October 2016
The President’s Perspective

2016 A.P.C.A. National Training Conference in Review…

Our association members which attended this year’s 2016 National Training Conference gave outstanding marks to this years event. The annual conference was held September 25-29, 2016 in which the diversity of training areas, lodging accommodations, meals and classroom presentations were considered by them to be exceptional. We would like to extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation to our hosting agencies, the Bedford Police Department and the Lawrence County Police Department in the planning and coordination of an impressive National Conference. A big thanks to this year’s 2016 Conference Planning Team; Mike Johnson Andrew Phillips, Jeremy Bridges, Jesse Crane, Harvey Holt, Tim Miller, Sheriff Michael Branham, Chief Dennis Parsley and Assistant Chief Joseph Dewees for giving many hours and attending numerous meetings that were required in carrying out this year long effort.


We would like to recognize and thank the Indiana Department of Natural Resources – Division of State Parks and Reservoirs, Indiana Conservation Officers and the Lake County Sheriff’s Department Aviation Unit in providing agency personnel and training support services. Also, to our business sponsors who we owe a debt of gratitude for the many financial contributions and physical resources that were donated in making this a first class training event. Special thanks to this years conference presenters, Special Electronic Inc. (SEI), Sheriff Michael Neal and Attorney John M. Peters for presentations they provided during the week. Also a big thanks and hats off to the members of the Psi Iota Xi Beta Lambda Chapter, who prepared over 1400 individual meals for this years conference. Everyone loved the meals that were provided.

This year’s conference was kicked off at the Fourwinds Resort and Marina with a Hog Roast cookout under the “Big Top” overlooking beautiful Lake Monroe. One hundred and fifty guests were in attendance. One hundred and fifteen K-9 Teams from around the nation were in attendance for an full week of training offerings that included Narcotics Detection, Explosives Detection, Aggression Control Training, Tracking, Felony Vehicle Extractions, Felony Vehicle Stops, Night K9 Helicopter Area Search Insertions, K9 Firing Range Obstacle Course, Shoot / Don’t Shoot K9 Building Entry in low light environments, Daytime K9/Helo Forest Insertions, Explosive Devices Identification, K9 / SWAT Helicopter Assault Deployments with Simmunition Training, Legal Updates Presentation and the Arkansas Shooting Incident Presentation.

The association also conducted several business meetings during the conference. The Accreditation Committee convened for annual business and Master Trainer / Trainer Applicant Interviews. The committee approved Michael L. Arthur, Martinsville Police Department Indiana for Master Trainer accreditation in Tracking K9 Teams. Melissa C. Newman, Grant County Sheriff’s Office Kentucky was approved for Trainer’s accreditation in Cadaver Detection and Tracking K9 Teams. Joshua C. Burke, Vincennes Police Department Indiana was approved for Trainer’s accreditation in Narcotics Detection. Sean Pasley, Rhode Island State Police was approved for Trainers accreditation in Explosives Detection. Congratulations to each of these individuals and welcome to the association’s training staff. We look forward to working with you at future upcoming conferences. In matters pertaining to accreditation business, the committee voted to conduct future Accreditation Committee interviews for Master Trainer / Trainer’s accreditation once per year during the annual A.P.C.A. National Conference. This decision will take effect in September 2017 starting at the 2017 National Conference. The Accreditation Committee also issued a decision to authorize associate member K9 teams certifications in all non-aggression discipline areas. This decision was effective September 25, 2016. The committee also reminded the association that beginning January 1, 2017 all aggression control certifications will be conducted with either body suit or hidden sleeve. Exposed sleeves will not be authorized in any A.P.C.A. aggression control certification.

In Executive Board business, the President appointed a five panel bylaws committee in August 2016 to review the association’s bylaws. The bylaws were reviewed and recommendations were made by the committee. During the 2016 Fall Executive Board meeting, the bylaws committee submitted their recommendations to the association’s President, Mike Johnson for approval and signing by the President and the Executive Board. The bylaws were reviewed and approved unanimously by the President and the Executive Board. The bylaws recommendations were then presented to the association membership the following day at the Annual General Membership Meeting on September 26, 2016. The new bylaws recommendations were unanimously approved by the general membership and are now effective as of September 26, 2016. Election of Offices were also conducted during the General Membership Meeting for the offices of President, Secretary, Membership Chairman, Director #1 and Director #3. Election results are as follows: Mike Johnson was re-elected as President, Shawn Mayer was re-elected for Secretary, Rick Queen was elected as Membership Chairman, Michael Vaccaro was re-elected as Director #1 and Scott Adam was reelected as Director #3. Each of these officers will serve a three-year term as is outlined in the Bylaws. Congratulations to each of our newly sworn office holders. We look forward to working with you on the Executive Board.

On a personal note, I wish to extend the associations appreciation and gratitude to our former Membership Chairman Andrew L. Phillips, who did a phenomenal job in serving as association’s Membership Chairman. As most of our members are unaware, Andrew has been dealing with a family medical emergency which has required much of his time in caring for his father. Andrew Phillips made the decision to decline seeking elected office due to his fathers condition. On a sad note, Andrews father passed away on October 6, 2016. We ask that you keep Andrew and his family in your thoughts and prayers in this difficult time for them.

Nominations for the 2017 National Conference were also taken from the floor during the 2016 General Membership Meeting. The membership again elected the Bedford Police Department and Lawrence County Police Department as the hosting Agencies for next years conference. The 2017 National Conference will be held September 24-28, 2017. Please mark your calendars early and make plans to attend next years event.

The national conference concluded on the evening of September 28, 2016 with the annual Awards Dinner. This year’s Keynote Speaker was Dr. Fred W. Johnson, Founder & CEO of Initiative One, Green Bay, Wisconsin. This year’s conference theme was “Serving a Nation”. Dr. Johnson presented an outstanding address to the audience, emphasizing the importance of law enforcements crucial and valuable role in our society, in which he addressed the current social crisis in America, with emphasis as to the short and long term impact on the law enforcement profession and those officers who have taken the oath in serving a nation.

The A.P.C.A. Awards Committee Chairman, Scott Adam, A.P.C.A. President Mike Johnson and Vice President Denny Kunkel presented twenty-one awards to this year’s nominated recipients. Eleven (11) law enforcement awards and ten (10) business sponsorship awards were presented. A complete list of all awards receipents can be found in the APCA Awards section of this website.

Deputy Brandon W. Surratt & K-9 Hyco
Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina
2016 Executive Board Award for Uncommon Valor in the Line of Duty

Deputy Cody W. St. John & K-9 Daino
Morgan County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana
2016 President’s Award Narcotics Detection Team of the Year
(United States Small Level Department)

Officer Kenneth L. Williams & K-9 Mojo
Hobart Police Department, Indiana
2016 President’s Award Narcotics Interdiction Team of the Year
(United States Medium Level Department)

Sergeant Austin T. Spell & K-9 Una
Corporal Jamie Renfroe & K-9 Roby
Corporal Shane T. Keith & K-9 Ruger
Florence County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina
2016 President’s Award Narcotics Interdiction Team of the Year
(United States Large Level Department)

Sergeant Rick Queen, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Natural Resources Enforcement, Cherokee, North Carolina
2016 Excellence in Service Award

Bedford Police Department, Indiana
2016 Executive Board Citation Award

Lawrence County Police Department, Indiana
2016 Executive Board Citation Award

Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana
Aviation Unit
2016 Executive Board Citation Award

Indiana Conservation Officers
2016 Executive Board Citation Award

Lastly and most importantly, the association wishes to thank each of our Master Trainers, Trainers and special instructors who assisted at this year’s conference. Also a special thanks to A.P.C.A photographers Beth Lybarger and Jessica Hester for all their hard work and wonderful photography they took during the conference. For those members who could not attend, we hope to see you next year as we will have another outstanding conference planned for you. To our members, thank you for your service and for all you do not only in your agencies, your communities but also for the American Police Canine Association. Please continue to remain safe and vigilent in your duties and in quoting Deputy Brandon W. Surrat during award ceremonies remarks “Keep in the fight, go home at night.” As President, I wish to thank you in “Serving a Nation”.

Sincerest Regards,


Mike Johnson, President
American Police Canine Association