Presidents Updates

July 2017

 The President’s Perspective

 A.P.C.A. 2017 National Training Conference…. and Association News.     



    The 2017 A.P.C.A National Training Conference is less than two months away.  This year’s conference will be hosted by the Knox County Sheriff’s Department and the Vincennes Police Department in Vincennes, Indiana.  The conference dates are scheduled for September 24-28, 2017.    This year’s conference offers exceptional training instruction for our attending members. In attendance will be Ron Lightenberg, one of the Netherlands leading K-9 Decoy Instructors; Sheriff Mike Neal of the Monroe County Arkansas Sheriff’s Department, The Lake County Aviation Unit and A.P.C.A. Master Trainers and Trainers for this year’s conference.


    Two lodging facilities have been designated for room reservation accommodations for this year’s conference.  The primary lodging facility is the Holiday Inn Express and Suites, 2720 Battery Road, Vincennes, Indiana 47591. Lodging rates are $95.00 per night which includes breakfast.  To reserve a room call 812-886-6333. Approximately fifty-five (55) rooms have been reserved for the A.P.C.A.  Lodging reservations at this facility are approaching half of the vacancy limit.  If you plan on reserving a room at this facility, please make your reservations immediately to ensure lodging accommodations.  The Comfort Suites, 2555 Hart Street, Vincennes, Indiana 47591 will be the secondary lodging facility.  Lodging rates are $90.00 per night which includes breakfast.  To reserve a room call 812-882-2244.  Approximately thirty (30) rooms have been reserved for the A.P.C.A.  


    This year’s conference will offer numerous training opportunities which will include basic and advance problem-solving, tactical scenario training, classroom instruction and A.P.C.A. certifications.  A public K-9 demonstration will also be given by the A.P.C.A. for the Vincennes/ Knox County Community at the high school football stadium during the conference.  The annual A.P.C.A. Awards Dinner will be held on the evening of September 28, 2017 in which this year’s honors will be presented to selected recipients.  For those members who are considering applying for the 2017 President’s Awards, members should submit their information to the president no later that September 1, 2017.  All activity conducted from September 1, 2016 through September 1, 2017 is eligible for consideration in being selected for this year’s A.P.C.A. President’s Awards.  The annual A.P.C.A. General Membership Meeting will be held on Monday, September, 25, 2017 at 8:00am.  During this meeting the association will conduct an election of offices for the following Executive Board Positions: Vice President, Secretary, Membership Chairman, Director #1 and Director #3.  Those persons elected by the general membership will serve their respective offices for a three (3) year term.


    Each of our membership should be receiving their association paid subscription of Police K-9 Magazine.  The A.P.C.A. Executive Board voted during the Spring Meeting to pay for A.P.C.A. members to receive six (6) issues of Police K-9 Magazine for twelve months which started with the April 2017 Issue.  In addition, K-9 Cop Magazine will also be sending our members six (6) issues for twelve months during the same subscription period.  This is a twelve issue value at no charge to you.  If you are not receiving your issues please contact A.P.C.A President Mike Johnson at 812-278-1423 or by email at to have your future copies forwarded to you.


    Our association wishes to congratulate two of our members for an outstanding highway drug seizure arrest which occurred in Morgan County, Indiana on July 15, 2017:

Deputy Cody St. John & K-9 Daino, Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and Officer Christopher Hester & K-9 Sledge, Mooresville Police Department conducted a traffic stop on I-70 in Morgan County, Indiana at the 53-mile marker.  Officers conducted an interdiction traffic stop, in which a K-9 alerted to a vehicle in which 31,000 vape tubes containing THC were discovered.  The drugs were determined to have a street value of 1.25 million dollars.  A 33-year-old New York driver was arrested for possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance.  The driver is being held in the Morgan County Jail.


    One of the biggest tragedies which can happen to any handler and their department is the loss of police service dogs becoming the victims to heat related deaths as the result of being left in police vehicles unintentionally by their handlers.  As I have addressed this on numerous occasions, “One time is too many”.  Twelve to fifteen K-9’s are lost each year across the country, which in almost all cases makes national headlines when these incidents occur.  During the months of July 2017, two additional K-9’s died tragically, K-9 Aron on July 2, 2017 in Mississippi and K-9 Mojo on July 7, 2017 in Indiana, in which both were left in their vehicle, one died at the handler’s residence and the second died at the handler’s department.  It is the “Biggest Sin” we as handlers can commit, to “walk away from a vehicle and leaving your dog in it to die an excruciating death”.  We as law enforcement handlers must remain vigilant in keeping a close watch on all partners, either at the department, at home or during training.  Vehicles air conditioning units can and do fail without the handler knowing.  Departments and K-9 Handlers should ensure that they have adequate and operational heat alarm sensors in the vehicle and that they are routinely checked to ensure they function properly when a crisis arises.  Windows should also be cracked during high-temperature months in the event systems fail, so that heat can dissipate from the vehicle in order to give the K-9 some relief from the heat build up.  K-9’s have only minutes to survive when these events occur.  I am asking each and every K-9 Officer in law enforcement to take every measure available to you to ensure that your K-9 and you don’t become victim’s of this too often and frequent tragedy.  This life changing event is painful for the handler, the department, the family and the communities they serve when another K-9 death again makes national headlines that affect us all and creating a scar that will not erase.


    The American Police Canine Association continues to grow tremendously in which it is comprised of members throughout the United States and abroad.  We are always excited about welcoming new members to our association.  We hope you will check out the A.P.C.A. as an association that will benefit you, your department and your training goals.  We are looking forward to the many great opportunities that are in store for this association in the future.  We hope to work with each of you at this year’s 2017 A.P.C.A National Conference in Vincennes, Indiana.


    Stay safe and keep training those dogs!

    Sincerest Regards,

    Mike Johnson, President

    American Police Canine Association