United States Large Level Department). Officer Bill J. Allen & K-9 Shani, Oolitic, Indiana Police Department received the 2014 Narcotics Detection Team of the Year (United States Small Level Department).
The final category presented were the President's Awards for Professional Excellence (Level III Trailing Team). Teams presented this award were Deputy Andrew Beaver & K-9 Sheriff, Morgan County Indiana Sheriff's Department; Officer Blake Long & K-9 Dasko and Officer Mike Arthur & K-9 Molly, Martinsville, Indiana Police Department; Master Police Officer's Lennie Rivera & K-9 Storm, Ricardo Rodriguez & K-9 Rico and Eugene Ramos & K-9 Kilo Concord, North Carolina Police Department; Corporal Shane Keith & K-9 Jerry, Corporal Jamie Renfroe & K-9 Roby, Corporal Tony B. Moore & K-9 Savanna, Investigator Mike Jack & K-9 Scarlett and Sergeant Austin Spell & K-9 Una of the Florence County South Carolina Sheriff's Office; Sergeant Mike Mitchell & K-9 Argo and Officer Brandon Mayberry & K-9 Czar of the Statesville, North Carolina Police Department. Officer Robbie Waldrop III & K-9 Cena, Gaston County North Carolina Police Department. Officer Ryan Bonebrake & K-9 Zeus, Spencer, Indiana Police Department. Captain Andrew Phillips & K-9 Neko, Lawrence County Indiana Police Department, Corporal Michael Stokes & K-9 Edar, Hartsville, South Carolina Police Department. Officer Robert Russell & K-9 Britt and Officer Gary Queen & K-9 Dag, Cornelius, North Carolina Police Department.
The 2014 Nationals was indeed a conference to remember. We had an exceptionally organized staff and the work horses that made it possible were the team of Jarret Ford, Bryan Hicks, Bill Poe and James Wehrman. Thanks again guys for a job well done. We appreciate everything that you have done for us in hosting two top notch conferences!!
The association would like to welcome our newest members. A big A.P.C.A. Welcome to James Yaeger, Milltown, IN P.D.; Brian Bolt & Jonathan Hesler, Chester County, PA S.O.; Brandin Fredericksen, Lynwood, IL P.D; Kevin Freed, Berks County, PA S.D.;
Scott Miceli, St. Louis County, MO PD; Denny White, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Retired; Phillip Kostecka, Chicago Heights, IL P.D.; David Schultz and Christopher Hester, Mooresville, IN P.D.
Our association's next event will be the annual K-9 Sniff-Off. This year's event will be held on March 7, 2015 and hosted by the Crown Point, Indiana Police Department. Registration and Hotel Information will be posted in the near future on this website.
The APCA is currently planning the 2015 American Police Canine Association Spring Seminar. This seminar promises to be an exceptional training event. Registration and Hotel information will be posted in the near future on this website.
In closing, myself, the Executive and Accreditation Boards would like to thank every member of our association who is and has contributed to the success of this growing professional organization. We are only as strong as those who comprise it's body. Your elected officers are here working hard for you to provide the best training association available. We look forward to seeing you at next year's upcoming events.
Mike Johnson, President
American Police Canine Association