World Class K9 Instructors

Meet the K-9 Instructors at HITS 2020

HITS presents leading K-9 instructors with an amazing wealth of experience to share.   These qualified instructors will present classes on all aspects of K-9 handling.

Meet Eric Stanbro
A 23-year veteran of law enforcement. Previous assignment was full time K9
trainer for Canton Ohio as well as head trainer for the Police K9 Association, which
consists of 40 K9 teams. He worked 4 dogs as a handler to include 3 as a member of
a busy, inner city SWAT team. He worked patrol, undercover narcotics, as well as K9. He was a member of SWAT for 14.5 years. Assistant team leader, sniper, and handled K9s. His specialty was training hostage rescue and room entries as well as K9 integration. Additionally, he worked as trainer for west coast contract providing training for Naval Special Warfare (SEALs) Multi-Purpose Canine program in 2013 and 2014.  Currently commissioned to Alliance Ohio Police Dept.  Eric Owes Vaness K9 academy and co-owns and instructs for High Risk Police K9 and co-owns and-cohosts Working Dog Radio.

Meet Ted Summers

Ted has been involved in working K9’s for over a decade in various forms from retrievers, to hunting terriers, to protection and police service dogs.  His specialties are grip work and development, patrol and utility work, proper decoy work, detection training, and K9 policy and procedure, K9 selection and green dog testing, and Scenario Based Training.   Ted is a certified Senior level PSA decoy.  Ted teaches our decoy and handler schools and our SWAT/SORT integration seminars as well as our decoy camp for police service trainers and handlers and does numerous camps for military special operations.  Ted is the co-owner at Torchlight K9.  Torchlight has K9 teams working in 18 states and 3 countries.  Torchlight K9 hosts several CLEET accredited courses.  Ted is also one of the co-hosts and Co owners of Working Dog Radio.   Ted is also a co-owner and instructor for High Risk Deployment K9.

Course Presentations:
Scenario Based training for Patrol teams

Introduction to Combat tracking

The aims of the lesson,

To give you as a handler a greater understanding of operational combat tracking and the knowledge to orientate future training of your K9 towards an operational role.

To include,

Understanding the scent picture, its movement and diffusion

Training a K9 tracker for operational deployment.

The importance of scent discrimination

Visual indicators of human disturbance, how to gather and process information about the quarry from the track that can be used to assist in the apprehension.

Recognizing and understanding proximity indicators in your dog.

Combat tracking formations.

Meet Daryll Pleasants

Daryll Pleasants has over 29 years dog training experience. He served for the first half of his career in the British Army, within the Royal Army Veterinary Corps as a class 1 dog trainer and specialist K9 Instructor/operational handler. Following on from this after working in Africa for several years as a combat tracker he founded the wildlife organization Animals Saving Animals, its role to assist in the prevention of wildlife crime through providing specialist Anti-Poaching /tracker dogs and handler training to wildlife conservancies and national parks throughout the world. Daryll has provided combat tracking instruction to six countries in Africa, India, europe and is presently working in South America. Most recently he has been assisting K9 law enforcement and special operations agencies with technical tracking Instruction.

K-9 Nutrition: Is your dog on the right fuel and how do you know?

Does your dog itch continuously, lose hair, have a dull-stiff or brittle coat or show signs of coat dander or flaking?  Do you feed him 5-6-7-8 cups of food or more a day to maintain their weight?  Does your dog’s stool look like a cow patty, are they gassy?  There is a reason for this and you don’t have to look much further than the bag of food…

This is a fast paced, interactive class that teaches the student; how to read a nutritional label, define what “that” ingredient is.  How to tell a good dog food from a bargain brand and understand how minerals and vitamins get depleted in a K9 Officer and pictures of what happens when you don’t replace the nutrients.  You don’t fuel a high-performance car or motorcycle with low octane gas and expect it to reach peak perform and it is the same with your K9 Athlete….  By the end of the class you will be armed with the ability to look at your canine and see the effects of poor diet and what changes you can do to correct them.

Meet Dave Dourson

Dave is the co-owner and co-founder of Kinetic Performance Dog Food (KPDF).  Dave has 30 years of experience in various blue-water business ventures that focused on filling a “need” that, many times, in the corporate world, are overlooked by CFO’s that focused on profit, over quality.

Dave and his partner, John Howard, met while working for a large, mid-west based, pet food company in 2009, witnessing firsthand the real factors that go into ingredient selection of most foods.  With a desire to focus on animal health over profitability, the two left corporate America and started their own company in 2011. The pair spent countless hours working with various kennels across the United States on K9 nutrition with a goal of discovering the best ingredient formulation for working and sporting dogs.

Dave has conducted numerous seminars across the USA, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska and Great Britain for various divisions of the DOD, Homeland Security, USSS, Military, DEA, DHS/TSA, Intercom, State as well as hundreds of State and Local PDs teaching the Handler how to quickly identify nutritional deficiencies in their K9 partner.

Meet John Howard

John is Co-Owner and Co-Founder of 3-Amigos Nutrition Group and Kinetic Performance Dog Food. John has nearly 30 years of experience in Sales, Marketing and Animal Nutrition and formerly managed the Pet Food Division of a large animal nutrition company. An owner and amateur bird dog trainer, John has been directly entrenched in nutrition for working and sporting dogs for more than a decade. John oversees all the Marketing and Nutrition activities for 3-Amigos and the Kinetic brand. When he’s not in the field with his Labrador Retrievers, you’ll most likely find him conducting nutrition seminars, working on new products or marketing programs, or writing nutrition articles for working and sporting dog publications.

Civil Liability and Use of Police Canines

This course will cover the fundamentals of civil liability and the use of police canines as a force option.  Students will learn common sources of liability as well as how to potential civil exposure for using canines.  The course will include a survey of case law from around the country as well as discussion of specific lawsuits defended by the instructor.  Students will also receive an overview of the civil litigation process and tips for persuasive explaining their use of force.

Meet Taylor Rahn

Taylor is an attorney from Albuquerque, NM who specializes in representing law enforcement officers and agencies in civil litigation arising out of use of force.  Ms. Rahn has successfully defended law enforcement officers and agencies in New Mexico state and federal court as well as the Tenth Circuit of Appeals.  Ms. Rahn is a New Mexico Department of Public Safety certified professional lecturer on civil liability for officers and frequently lectures at academies and advanced training courses throughout New Mexico.  Ms. Rahn is especially passionate about representing officers due to her close family ties to law enforcement.

NePoPo

By attending the NePoPo®class, you will be armed with tools and techniques on how to connect with your K9 partner on a deeper level, install a desire and passion in the animal who will execute learned behaviors under high distractions in the real world. The techniques learned in this class can be applied to any phase of dog training as well as any Police K9 application.

Meet Justin Rigney

Justin Rigney has over 25 years of professional dog training experience and was a Law Enforcement Officer for 17 years, 10 of which he spent as a K-9 handler and trainer. His unique back ground and experience in civilian dog training as well as Police service dog training sets him a part from other trainers in his field. Justin’s passion for dog training is evident as he has assisted thousands of pet dog owners in enhancing their relationship with their dogs, bridging the gap of communication with their beloved four legged family members. Justin utilizes a proven, reliable, humane and clear, real world training system, which produces results and a dog who knows its job and loves its job. During his Law Enforcement career, Justin was fortunate enough to have been able to work three patrol dogs. Justin is a former member of the Davie Police Department and their K‐9 unit where he was a handler for K‐9 “Vader”, a Belgian Malinois who was produced from his own breeding program. Going from watching Vader take his vey first breath in life, to becoming a productive K-9 partner was extremely rewarding. K-9 “Bosko”, an all black GSD (German Shepherd Dog) was responsible for hundreds of arrests and apprehensions of violent felony offenders and has been instrumental in the recovery of numerous articles of valuable evidence. Post retirement, Bosko obtained his Brevet in French Ring sport. His last patrol dog K‐9 “Zeke” is a sable GSD who has been raised from a puppy by Justin and his wife Alison. Zeke was a proven, JUSTIN RIGNEY vigilant and tenacious police service dog during his career. Most notably defending his handler during a deadly force encounter and officer involved shooting. Zeke will continue to work and compete in civilian dog sport. Justin was a Corporal and trainer for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, which had 60 dogs department wide. During his professional dog training career he has trained with hundreds of Police K‐9 teams, competed in Schutzhund, Ring Sport and other dog sports. He has also trained dogs for celebrities, professional athletes and thousands of pet dog owners. Justin graduated and has been awarded a diploma in the NePoPo Gold training system, the modern language of dog training by Bart Bellon. Justin was formerly the President of the Florida Law Enforcement Canine Association (www.flecak9.com) and was one of the founding members. He was also a judge and instructor for FLECA. Justin has also been retained in civil litigation as an expert witness in K‐9 training, use of force and deployment. He has had the opportunity to certify and train hundreds of Police K‐9 teams. Justin continually pursues further knowledge of dog training in many different applications by training with some of the top canine trainers in the world.

Operational Based Explosive Dog Training & Importance of Search Intel

Paul completed a 2yr Advanced EDD study at VWK9`s Academy, in which 100+ Police, Military and Private Sector EDD dog teams were tested on an operational based training and Intel gathering exercise and the results will surprise you & reinforce why this speaker session is a must to attend. Correct operational based training and use of task intelligence is the number one factor for EDD team success during operational Tasks.

Body Worn Explosive Detection

Understanding the difference between traditional Detection Dogs, People Screening Dogs and Mass Screening Dogs). All three have an important but very different role in canine operations, and canines should be trained uniquely for each discipline. The threat of a body-worn explosive and weapons attack is real, and understanding the types of detection dogs available and their correct training, use and deployment is key to detection success. This informative presentation is delivered by Paul Hammond, President of Vapor Wake® K9.

Meet Paul Hammond

26+ years’ Working dog experience,

22yrs of which seen continuous canine operations in hostile environments; 8yrs directing canine programs in support of high-profile government organizations including the US Department of State and the Department of Defense in Iraq and Afghanistan.

15 years of continuous canine operations in Northern Ireland deployed with the British Military Army Dog Unit, during some of the most challenging & hostile times in its history; completing many high threat operational detection tasks, against live explosive devices.

Paul also completed 6yrs as a working dog adviser in support of the British Government Defense Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA), and more recently worked alongside Auburn University`s Canine Research & Development Program on various US Canine Defense & Research projects.

Paul had recently returned from briefing the EU Working Dog Commission (representatives of 22 – countries) on Body-worn Explosive K9 Detection.

In addition Paul is the President of the Cargo Screening K9 Alliance® and Founder/Owner K9Employment.com (Handler Recruitment Agency).

A New Look at Canine Detection Problem Solving

This two-hour course will reveal a new way of observing and deconstructing the chain of behaviors demonstrated during a single “detection” exercise. Utilizing this information will accurately identify the area(s) needing additional training.  This gives the trainer/handler a guide for selecting specific training exercises targeting those areas needing improvement. This system is also of tremendous value when training and evaluating new canine detection teams by earlier identification of weak areas or areas desiring improvement.  This course has numerous video clips of various detection dogs (explosives, narcotics, cadaver and other) to assist and facilitate learning.

 

Meet Don Blair

 

Donald E. Blair

EXPERIENCE

 

Canine Intelligence Academy (CIA): Founder and President

1984 – Present

CIA offers consulting, training, seminars and workshops for working and sport K9 teams

including 1:1 training, law enforcement / military department level consulting, and

weekend/week-long seminars in operant conditioning, detection work,

tracking/trailing and protection/apprehension. Chicago Police K9 Contractor for all Vapor Wake K9 Teams and other K9 Government K9 Explosive K9 agencies

 

Canine Therapy Corps: Program Leader/K9 Team Trainer

2011 – Present

Oversee interactive canine physical therapy program with volunteer K9 teams. Train and advise and assist K9 teams with patient activities to facilitate recovery at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago/Shirley Ryan Ability Labs.

 

Mass Transit Canine Services: Owner/Partner

2014-2017

Train, maintain and operationally prepare explosive and narcotic K9 detection teams for Amtrak Police Department nationwide.

 

Mass Transit Canine Services: Owner/Partner

2014-2017

Train, maintain and operationally prepare explosive and narcotic K9 detection teams for Amtrak Police Department nationwide.

 

Scientific Working Group for Dog and Orthogonal Detector Guidelines

(SWGDOG): Executive Board Member

2008 – 2015

Provided recommendations, oversight and consulting for the development of best practices for world-wide use for detector dogs.

 

Strijder Group K9: Cooper, Texas: Vice President Research & Development

5/2011 – 11/2012

Worked as a consultant to Auburn University’s Canine Detection Training Center

(Ft. McClellan AL developing training curriculum, evaluating current policies, and

canine evaluation of prospective detective and patrol dogs. Oversaw all aspects

of the canine training program and was responsible for evaluating and rehabilitating

under-performing dogs, or returned dogs with temperament or

behavior issues.

Specialized assignments included

• Developed a Navy SEAL basic canine handler’s course

• Development of an advanced course for traditional and vapor way canines

• Oversight of tracking patrol work, detection work and article search work

• Performed annual field certifications for explosive detection dogs

• Oversaw training that met certification for US Military Special Forces, US

Capital Police, Transportation Security Administration, Federal Protective

Services and various state and local agencies.

 

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – Canine Center, Front Royal, VA:

Canine Training Specialist

7/2007 – 5/2011

Performed a variety of activities including:

• Scientific research study on canine detection of smuggled fire-arms

(resulting in a new national training and certification process)

• Environmental enrichment study for kenneled working dogs

• Development of a canine behavior and temperament test

• Advised on a course of study on advanced field training on canine

aggression and on canine detection of HU-210 (synthetic

tetrahydrocannabinol)

• Human remains detection training and team evaluations

• Oversaw the CPB canine breeding program (GSDs and Labradors)

 

Securitas Security Services USA, Inc. Chicago, IL: Canine Training /

Consultant

3/2007 – 7/2007

Provided advice and oversight of US canine operations with regard to narcotics,

patrol and apprehension, kenneling, record keeping, training aid storage and

handling. Specialized in the development of training protocols and provided

trained teams for Chicago’s metropolitan train systems. Coordinated over a

hundred explosive searches in a variety of environments including Chicago’s

Soldier’s Field, The United Center, several high rise buildings and mass transit

environments.

 

Canine Associates International, Leland, IL: Managing Director

12/2004 – 3/2007

Responsible for the development of a proprietary canine training system for

detection work. In addition, oversaw canine selection testing, and canine/handler

evaluation criteria. Instructed and participated in a variety of training seminars

including law enforcement, SWAT and anti-terrorism/narcotics courses. Traveled

extensively overseeing CAI global canine operations including the deployment of

teams to South Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and Jordan.

 

Customs Border Protection, Nogales, AZ: Canine Branch Chief

10/2002 – 12/2004

Responsible for supervising and directing the Nogales Canine Section in all

DHS/CBP anti-terrorism inspections and special enforcement operations.

Detection work included explosive, narcotic, human, agricultural and chemical.

Managed enforcement operations involving off site call-outs and pre-primary,

primary and secondary screening and inspection areas for various conveyances

and passenger operations. Performed research and development projects and

was a technical advisor to CBP and DHS management for Canine Enforcement

Program activities. Implemented cost preserving activities that still maintained

overall training effectiveness.

 

Customs Border Protection/US Customs: San Luis, AZ: Supervisory Canine

Enforcement Officer

3/1999 – 10/2002

Responsible for the supervision and direction of the canine section of CBP

inspections and special enforcement tasks including weekly/monthly

performance evaluations. In addition, oversaw the conduct of various R&D

projects involving temperature testing of ground cover materials and detection

assessment of canines in the presence of ozone generators. Generated training

courses on K9 selection and evaluation of K9 body language, and procurement

protocols and entrance evaluation tests. Was called as an expert witness on

canine detection skills, training and application to the US Attorney’s office.

Canine section in 2001 was the lead in narcotics seizures for the three year

tenure.

 

US Customs – Canine Enforcement Training Center, Front Royal, VA:

Instructor/ Course Developer

8/1991 – 8/1999

Responsible for developing specialized training courses for detector dogs and

their handlers. Topics included: canine procurement, principles of detector dog

training, canine search patterns, developing green canines and handlers, canine

department supervision. Was also responsible for monitoring, testing and

evaluating field and classroom performance of canine enforcement teams, and

assessed and reported on training effectiveness. Provided training to outside

agencies in detection (narcotics, human remains, search and rescue,

tracking/trailing). Provided training to foreign groups. Received numerous awards

for training contributions.

 

US Customs, El Paso, TX: Canine Enforcement Officer

7/1989 – 8/1991

Responsible for inspections, law enforcement and canine handling/training

across a variety of environments (airports, railroads, border crossings, etc).

Provided technical and behavioral assessments of other teams including problem

solving and expansion of training environments to improve effectiveness.

Received multiple awards for narcotics seizures.

 

Pueblo County Sheriffs Department, Pueblo, CO: Sheriffs Deputy / Canine

Technician

2/1989 – 7/1989

Responsible for law enforcement activities including handling a patrol/detection

dog for narcotics, cadaver, building, article/evidence searches as well as

tracking/trailing and apprehension work. Was selected to assist in the training of

all department dogs. Generated department Standard Operating Procedures

(SOPs) for canine deployments, use of force policy, specialized training

requirements and overall use. Routinely provided testimony in court. Led the

region (AZ, WY, CO and UT) for number of narcotics seizures and arrests made.

 

Ignacio Police Department, Ignacio, CO: Police Canine Officer

10/1988 – 2/1989

Served as the sole canine officer in the department responsible for law

enforcement. Generated SOPs for canine applications, use of force policies and

training/deployment. Actively deployed in narcotic, human remains and building

searches; tracking/trailing and search and rescue activities. Received Letter of

Commendation for currency and drug seizure.

 

Durango Police Department, Durango, CO: Police Canine Officer

1/1988 – 10/1988

Served as the sole canine officer in the department. Coordinated the start-up of a

narcotics detection program and oversaw training in narcotics, cadaver,

obedience, article search, tracking/trailing and apprehension. Generated

department SOPs. Worked as an Assistant Instructor with Colorado State

Patrol/Drug Enforcement Administration in the Criminal Interdiction Program.

Qualified and competed in the National Police Dog Championships placing 11th

out of 126 teams.

 

La Junta Police Department, La Junta, CO: Police Canine Officer

12/1984 – 1/1988

Served as a canine officer responsible for law enforcement. Was selected to

assist in the training of the department’s canines eventually serving as the head

trainer. Developed and implemented a complete Police Dog Training Program.

Assisted the Durango Police Dept in the creation of their canine program. Served

as an Assistant Child Abuse – Sexual Assault Investigator and handled special

investigations. Qualified and served as a member of the Special Weapons Team.

Received several awards and letters of commendation.

 

EDUCATION

Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado

• Some College Coursework Completed

• 20+ Credits 1982-83

• Major: Fish and Game Wildlife Management

Trinidad State Jr. College, Trinidad, Colorado, Certification, 4/85

Attended and graduated from the Colorado Peace Officers Academy

 

RELEVANT COURSEWORK, LICENSES and CERTIFICATION

• Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA)

• AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

• International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Attendance

4/2013; Dogs of Course, Warwick, RI

• Clicker Expo: Attendance 4/12; Karen Pryor Nashville TN

• Contemporary Animal Training and Management Workshop Certification,

12/2011, Natural Encounters Inc. Winter Haven, FL

• Advanced Animal Training and Operant Conditioning Workshop with Bob

Bailey Certification, 05/2010

• Legacy Canine Behavior and Training, Sequim, WA

• Advanced Animal Operant Conditioning Workshop on Discrimination,

Certification, 12/2009

• Legacy Canine Behavior and Training, Sequim, WA

• Advanced Animal Operant Conditioning Workshop on Cueing:

Certification, 12/2009

• Legacy Canine Behavior and Training, Sequim, WA

• Advanced Animal Operant Conditioning Workshop on Criteria

Certification, 12/2009

• Legacy Canine Behavior and Training, Sequim, WA

• Advanced Animal Training and Behavior Course, Chicago, IL;

Certification, 3/2008: 40 hours of advanced lecture and hands on training

and live examples with Ken Ramirez on animal intelligence, human

emotion and anthropomorphism, basic operant conditioning, informal

interactions, husbandry training, social groups, advanced training

techniques, aggression, advanced, training games, problem-solving

techniques and complex training.

• Advanced Animal Training and Behavior Course, Munich, Germany:

Certification, 12/2007 40 hours of advanced lecture with Ken Ramirez on

animal intelligence, human emotion and anthropomorphism, basic operant

conditioning, informal interactions, husbandry training, social groups,

advanced training techniques, aggression, advanced, training games,

problem-solving techniques and complex training.

• Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Grafton, MA Certification,

9/2007

• Tufts’ Canine and Feline Breeding and Genetics Conference

• Advanced Animal Behavior North American Veterinary Services, Orlando,

FL, Certification, 7/2005

• Attended a 75-hour course (lecture and hands on training) on Advanced

Animal Behavior and Training hosted by North American Veterinary

Services.

• U.S. Customs Basic Academy (Canine Enforcement Officer): Front Royal,

VA, Certification, 8/1989; Attended and graduated with Honors

• U.S. Customs Course Developer/Instructor Canine Academy, Front Royal,

VA Certification, 9/1992

• U.S. Customs Firearms Instructor Academy, Federal Law Enforcement

Training Center Brunswick, Georgia, Certification, 12/1992 Attended and

graduated with Honors.

• U.S. Customs Basic Instructor Course, Brunswick, Georgia, Certification,

4/1993

 

AFFILIATIONS

• Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal detector Guidelines

Executive Board Member

• United States Police Canine Association- Member

• California Narcotics Canine Association- Member

• Animal Behavior Society- Member

 

AWARDS/ACCOMPLISHMENTS

• 2010: Best Practices and Innovation Award from the (A) Commissioner of

Customs and Border Protection, David Aguilar for a research and

development project on dogs detecting currency and firearms.

• 2009: received a cash award for work done on Customs and Border

Protection Canine Breeding Program.

• 2008: received a cash award for work done on the Customs and Border

Protection Canine Breeding Program and Kennel Design project.

• 2007 received two “Dinner for Two” awards and a $1,000.00 dollar cash

award for work done on the breeding program and canine procurement.

• In 2005 and 2006 received salary bonuses from Canine Associates

International for the ground up development and management of the

canine training center in Leland, IL and my management work in the U.S.

and overseas. Received additional individual project awards for work in

Iraq, several contracts for training and international demonstrations.

• 1989 – 2004: received numerous written awards and certificates from US

Customs Service including 6 Special Act/Service Awards and 12

Performance Awards.

• 1999-2004: received six Superior Achievement Awards for work at the

San Luis, Lukeville and Nogales Ports of Entry.

• 2002 awarded extra leave for participation in the San Luis POE “Bring

Your Child to Workday”.

• 2002: used as canine subject matter expert at the U.S. Customs Canine

Enforcement Training Center to instruct a basic CEO Course and perform

an advisory role for the Director on canine procurement, instructional

issues and the breeding program.

• 2000: Letter of Acknowledgement from the Director, U.S. Customs

Academy John McKay for “Distinguished Academic Performance” at the

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

• 2000: attended a newly developed 7-week Inspector Course at FLETC for

Canine Field Managers and was noted as an Academic Honor Graduate

of the class.

• 2000: received a Letter of Appreciation from Port Director McNamara for

Instruction of a Supervisory Customs Inspector Canine Supervisors

Course, Front Royal, VA.

• 2000: received a Letter of Appreciation from Assistant Commissioner of

Customs, for Outstanding Contribution on the Process Improvement

Teams.

• 2000: Received Letter of Appreciation from Director, Office of Field

Operations for my involvement with the National Training Plan Task Force,

Washington, DC.

• 1999: selected to be an Advisor/Mentor to all Process Improvement

Teams in the Southern California and Caribbean Customs Management

Centers.

• 1999: received a Letter of Appreciation from the Director, Arizona

Department of Corrections Samuel Sublett for continued support and

canine assistance with correctional contraband sweeps.

• 1998: received a Letter of Appreciation from the Commissioner, U.S.

Customs Service, Raymond Kelly for Outstanding Service in the Canine

Enforcement Program.

• 1998: received a Letter of Appreciation from the Vice Admiral U.S. Navy,

J.B. Perkins, for Canine Demonstration and Public Relations performed for

the U.S. Drug Czar W. MaCaffrey.

• 1996: received a Letter of Recognition from the Office of Treasury

Reinvention for my Leadership and Instructional abilities in the areas of

Government Reinvention and Process Improvement.

• 1996: received two Recognition Awards from U.S. Customs Commissioner

George Weiss, for work with Treasury Reinvention and Business Process

Improvement Instruction to the Customs Management Centers.

• 1996: received the Secretary of Treasury Award, presented by Robert

Rubin for work done on Canine Procurement Process Improvement Team,

reinventing the Government.

• 1996: received the U.S. Customs Commissioners Unit Citation, for work

on the Canine Procurement Process Improvement Team.

• 1994: received Instructional Recognition and Award for instructing the

Canine Supervisors Course in Venezuela, given by the Guardia National,

Venezuela.

• 1994: received an Instructional Recognition and Award for instructing

Canine Supervisors Course in Venezuela, given by the Colombian

National Police, Bogota, Columbia.

• 1991: received a cash award and Letter of Recognition from the El Paso

District Director for Exceptional Enforcement Skills and Effort with my U.S.

Customs Canine Blitz.

• 1989: received Distinguished Service Award for Excellency in job

performance for Police Canine Narcotics Interdiction from the Kiwanis

Club International.

• 1989: received USPCA Letter of Commendation and 2nd place Quarterly

Award for Canine Narcotics search and seizure of 70 pounds of marijuana

and $3,000.00 in currency.

• 1989: received a Letter of Commendation USPCA for Canine Narcotics

search and seizure of 100 pounds of marijuana.

• 1988: received a USPCA Letter of Commendation and 3rd place Quarterly

Award for Canine Narcotics search and seizure of 130 pounds of

marijuana and $3,000.00 in currency.

• 1988: received a Letter of Commendation USPCA for Canine Narcotics

search and seizure of 19 pounds of marijuana.

• 1987: received a Letter of Commendation from the Governor of Colorado,

Roy Romer for Outstanding Service and Representation of the State of

Colorado for service and competition with my police canine Ranger.

• 1987: 2 year Safe Driving Award, La Junta Police Department.

• 1986: USPCA Region 14, 4th Quarter Canine Award Best Find for locating

two drowning victims in a lake with my police canine Ranger.

• 1986: 1 year Safe Driving Award Letter, La Junta Police Department.

• 1986-87: USPCA Special Award for Highest Combined scores in Criminal

Apprehension and Suspect Searches

• 1986: received a Letter of Commendation from the La Junta Police

Department for excellent performance in canine competition.

• 1985: Letter of Appreciation from the Lion’s Club International for

numerous canine demonstrations and service to the community.

• 1985: USPCA National Police Dog Championship received a Certificate of

Excellence.

 

IPO and Police Trial Awards

• 2006 won High in Trial; High Schutzhund III in a United Schutzhund Club

of America sponsored trial with handler owned trained (HOT) dog Chico.

• 1988: USPCA Narcotics Detector Dog Trials, 3rd overall, perfect score

(100 points) in vehicles.

• 1988 USPCA National Police Dog Championship; member of the 1st place

National Team from Region 14 Colorado.

• 1988 USPCA National Police Dog Championship placed 11th out of 126

Teams and again received a Certificate of Excellence.

• 1988 USPCA Regional Championship 4th place overall from a field of 38

Teams. 1st place suspect search, 2nd place evidence search, 3rd place

criminal apprehension, 5th place agility.

• 1987: USPCA Region 14 4th Quarter Award Best Find for locating and

apprehending two burglars in a large bakery warehouse.

• 1987 USPCA Narcotics Detector Dog Trials, 2nd overall, perfect score

(100 points) in vehicles.

• 1987: USPCA National Police Dog Championship, placed 27th out of a

field of 141 Teams, received a Certificate of Excellence (this is the highest

ranking given) and 3rd place overall scent work.

• 1987 USPCA Regional Championship 1st place overall from a field of 47

Teams. 1st place suspect search, 2nd place agility, 3rd place criminal

apprehension and I received a Certificate of Excellence.

• 1986: USPCA National Police Dog Championship (qualified but could not

compete for family reasons) also received a Certificate of Excellence.

• 1986 USPCA Regional Championship 3rd place overall from a field of 34

Teams. 1st place suspect search, 2nd place evidence search, 3rd place

“An Outsider in the Pack”

Far too often a supervisor with no K-9 experience is thrusted to the helm of a unit. This can be a daunting task. There are many dynamics that go with such a specialized unit that is strafed with liability. You are not only in charge of the day to day activities of men and women known for their type A personalities, but their K-9s as well. This class will specifically address the leading of a K-9 unit with no working K-9 experience.  Sergeant Aaron Peterman will give guidance and leadership advice on this dilemma, drawing from on his own unit’s past practices from having been in this predicament. You will leave with strategies which foster success, garner respect, and reduce liability.

Meet Aaron Peterman

Sergeant Aaron Peterman began his law enforcement career in 1997 at the Polk County (FL) Sheriff’s Office. He held assignments in Patrol, the Tactical Drug and Narcotics Units before his employment at the Lakeland (FL) Police Department in 2000. At the Lakeland Police Department Sergeant Peterman was assigned to the Neighborhood Liaison Unit, SWAT, Street Crimes and Narcotics Units before transferring to the K-9 Unit 2006. Sergeant Peterman worked 3 dual purpose dogs before being promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2013. He currently is the supervisor of Lakeland’s 8 dog unit and a handler of a patrol/explosives K-9. Sergeant Peterman is a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) certified K-9 Trainer and Team Evaluator, as well as an FDLE certified General, Driving, and Firearms Instructor. He currently instructs for HITS, Polk State College, IPTM, and SKIDDS. Sergeant Peterman is the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) Region 1 President (encompassing Florida), and a USPCA regional patrol dog and detection judge.

Know your K9 with Canine Cognition Testing

This class is based on the research Cameron Ford has conducted with Duke University.  This class is for everyone, if you are looking to enhance how you select dogs or a you are handler and trainer learning cognition testing enhances your knowledge about the dog you have in front of you.

These Cognition tests (Brain Games) help you learn crucial information such as, is you dog strong in memory, is the dog a problem solver, how quick does it make inferences? Additional things these tests show are, does the dog easy follow gestural communication and what is your dogs laterality. If you are a Law Enforcement Agency or Security Firm, these tests help you select a better more trainable dog. In conjunction with the normal K9 selection and evaluation steps you already use, adding these K9 Brain games to your evaluation raises the percentage of dogs successfully picked to end up be working K9’s. Using these tests have proven to increase selection percentages of the right dogs for your program and it has also proven to reduce training time needed to get dogs ready and on the road.

Detection using Cognition

This class covers what Cognition is and how to best use it in Detection Dog training.  We also cover  Classical and Operant Conditioning as well markers/bridges for Police K-9’s.  We cover how information is taken in by your K9 as well  as how to best deliver the information you wish to train. We go over how to introduce these methods and how to use them in problem  solving. In this class you will conduct hands on experiments where participants get to feel for themselves how to communicate and give information. All of this will allow you to become better handler and trainer for your dogs.

Meet Cameron Ford

Cameron has been in K9 26 years first worked as a Military Working Dog Handler in the US Air Force (Stationed in Germany). During his time in Germany he was a Graduate of the German Police Dog Handler School as well as attended training at the Dutch Police Dog School in Nunspeet.

Cameron was later a Police Ofc. In FL SWAT and  (FDLE K9 Team Trainer) in TX a Constable K-9 Unit Handler / Trainer, SWAT

From 2010 to 2014 worked as a Government Contractor K9 Program Mgr. overseeing training for large K9 contracts in the middle east.

2014 to 2018 Navy SEAL SR. Multi Purpose Canine Instructor (SEAL teams 1,3,5 and 7)

CA POST and NPCA (Detection and Patrol) K-9 team evaluator

Member of Duke University Canine Cognition Research Team

Researcher at Texas Tech University Canine Olfaction Laboratory

Presently Training Director for Silver State K9 LLc Podcast host for” K9s Talking Scents”

Critical Incident Debrief

There are many factors involved in the successful resolution of any critical incident and Vince Bingaman covers these and more in this debrief of his last OIS.  When you add a K9 to these scenarios an officer’s responsibilities multiply and often put us in situations markedly different than those experienced by our fellow officers.  Ideally, we train and deploy in hope of avoiding lethal force on the street, but often it is the suspect who dictates the outcome.  This debrief will help to stack the odds in your favor for the scenario that will eventually come your way.

Meet Vince Bingaman

Vince Bingaman recently retired from the Phoenix Police Dept. after 30 years of law enforcement service. Working his last 20 years in the department’s K9 unit and 13 years as the unit’s lead trainer, has given Vince the opportunity to separate theory from reality and present training based on proven tactics and techniques.  Vince’s experience runs the entire spectrum from team selection, basic academies and the advanced tactical application of the Police Service Dog.  He currently owns Civil Dog USA, a consulting and training company dedicated to real world training for today’s K9 teams.

K9 Selection to Retirement

This course will cover the selection processes and why they are important.  We will talk about the perfect dog based on your community, and department needs. We will look at our vendors in Europe and talk about how they prep a dog for your testing. We will go over how to match handlers and dogs to create a stronger team and how to match the dog to your training program. The day a dog retires remains a liability and why we need to safeguard the K9 when it leaves service.

People of the State of California vs Alex Gieger

This is a complete debrief of the case out of Grover Beach California where the District Attorney prosecuted a former K9 handler for murder after his retired K9 attacked two elderly adults in Grover Beach. We will walk through the case from the training and selection of the K9 team to retirement and the errors made during the investigation and by the former handler. What we can do to protect ourselves from something like this happening.  This is the first time this complete trial debrief has been done.

Meet Ron Cloward

Ron Cloward is a retired police lieutenant from Modesto California.  Ron worked three different police K-9s and was the Canine Unit Sergeant and trainer. When promoted to lieutenant, he remained the trainer and unit commander. Ron has over 30 years of experience in law enforcement canine.  Ron’s experience in K9 unit supervision and management provides hands on approach in training. Ron started his own K9 training company, TOP DOG POLICE K9 TRAINING & CONSULTING, in November of 2012. He conducts training around the country and is one of the few trainers that will bring the basic course to your agencies community. The business is based out of California, but conducts training around the country. His training programs are geared toward both handler and supervisor. Ron is also considered an expert in K9 operations and has provided expert witness work for many agencies.

The 4 parts of K9 Aggression Instinct and the Pack/Bonding Instinct

This class covers the 4 parts of K9 aggression instincts. This is to simplify the many questions that handlers and trainers have in properly identifying aggressions in their K9 partners.

This class will assist them in identifying the aggression to assist them in the selection of future working dog applicants and to resolve current issues they may have relating to behavior dispositions.

Meet Tony Guzman

Since 1985, Tony has been International Trainer and Competitor in the areas of Police work, Narcotics and Explosives Detection, Home and Business Protection, Schutzhund & KNPV Police Training. He’s been featured in numerous International television stations exhibiting him as one of the top dog trainers in the World.

Following are Some of Tony’s accomplishments throughout the years

  • Head Trainer of over 5000 dog and/or canine teams in obedience, protection, narcotics or explosives. Has prepared canine teams for certifications through Florida Department of Law Enforcement standards since 1987.
  • Certified Instructor for the Miami-Dade Police Department Criminal Apprehension since 1987.
  • Services over 100 Law Enforcement Agencies Nationwide and Overseas.
  • Trainer and Evaluator for the IFRI program, an Independent Scientific Validation of Canine Detection Teams. A joint project of the International Forensic Science Research Institute (IFRI) Florida International University (FIU) and the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) since 1999. Always setting the standards through SWGDOG.
  • Certified professional witness for the State of Florida.
  • Trainer and Evaluator for the IFRI program, an independent scientific validation of canine detection teams. A joint project of the International Forensic Science Research Institute (IFRI) and Florida Internaitonal University (FIU)
  • Head Trainer for the DISIP K9 Unit of the Venezuelan Government. 15 explosive detection canine teams which were deployed for security purposes at the World OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), meeting in Venezuela prior to September 11th, 2001.
  • Contracted by the U.S – State Department, as head instructor for C.E.S.A. (Cuerpo Especializado de Seguridad Aeropuertaria – Airport unit) explosive detection canine teams for deployment as Security of the Pan-American Olympic Games of 2003 in the Dominican Republic.
  • Head Trainer for the C.E.S.A unit explosives detection program, selected by the United States Government, pioneering their explosives’ detection program by training 2 supervisors and 5 canine teams in 2000.
  • Head Trainer of the Dominican Republic DEA – DNCD, also selected by the United States of America State Department in 1999; pioneering their program for Narcotics Detection in the Dominican Republic. A program starting with only 5 canine teams and ending up with a total of 23 teams for deployment within 2 years.
  • Contracted by the U.S. State Department to provide Police Service Dogs for Trinidad & Tobago.
  • Trainer/Supplier of Canine Teams that were originally deployed at the Green Zone in Iraq, Dubai and Afghanistan in 2004 and 2005 contracted through Canine Associates International.
  • In 1999, Head Trainer of the only dual purpose canine team in history of the United States Police Canine Association to obtain 200 points out of 200 for narcotics’ detection and Recipient of the “Fred Wheeler Award” (highest combined score in obedience and criminal apprehension).
  • In 2002; Selected as one of four Americans to represent the U.S.A. in Slovenia for the World Championship Belgian Malinois Team with his Belgian Malinois  “Ficco Vom Roten Falken”.
  • Recipient of Singapore K9 Units – Certificate of Appreciation for enhancement of canine program in Holland after completing K9 seminar in the Netherlands.

Most of his dogs have placed in the top ten in the United States Police Canine Association Nationals and Regional’s in different categories for the last 25+ years.

Recognized and sought after for seminars by numerous Police Agencies in the United States and across the world and consistently sought by other canine professionals in his field for his advice on training techniques and the success of his methods.

  • Featured on the cover of Dog Sports Magazine (October 1993 and April 1995 Issues) and Ray Allen Magazine (1996 issue).
  • Featured in numerous local news articles in the Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel and various newspapers for accomplishments related to the many Police Agencies he has supplied and trained canines for during the last 25 years.
  • Featured in numerous International television stations exhibiting him as one of the top dog trainers in the world.  (You can view some of the media clips online)
  • WCBS News –  Special Report;  “A women’s best friend” a local report  about women and their loyal canine partners in the areas of security and personal protection and the benefits of having a fully trained canine partner.
  • WSVN-Fox 7 news special report “How a well traineddog should behave”. The areas of canine training and proper handling.
  • Behind the Silver Badge – A special report on how and where Miami Dade County selects their dogs and canine handlers for the specialized unit.
  • Telemundo – Canines against Criminals; a special 3 day report showing the public how pólicedogs & officers are trained to protect the public against criminals and their fight against the drug wars; also how these loyal partners can be trained to protect families as well.
  • Primer Impacto –Special Report on Executive Protection and Police Dog Training
  • Control – Special Report on Police Dogs and Canine Detection Training
  • OcurrioAsi – Special feature on Tony going to the world team competition and canine training.

The 4 parts of K9 Aggression Instinct and the Pack/Bonding Instinct

This class covers the 4 parts of K9 aggression instincts. This is to simplify the many questions that handlers and trainers have in properly identifying aggressions in their K9 partners.

This class will assist them in identifying the aggression to assist them in the selection of future working dog applicants and to resolve current issues they may have relating to behavior dispositions.

Meet Bob Suarez

Certified IFRI Trainer/Evaluator for Narcotics, Explosives, Cadaver and Wildlife

Certified USPCA Trainer and President of Region 8 (East TN)

Certifying official for NNDDA in Patrol and Narcotics

Certifying judge for AWD in Patrol, Narcotics, and Explosives

Tennessee Post instructor for K9

USPCA President of Region 8 (East TN)

Trained or co-trained over 1,000 dogs in the areas of Patrol, SWAT applications, Jail Entry Applications, Tracking, Drug Detection, Explosive Detection, Accelerant Detection, Cadaver Detection, Wildlife Detection, Evidence Recovery, Building/Area Search, Agility, Criminal Apprehension, Basic, Advanced, and Tactical Obedience, Search and Rescue

Taught over 100 K9 handler’s courses on Patrol, Drug Detection, Explosive Detection, Tracking, etc.

Lead instructor for several K9 seminars

Certified handler in Patrol, Drug Detection, Cadaver Detection, Explosive Detection, and Tracking under USPCA, NNDDA, AWD, FDLE, and IFRI

Licensed DEA K9 researcher

Narcotics investigation/K9 handler

SWAT operator certified

Certified dignitary protection detail officer

Certified and testified as an expert in reference to police service dogs in 6th Circuit Federal Court

Written K9 SOPs for law enforcement agencies

Managed 10 team unit

“PSEUDO Vs REAL” – A 21st CENTURY RECLASSIFICATION OF SCENT-TRAINING AIDS BASED ON SCIENTIFIC STUDIES, TRAINING OUTCOMES & OPERATIONAL IMPACTS

David Adebimpe, PhD, DSc, CChem
Lead Scientist, The ScentLogix™ Brand

The adage, “the only thing 2 trainers agree on is what the 3rd one is doing wrong” is a well-known saying within the detector K9 community that is based on the real-life outcomes of scent-detection training practices used by scent-practitioners worldwide. Our collaborative investigations, carried out over a period of 10 years with hundreds of practitioners worldwide, in a study which constitutes the world’s largest and most diverse evaluation of scent training aids, reveal that the validity of this statement stems from practices that originate from a misclassification of scent training aids, a lack of quantifiable standards for training aid selection and application, and from an institutionalized misunderstanding that real materials make the best scent-training aids for the imprinting and maintenance-training of detector K9’s.

Using scientific data, videos, operational feedbacks and testimonials from our studies, this class will present a modern, 21st century classification of the varieties of scent-training aids available for imprinting, maintenance training and certifications of detector K9s, including the different types of training outcomes that can result from the use of each category of these aids available.  Insights on how to produce detector K9’s with scent-and-detect capabilities that are superior to K9’s trained with our “default understanding” of scent training aids are also provided.

This is scent detection presented in a way that brings a new understanding to the essential characteristics of ideal scent training aids, clarifying some of the misconceptions found in training manuals and published scientific papers, and is a must-attend class for all active trainers and handlers!

Meet Dr. Adebimpe

Prof. David Adebimpe, founder and CEO of Polymath Interscience, is a research scientist, philosopher and inventor who uses his cross-disciplinary skills and expertise to solve unique problems that require the convergence of different scientific and technical disciplines and philosophies.  With over 30 years of combined experience as a social psychology (UK), biochemistry (UK), nanotechnology (USA) and organic chemistry (USA) professor, including stints as a guest scientist with NIST and NASA, he is a subject matter expert and world leader in the convergent application of odorology, scent-engineering and the mechanics of mammalian olfaction, towards the development of scent-detection training aids and practical tools that enhance the olfactory capabilities of operational search-and-detect K9s.

As testimony to his capabilities, Dr. Adebimpe developed the first-and-only official inert replacements to the United States Marines’ Canine Kits for Explosives Detection, the MN01/MN76 Canine ScentKit.  He also invented the world’s first non-hazardous training aids for the scent detection of a wide range of illicit and hazardous materials such as wide-ranging as TATP, HMTD, Dynamite, PETN/ETN, Nitrocellulose, Nitroglycerin, EGDN, PCP, MDMA, Mold, LSD, Bed Bugs, Tetryl and Fentanyl, as part of the “ScentLogix™ ScentKit Collection” which currently stands as the broadest collection of operationally-tested non-hazardous scent training aids ever produced for the imprinting and scent-training of working dogs in the detection of explosives, narcotics, guns, mines, ammunition, and currency.  As a result of user ratings and K9 performances worldwide, ScentLogix™ ScentKits are now regarded as the world’s first scent-reference materials developed for working dog imprinting, maintenance training and certification activities, as a “gold standard” of training aids, and as logically superior replacements to the practice of using target materials as training aids & certification standards.

Based on his knowledge of odor and olfaction, David serves as a consultant to numerous agencies worldwide, including the Department of Defense (USA, India, Mexico), the Federal Police (Brazil), The Department of Justice (Australia), Department of Customs (Indonesia, Singapore, Kazakhstan), in matters pertaining to detector-K9 scent kit utility, training and certification protocols.

His qualifications include a Doctor of Science degree, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, and a B.Sc. with Honors in Biochemistry with Psychology.  Additionally, he has attended a number of FBI and US-DOJ certification programs in explosives detection and terrorist preparedness. He is a member of IABTI, a founding member of “SCENT-SOURCE” and serves on numerous national and international advisory boards.  His current professional interests include “learning the art of applying a scientific knowledge of odor, scent engineering and biological olfaction, towards (i) the fabrication of gas sensors and “electronic noses,” and (ii) improving the portfolio of practical educational tools, utility scents, and training standards for the detector K9 community.”

Email: david@polymathi.com
Website: www.scentlogix.com
#ScentlogixGeneration

The Biology of Scent Detection

What happens in the dog’s nose and brain to allow the dog to detect and identify odor and locate an odor source? A basic understanding of the structure and function of the dog’s olfactory system and factors affecting odor detection can help K9 handlers partner more effectively with their detection dogs. This class covers what happens in the dog to allow odorant molecules to be interpreted as scent and also addresses the diseases, medications and other factors that can interfere with the dog’s ability to detect, localize and indicate odor.

Practical K9 Anatomy

A basic understanding of K9 anatomy as it relates to dog gear and K9 handling practices can ensure that you get the optimal result from your equipment and handling techniques while minimizing the risk of injury to your dog. This class will cover applied aspects of K9 anatomy such as what body structures are impacted by various types of harnesses and collars, what collar placement is most effective for choke versus prong collars, what happens when you “choke out” a dog or use a gag stick, muzzling and other practical aspects of K9 anatomy pertinent to working dog management.

Meet Marcella Ridgway

Dr. Marcella Ridgway has been a practicing veterinarian for 36 years and is a board-certified specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine with areas of special interest in infectious diseases and canine occupational health. Currently, she holds the position of Clinical Professor in Small Animal Internal Medicine and service head of the Small Animal Internal Medicine Service at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, where she provides specialty veterinary care for dogs and cats in the Veterinary Teaching Hospital; clinical and didactic training in Internal Medicine for residents, interns and veterinary students; and continuing education for other veterinarians. In teaching veterinary students and in her continuing education presentations, she is working to develop veterinarians who have a better understanding of the roles fulfilled by working and performance dogs and thus are better prepared to provide exceptional medical care optimized for the individual dog and the particular demands of the dog’s job. She also provides instruction in K9 field first-aid for law enforcement and SAR K9 handlers. In addition to her professional endeavors, she is a SAR K9 handler (trailing) and competition obedience handler and instructor.

K9 Science & Standards: Past, Present and Future

Dr. Furton will cover the history, state of the art and projections for advances in the science of canine olfaction relating to drugs, explosives and human scent and the standardization efforts of the past 15 years starting with SWGDOG, evolving to OSAC Dogs & Sensors, National Standards from the Academy Standards Board and ultimately accreditation of certifying organizations.

Meet Dr. Kenneth Furton

Dr. Kenneth G. Furton is a Professor of Chemistry, Provost, Executive Vice President and COO of Florida International University. He is a leading scholar in forensic chemistry, specializing in canine olfaction. Dr. Furton is the founder of the International Forensic Research Institute and served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for 7 years where he helped raise $50 M in private gifts and dramatically increase grant awards totaling more than $300 M. As Provost he has led the development and implementation of FIU’s bold strategic plan BeyondPossible2020 resulting in significant increases in student success and research preeminence measures.

Dr. Furton has over 20 years of canine research experience and developed the IFRI canine certification program, which has evaluated more than 1,000 canine teams. He has chaired the Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal Detector Guidelines (SWGDOG) since its inception in 2004 and is currently the chair of the Organization for Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) Dogs and Sensor subcommittee and he chairs the Dog and Sensors Consensus Body of the Academy Standards Board. Dr. Furton is the author or co-author of more than 800 publications and presentations, including 15 patents and 2 books. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He has given hundreds of invited talks nationally and internationally and has testified as an expert witness in dozens of state and federal trials.

Building search – utilizing the canine in Tactical CQB with a team

Training the k9, handler and team to work together as a pack tactically clearing buildings.

Stressing the importance of the K9s ability to work in front, with and behind the team (The Pack Mentality) so team members can focus on the threats that arise. Talk about the importance of K9 selection for SWAT vs the road.

Meet Bobby Roettger

Bobby served as a police officer for 9 years in Connersville Indiana where he was a member of the K-9 unit working a Dual Purpose Narcotic dog on patrol and as a team leader for SWAT. Bobby is an NNDDA certifier, a graduate of VLK Trainers Course and has been a guest instructor for VLK on numerous occasions from 2000 – 2003. In January 2004 Bobby became a full time trainer. Bobby has judged K-9 competitions and instructed seminars in several states to include Tennessee, North Carolina, Utah, Indiana and Ohio. Bobby has traveled to Afghanistan training Afghan handlers on VLK bomb dogs.

Obedience to Odor

Class Description: This class will take handlers deeper into why detection dogs do what they do. Ken will delve into what “drives” are and how they are utilized. The term obedient to odor refers to the dog understanding that odor drives the reward, not the handler. This fast pace class will cover everything from odor imprinting, to reward, to search patterns and the why’s behind each of these components of detection dog training.  Not only is this class highly entertaining, but most of all, it is highly informative.

Meet Ken Licklider

SMSGT, USAF (Ret) Kenneth Licklider, is the Owner/Operator of Vohne Liche Kennels, Inc (VLK), a Service Disabled Veteran owned company headquartered in Denver, Indiana, with additional facilities in California and Holland. VLK is widely known as the premier Private Canine Training Facility and Detection Service Provider in the world and has been providing superior service for the past twenty-four (24) years.

SMSGT Licklider has forty (40) years canine experience, including seventeen (17) years serving in the United States Air Force (U.S.A.F.) in the canine career field. SMSGT Licklider served in the U.S.A.F. from 1977-1993 and served in the capacity of Law Enforcement Superintendent, Kennel Master, Police Service Dog Trainer, and as a Police Service Dog Handler. During his military career SMSGT Licklider competed in and won several military K-9 competitions and was as the recipient of numerous service medals.

Upon his retirement in 1993, SMSGT Licklider formed VLK. SMSGT Licklider is considered a subject matter expert (SME) and is world renowned for his scent work, which has been copied by Dutch Customs. He has been invited to speak and instruct by agencies throughout the United States and abroad and has traveled around the world teaching his methodologies. He currently has dogs and/or conducted training in forty-nine (49) states and more than thirty-two (32) countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, UAE, several in Africa and the European Continent, Mexico, South Africa, Ghana, Turkey, El Salvador, Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Columbia, Saudi Arabia, Albania, Croatia, Kosovo, Guatemala, Guam, the Philippine Islands, South Korea, and Israel.

SMSGT Licklider has instructed thousands of students and has trained/worked with thousands of dogs in his career. He and his staff train more than five hundred (500) dogs per year. He currently has dogs in service with over five thousand (5,000) Military, Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, Corporate Security, and Private Industry clients to include the United States and Foreign Customs and Border Patrol, Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI), the National Security Agency (NSA), the United States Secret Service (USSS), the United States Pentagon Police, the United States Department of Defense (DoD), the United States Department of State (DoS), the United States Army Special Forces Command, the United States Marine Corp Special Forces Command, the United States Navy Seals, Lackland Military Working Dog School, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, NASA, CN Railway Police, Los Angeles, Chicago, Illinois State Police, Honolulu, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, San Bernardino, Michigan State Police, Metro Detroit Airport Police (MI), Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Memphis, St. Louis, Phoenix, several Federal and State prisons, Inter-Con, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Engility, Triple Canopy, Global Integrated Security, Aegis, DynCorp, Securitas, Battelle, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) the Peoria Air Show, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Electric Daisy Carnival, and Lollapalooza.

As an SME in the military and police service dog world, SMSGT Licklider has been instrumental in the development of copious specialized canine programs, both nationally and internationally, to include the United States Army Combat Tracking Dog (CTD), the United States Tactical Explosive Detection Dog (TEDD), and the United States Special Forces Multi-Purpose Canine (MPC). He has developed course doctrines, programs of instructions (POIs), and System Training Plans (STRAPS) for several military canine programs and has served as a SME on several research and development canine detection studies.

SMSGT Licklider is licensed through the Alcohol Tobacco and Fire Arms (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the State of Indiana to possess and store explosive and controlled substances. VLK has an approved magazine on-site for storage of explosives and approved controlled substance storage. He is a member of several police canine associations, is a founding member of the Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal Detector Guidelines (SWGDOG), and is a Co-founder of American Working Dogs (AWD). AWD is an American Working Dog Advocate with members from around the world. AWD publishes an internationally distributed magazine that is published quarterly. It is a vital resource of technology and information that hundreds of Law Enforcement and Government Personnel subscribe to as loyal readers. AWD/VLK also hosts an annual Seminar and Certification Trial (Olympics) at their Denver, Indiana location. The Olympics consist of four (4) action packed days of intense competition amongst the world’s best canine teams from across the United States and abroad. This unique event is an opportunity for the civilian community to observe military, law enforcement, and private industry canine teams from local, state, and national entities, compete in events such as detection (explosive and narcotic), tracking, area search, building search, control, obedience, obstacle course, individual and three (3) man team events, and hard dog/fast dog

SMSGT Licklider has designed and manufactures a line of towable canine transportation units/trailers. The VLK unit, through thoughtful design and masterful engineering has virtually outdated and made obsolete all of the current K-9 trailer and dog transport vehicles currently on the market. Not only does the VLK design resolve the deficiencies of other units, it sets a new standard for dog transport. VLK’s largest client of their towable transportation units is the United States Military.

SMSGT Licklider and his staff can be reached at the corporate headquarters located in Denver, Indiana at 765-985-2274, via email at Kenneth@vohneliche.com, via their website atwww.vohneliche.com, and via Facebook at Vohne Liche Kennels, Vlk West, and VLK Europe b.v.

Suspect Tactics and Perimeter Containment

With the experience of 27 years and 1900 perimeter containments in his law enforcement career, Jack Schonely has become an expert on suspect tactics. Jack brings HITS 2020 many valuable strategies from his book, “Apprehending Fleeing Suspects”. Having insight into the criminal mindset and the strategies they use to defeat our efforts to capture them is a priceless commodity in modern policing for K‐9 Handlers. Learn from the successes and failures that Jack Schonely has seen and experienced throughout his police career.

Meet Jack Schonely

Jack H. Schonely has been working on the front lines of law enforcement in a wide variety of field assignments for over 27 years. He is a nationally recognized expert in the area of suspect tactics and perimeter containment and is a sought after tactical trainer. As you will quickly learn from his experience, he is uniquely qualified to instruct and write on the topics of perimeter containment, search techniques, tactics used by suspects, use of force, and a wide variety of air crew topics.

Jack started his law enforcement career as a Deputy Sheriff in Berks County PA before moving to Los Angeles in 1983 and joining the Los Angeles Police Department. He has witnessed firsthand the changes in how the police and the suspects they are chasing are doing business on a daily basis.

After joining the Los Angeles Police Department, Jack worked as a patrol officer where he was first exposed to the concept of perimeter containment as an effective way to apprehend suspects fleeing on foot. He was involved in perimeters on a nightly basis while working as a patrol officer.

Jack became a field training officer before transferring to an undercover assignment working Hollywood Vice. After completing the 18-month vice tour he was selected as an element member of the departments Metropolitan Division. There, he worked across the entire city working crime suppression, bank stake outs, VIP security, and crowd control details.

In late 1992, Jack applied for a position as a K-9 handler within Metropolitan Division. He was transferred into that job and spent the next five years searching for LA’s most dangerous criminals. He participated in over 700 high risk K-9 searches as either the primary handler or search team member. More than 300 of those searches resulted in the capture of the suspect. Jack interviewed numerous suspects after their capture to learn how they attempted to avoid being caught.

His next challenge came working as a Tactical Flight Officer (observer) with LAPD’s Air Support Division coordinating tactical operations on a nightly basis. Many of these incidents involved foot pursuits and perimeter containments. He was the Chief Tactical Flight Officer for a short time before he switched seats in the helicopter and was selected as a Command Pilot at Air Support where he is still assigned. He is a Certified Flight Instructor in rotorcraft. Jack was the recipient of the 2004 Air Crew of the Year Award at LAPD Air Support.

Jack has participated in over 1,900 perimeter containments during his career, and he has seen many successes and failures. He has shared his experience with thousands of law enforcement officers across the United States and Canada instructing on this topic.

He is the author of Apprehending Fleeing Suspects; Suspect Tactics and Perimeter Containment© and has been published in Vertical Magazine, Police Magazine, Air Beat Magazine (journal of the Airborne Law Enforcement Association), Vertical 911 Magazine, and Police K-9 Magazine. Jack has a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and is a certified instructor with California Police Officer Standards and Training. Jack was runner-up for the 2005 Governor’s California POST Instructor of the Year Award. Jack is a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) and the Illinois Tactical Officers Association (ITOA).

Interactive Explosive Labs based on Real World Events

Stay prepared for tomorrow’s threat. With terrorist bombing attacks happening worldwide at an increasing frequency, we believe it’s important for you to understand the current events and trends in explosives.  This presentation will give you the opportunity to walk through multiple realistic explosive laboratories based on recent bombings worldwide. This interactive presentation will engage all your senses. Take the opportunity to walk the terrain and experience the modern explosives lab.  You’ll leave:   With a deeper understanding of how explosives concepts translate into the current terrorist explosive lab.  Better prepared to correctly identify an explosives lab and its inherent danger; and more knowledgeable in keeping you and your K9 partner safe in an explosives lab. 

Meet Elie Zussman

Mr. Elie Zussman is an Explosives Chemist at Signature Science, LLC, where he instructs site exploitation of suspect rogue homemade explosives production facilities. He has expertise in the preparation and properties of homemade explosives (HME) and experience testing field portable sensors and detectors for explosives, small scale sensitivity testing, and larger scale detonations. Mr. Zussman received his Master of Forensic Sciences (MFS) from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Prior to joining Signature Science, Mr. Zussman was a Visiting Scientist at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit. He helped characterize a novel forensic trace air sampler in support of evidentiary gaps in search and rescue canine investigations. 

Marker Training for Detection Dogs

Jeff Meyer’s class on Marker Training for Detection Dogs will walk you through the process of establishing the marker training method for both the green dog as well as introducing it to a dog that is already trained in detection work. The step by step program that Jeff uses is effective and easy to implement as your new way of detection dog training method. In Jeff’s class, you’ll see how Marker Training for Detection Dogs will help speed up your training time. Listen as Jeff explains how the quickly the marker will make the essential connection for the dog between the odor, his response and the reward. This class will discuss the other benefits of Marker Training for Detection Dogs, to include lessening the dog’s learning curve, aiding trainers who struggle with poor handler timing, helps reduce frustration for both the dog and the handler during training, removes issues with handler cuing, thus making canine communication clearer with the dog.

E-Collar Training – Avoiding the Common Mistakes

This 2 hour block of instruction will highlight some of the most common mistakes we make as K-9 handlers when using the E-Collar in training. The technology and reliability advancements in today’s E-Collars have far outpaced law enforcement training and education. As a result, the power of the E- Collar has not met its full potential for many handlers and trainers. Misuse and misunderstanding of the proper way to introduce and use and E-Collar as a communication tool will produce undesirable results in your dog’s performance and train your dog to be ‘Collar Dependent.’  Join Jeff Meyer as he closes the fundamental gaps that have surfaced in across the training fields for E-collars.

Meet Jeff Meyer

Jeff Meyer has been a police officer since 1989. Jeff has been involved in K-9 nearly all of his career. Currently Jeff is handling 2 detector dogs, a bomb dog as well as a currency dog for his department. Jeff has handled, certified and deployed dogs that have been used to find people, narcotics, explosives, guns, currency and evidence.

Jeff spent over 17 years in the Patrol dog section working several patrol dogs before being tasked with starting a new detection K-9 unit for his department. Jeff now is involved in training dog teams in all divisions for his agency.

Jeff is a Utah Post Teaching Judge and regularly teaches classes for teams all across the U.S. In addition, he has provided expert witness testimony on behalf of officers.

Jeff Started Police K-9 Magazine in 2005 and sold the title in 2014. Jeff is one of the partners of HITS K-9 seminars and the host for HITS k-9 Radio podcast.

You can reach Jeff at Jeff@HITSk9.net

Perimeters and Search team tactics (Operations as well as Command and Control, From Boots on the ground Perspective)

Urban tracking: defeating distractions and hard surface work.

This class will focus on working the aspiring tracking handler into a successful urban environment. Often times the focus with training is tackling hard surface as the primary tracking issue. Hard surface is a relatively minor detail. The issues are distractions; scent, sight, and sound. Jeff will walk you through his methods to destroying distractions on urban track. Jeff currently trains police tracking dogs throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. His program is responsible for hundreds of urban tracking finds each year.

Tactical tracking: adding the team to the tracking dog.

Jeff’s tactical tracking program is the primary provider of high risk tracking training for our US military. Jeff wrote the book on tactical tracking and high risk tracking deployments. In this class, Jeff will be teaching the process of building a tactical team around the K9. It is not simply a matter of putting people with the dog and hoping it all works out. The process is technical and it is crucial that the dog and team work well together for the duration of any mission. The problem is that the average patrol dog does not tolerate a team on a track well and it needs to be taught what is expected of it. Furthermore, the team has to learn the proper way to support a tracking K9 as typical high risk tactics are not effective.

Meet Jeff Schettler

CEO / Police and Military K9 Trainer / Author

Jeff Schettler is a retired police K9 handler who worked for the City of Alameda and County of Amador in California and was attached to the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Teams’ K9 Assistance Program for two years. This program was designed to locate and apprehend high-risk fugitives on the run.   He is a certified military trainer graduating from the prestigious US Army’s Leadership Academy also known as Drill Sergeant School.

Jeff has worked hundreds of trailing cases across the USA and is a specialist in the areas of tactical tracking applications.  He is also considered an expert witness in tracking/ trailing.

As an international K9 trainer, he spends 12 weeks a year training throughout Europe, South America, and Asia. His program is in use with numerous international police agencies as well as NATO military units.

Jeff’s work has been seen on CNN, ABC, CBS, HLN, Unsolved Mysteries, and Mythbusters.  Through the years, he has become a renowned author of the following books on K9 Tracking Work.

Red Dog Rising– A K9 Tracking Autobiography

K9 Trailing; The Straightest Path– A primer on starting a K9 team on human scent discrimination and trailing work.

Tactical Tracker Teams– A practical guide to surviving high-risk fugitive manhunts.

Tao of Trailing – The Tao of Trailing is my fourth and final book on the art of trailing or tracking human scent with police, search and rescue, or military K9.

Check out this video of Jeff’s work https://youtu.be/Mk66y3ihALY

Science of Canine Olfaction: Effects of Training Method and Dog-Associated and Handler Associated Variables on Detection Performance

Detection Dogs, whether for sport or work, operate in challenging environments and many times must detect trace levels of odor.  To ensure excellent performance, training needs to be optimized to support the canine.  In addition, handlers need to e aware of how their behavior and interaction withy the dog can influence their dog’s behavior and subsequent performance.  This talk will provide a brief overview of the new studies emerging from my lab evaluating training for trace odor detection, effects of canine-handler interaction on canine performance, and effects of dog impulsivity and cognition bias on detection learning and performance.

Meet Dr. Nathan Hall

Dr. Nathan Hall, PhD,. Assistant Professor of Companion Animal Science at Texas Tech University, Director, Canine Olfaction Research and Education Laboratory Department of Animal Science.

Drug Canine Record Keeping & Court Testimony

Testifying in front of the courts can be intimidating and stressful, especially if you’re not prepared. You know how hard you’ve trained with your dog and you’ve done everything right for every case. But are you fully prepared to testify about your training and paint the picture of reliability for the courts? Andrew Weiman is an expert witness with decades of police dog handling and training experience. Join Andrew’s class and listen as he presents the cornerstones of proper canine recordkeeping that help prove your dog’s reliability. Andrew makes clear sense of both the purpose and the content of canine records. Defense attorneys look to discredit you and the dog by testing your basic understanding of canine learning and canine training.

Come listen to the advice of an expert and take the power of knowledge as a shield of armor for every drug dog case you’re a part of. There’re many angles of attack coming against you in the courtroom by defense attorneys, don’t go in unprepared and unaware. Let Andrew Weiman’s decades of experience take your courtroom battle to a higher level.

Meet Andrew Weiman

With more than 31 years of police experience involving various assignments in specialty drug investigation unit in south Florida, Detective Weiman has become a leading expert in the field. With 25 years of K9 experience since training his first drug dog with Canadian Customs, Andy has gone on to oversee the training of a variety of detector dogs to include teams that can find drugs, currency cell phones, tobacco and firearms.

Andy’s education and experience with police dog training has steered his career path into developing an industry leading recordkeeping software program called PackTrack. His depth of knowledge and understanding of state and federal laws regarding search and seizure has been an enormous asset to hundreds of K-9 handlers who attend his K-9 training courses.  Andy’s ability to teach detection canines was refined through over a decade of training for MCTFT Multi-Jurisdictional Counter Drug Task Force Training Center.  Andy taught thousands of handlers all over the US and its territories.   Andy has served on the editorial advisory board for Police K-9 Magazine and created HITS, the training conference known for its breadth of diversified K9 training lectures.   Andy was a co-author of the book “Canines in the Courtroom” used by handlers, trainers, and supervisors as reference material for training courses.

Andy’s expert opinions on drug dogs and recordkeeping will surely help bring the entire law enforcement K9 industry to a higher level of clarity. His countless court appearances and proven skills as an expert witness on the stand are clear testimony to the effectiveness of proper K9 recordkeeping as a means to establishing K9 reliability. As a K9 trainer and handler with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, Andy continues to educate others through his direct oversight of the training.

A Strategic Approach to Problem Solving in Modern K9 Operations

This class explores common problems faced by operational K9 teams that are encountered in both training and field operations.  Whether it be detection, trailing or patrol related issues, handlers are often left without applicable solutions for resolving them.  Some of the problems to be covered are the “out” and “recall”, high, large and deep hides, trail loss and recovery and much more! This class will discuss and give examples of proven strategies for resolving issues and alleviating common frustrations felt by K9 handlers.

Meet Jason Purgason

Jason is the President of Highland Canine Training, LLC which was founded in 2006 and is located in Harmony, North Carolina. Having earned his Police Canine Instructor’s Certification in 2003, Jason has been training dogs for over 25 years. He has trained canines in the areas of Narcotics Detection, Explosives Detection, Human Detection, Police Patrol, Scent Discrimination Tracking / Trailing, Termite Detection, Mold Detection, Human Remains Detection, Allergen Detection, Bat Guano Detection, Urban Disaster, Wilderness Search and Rescue. Jason has trained over 900 working dogs and handlers for detection, police patrol and search and rescue. Jason’s work in the K9 detection training and patrol dog training has qualified him as a subject matter court expert.

Jason has been a sworn Police Officer since 1995 and served Reidsville Police Department in North Carolina for over 10 years as a Police Canine Handler, a K9 Unit Supervisor, Vice Narcotics/Interdiction Unit Supervisor and an Operator on the SWAT team. Using his professional background, Jason conducts police canine handler courses and seminars throughout the United States including Police and Military personnel at NASA and the Pentagon as well as for Special Forces units of the United States Military and for foreign Military and Police Departments. Jason has been an Instructor/Speaker at national and international K9 conferences for several years. Additionally, Jason provides oversight of all other trainers’ courses offered at Highland Canine Training, LLC.

High Risk K9 Patrol Operations and K9 SWAT Deployment – S.K.I.D.D.S. / CATS

For those that have a misconception as to how beneficial K9’s can be in a high-risk patrol operation or to a SWAT team this class is for you.  We encourage all patrol officers, military, SWAT and supervisors to attend this class.  You will learn how to utilize your dog to find the suspect quicker, yet safer, while maintaining your tactical advantage and officer safety.

We will discuss what to look for during your selection of a Tactical Patrol dog or SWAT dog as well as the handler.  Learn how a properly trained patrol dog and the handler can be utilized during a in a high-risk patrol deployment or SWAT operation when it comes to tracking, barricaded suspects, approaches, entries, blind corners, room clearing, hallways, stairs, attics, crawl spaces, vehicle assaults, arrest techniques and even in a gas environment.

Courtroom Testimony – Know the answers to the questions before their asked.

Over the year’s handlers have improved their training regimen, increase their monthly maintenance training, documentation, and have improved their report writing skills. The one area that is still severely absent is their preparation for a deposition or testifying in a civil courtroom when it comes to answering the basic questions of your job.  Know the hard questions any good plaintiff’s attorney will ask you to be prepared to give the correct answer because you are a new question.

Meet Brad Smith

Brad Smith retired from the West Covina Police Department in southern California in June 2010 after 30 years of service.  Brad was a K9 handler and trainer for West Covina for 25 years and a SWAT dog handler for 18 years.  Since 1999 Brad has been National K9 Chairman for N.T.O.A. and a K9 Subject Matter Expert for the California Association of Tactical Officers.  Brad specializes in field tactics and officer safety. Brad designed and implemented a K9 SWAT & K9 Patrol Tactical School called S.K.I.D.D.S. and CATS www.skidds.com.  Brad is also owner of Canine Tactical Operations and Consulting www.K9TacOps.com and the author of the book “K9 Tactical Operations for Patrol and SWAT.”  Brad has published over 80 articles for a wide variety of publications on K9 Swat Deployment and training. Brad can be reached at Topdogwck1@aol.com or 626-523-4028.

Train to be your best.