Presidents Updates

October 2018

The President’s Perspective

2018 A.P.C.A. National Training Conference in Review ……….

For those members who were unable to attend this years 2018 A.P.C.A. National Training Conference here is a review of this years annual event.  This year’s conference was held September 16-20, 2018 in Bloomington, Indiana at the Fourwinds Lakeside Inn & Marina.


Our hosting agencies for this year’s event were the Lawrence County Police Department and the Mitchell Police Department who provided a week of great training opportunities for our attending teams and instruction staff.  Attendance at this conference was over two-hundred (200) participants representing states from across the nation and Europe.  The conference kicked off on Sunday with Executive Board and Accreditation Board Meetings, team registration, a cookout and an evening at the Fourwinds in the Windjammer grill with the Matt Watson Band.


The annual general membership meeting was held on Monday, September 17th for association annual business.  The membership discussed and voted to increase registration fees for the A.P.C.A. National Training Conferences to $400.00 per team to address rising costs in providing required services at future national events.  In other business, there were no other changes addressed.  The association also conducted election of Offices for the positions of Grievance Chairman, Accreditation Chairman and Director #5.  The membership voted Robert L. Fleming as Grievance Chairman and Augustine S. Gresser as Director #5.  The Accreditation Chairman position had two candidates nominated for this office.  The Candidates are Robert A. Lewis and Richard P. Ryan Sr.  Nomination Ballots will be forwarded to each member by the Membership Chairman within 30 days and should be completed and submitted to the A.P.C.A. Election Chairman, Roger J. Reardon, within sixty (60) days of receipt of the official A.P.C.A. election ballot.

This year’s conference offerings included field and classroom training.  Sheriff Michael Neal, Monroe County Arkansas provided classroom training in “Critical Mindset of Counter Ambush Training for Law Enforcement” and Firearms techniques utilizing vehicle interiors.  A PTSD for Law Enforcement Class lecture was also provided.  Ron Ligtenburg, Decoy Instructor, Holland provided field classroom in “K-9 Aggression Control Fundamentals”.  Corporal Kenneth Williams, Hobart Police Department instructed a classroom lecture in “Highway Drug Interdiction”.  Lawrence County Coroner / IU Health Protective Services Coordinator, Robert Herr instructed “Death Scene Investigations” for our FEMA canine handler group.


Special operations training was also provided during the weeks conference which included: Felony vehicle extraction training, K-9 building entries in low light environments, Felony vehicle pursuit w/ K-9 deployments and simunition, Helicopter insertions with K-9 deployments, K-9 open area search deployments with watercraft, K-9 Water entry apprehensions, K-9 cadaver search with water support, Helicopter K-9 / E.R.T insertion deployments with simunition.  The conference also offered field training and A.P.C.A. Certifications in Narcotics Detection, Explosive Detection, Cadaver Detection, Obedience, Aggression Control, Area Search, Tracking, Article Search, and Building Search.


The American Police Canine Association extends its sincerest appreciation and gratitude to its numerous financial and service sponsors who supported this law enforcement training conference.  Special thanks to the Lawrence County Police Department, Mitchell Police Department, Lake County Sheriff’s Department Aviation Unit, Daviess County Sheriff’s Department ERT Unit, Indiana Department of Natural Resources – Division of State Parks and Reservoirs, Indiana Conservation Officers, Bedford Parks Department, Bedford Fire Department, Virgil I. Grissom Municipal Airport Aviation Board, Lawrence County Recreation Park, Lawrence County Fairgrounds Board, Klein Flying Services, Indiana University Health – Bedford, Hospital, Stone City Collision, The Villages and Bedford Animal Hospital.


Conference meals were provided by the Psi Iota Xi Sorority who did an outstanding job with preparing excellent lunch and evening meals.  We wish to extend our sincerest thanks for your service support for our attending members.  The A.P.C.A. 2018 Awards Dinner was held on Thursday, September 20th at the Fourwinds Lakeside Inn.  Over 200 persons gathered for this annual event for the presentation of this years awards recipients.  Indiana State Senator Eric Koch, presented the first of two evening addresses to this years audience.  The evenings keynote speaker was Attorney John M. Peters presented an exceptional address for this year’s presenters.  A.P.C.A. President Mike Johnson, Vice President Denny Kunkel and Awards Chairman Scott Adam presented the 2018 A.P.C.A Awards to the following individuals and conference sponsors.

A.P.C.A. President’s Award for 2018 Narcotics Detection Team of the Year (United States Large Level Department) – Corporal Jamie Renfroe & K-9 Roby, Corporal Shane Keith & K-9 Ruger and Deputy Brooks Urquhart & K-9 Rico, Florence County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina.

A.P.C.A. President’s Award for 2018 Narcotics Detection Team of the Year (United States Small Level Department) – Officer Christopher Watkins & K-9 Raizi, Owensboro Police Department, Kentucky.

Accreditation Board Award for Professional Excellence to Master Trainers Lennie Rivera, William Downey and Robbie Waldrop III.

A.P.C.A. President’s Award for 2018 Patrol Dog Team of the Year (United States Large Department) – Deputy Lennie Rivera & K-9 Storm, Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina.

A.P.C.A. President’s Award for 2018 Patrol Dog Team of the Year (United States Small Level Department) – Deputy Caleb Hutchinson & K-9 Koda, Owen County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana.

A.P.C.A. President’s Award for 2018 Narcotics Interdiction Team of the Year – Corporal Kenneth Williams & K-9 Mojo, Hobart Police Department, Indiana.

A.P.C.A. Executive Board Award for 2018 Excellence in Service Award – Officer David Schultz & K-9 Si, Mooresville Police Department, Indiana.

A.P.C.A. Executive Board Award for 2018 Uncommon Valor Award – Officer Stanko Gligic & K-9 Radar, Crown Point Police Department, Indiana.

A.P.C.A. Executive Board Citation Awards – Lawrence County Police Department, Mitchell Police Department, Hoosier Uplands, Lake County Sheriff’s Department Aviation Unit, Indiana Department of Natural Resources – Division of State Parks and Reservoirs, Indiana Conservation Officers, Lawrence County Recreation Park, Virgil I. Grissom Municipal Airport, IU Bedford Hospital and Robert C. Klein.


The Association is please to advise our members that one of our K-9 Teams, Officer Ryan Manley & K-9 Cid with the Martinsville Police Department, Indiana has made a full recovery from Cid’s life threatening incident which was the result of heat stroke at this year’s conference.  Thanks to many entities involved who rushed to his assistance and treatment, Cid pulled through and will be returning to full duty status in the near future.  A BIG special thanks to Lake County Sheriff’s Department Aviation Unit, Bedford Animal Hospital, Dr. Kim & Staff, Med Vet in Carmel, Indiana.  Without each of these team members Cid would not have survived.  They are each life savers.

The A.P.C.A. wishes to welcome Photographer Paula Price to the A.P.C.A. staff. Paula Price has accepted the position as A.P.C.A. Photographer and photographed the 2018 National Training Conference.  Paula is employed ABCI Natural Resources Program in Cherokee, North Carolina. Photos of this year’s conference can be accessed and downloaded as a free service at  Paula did an outstanding job in photographing the 2018 A.P.C.A. National Training Conference.

A big congratulations also to Ron Ligtenburg, who was appointed to the A.P.C.A. Executive Board as Training Coordinator by A.P.C.A. President Mike Johnson during the 2018 Fall Executive Board.  Ron has been tasked with creating and implementing both Basic and Advance Decoy Programs in order to teach and advance an effective professional decoy program within the association in order to produce the knowledge and skillsets required in producing high caliber working street dogs.

The 2018 National Training Conference was a great success in which our members gained invaluable training and networked with a diversity of information being exchanged. The 2019 National Training Conference was voted by the membership to be hosted again at the Fourwinds in Bloomington, Indiana.  Conference dates are set for September 29 – October 3, 2019.  We hope you will mark your calendars and make plans to attend.

Until our next update, stay safe and keep training those dogs!


Sincerest Regards,



Mike Johnson, National President

American Police Canine Association