May 2017

A.P.C.A. News and Upcoming Events….

Congratulations to the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office in hosting the 2017 A.P.C.A. Spring Seminar that was held in Kannapolis, North Carolina.


We wish to thank Cabarrus County Sheriff Brad Riley and the Cabarrus County K9 Team for organizing and presenting an outstanding training seminar.  Special thanks to A.P.C.A Trainer Lennie Rivera, Jimmy Torelli, Kelly Schroeder, Stephanie Champlin, Stephen Wagoner and Darren Hinson who spent countless hours in planning and addressing every detail of  the weeks training.  The lodging accommodations, meals and training venues were exceptional that was very appreciated by this year’s attending members.


This year’s conference was held April 24-26, 2017.  Training was conducted at the Cabarrus Event Arena.  Training and A.P.C.A. certifications were  in all phases of patrol, narcotics detection, explosives detection and accelerant detection.


The association was also privileged to have in attendance, one of the Netherlands leading K9 decoy instructors, Ron Ligtenberg of the Ronin company.  Ron provided three days of instruction and education to law enforcement K9 teams in K9 drives / instincts identification and training methods in body suit, muzzle and secured line training.  The A.P.C.A. is very appreciative and excited to work with this highly respected professional.  Ron will be working with our association at future upcoming training events.  We look forward to having his instruction again at the 2017 A.P.C.A. National Conference in September.


A big A.P.CA. thanks to association Master Trainers Mike Johnson, Denny Kunkel, Charles Kirchner, Scott Adam, Kevin Osuch and Trainers Lennie Rivera, Gary Wilson, Billy Downey, Robbie Waldrop and Matthew Harris for instructing at this weeks training seminar.


This years meals were provided at no charge to the association and courtesy of the Broadus Baptist Church.  On behalf of the entire association we extend our sincerest appreciation and gratitude for the lunches and dinners that were provided to our members.  They were exceptional and filling.  Lastly, thanks to the many sponsors who provided the event shirts and raffle items for this seminar.  We are indebted for your generosity.


The 2017 National Training Conference will be held in Vincennes, Indiana and hosted by the Knox County Sheriff’s Department.  The National Training Conference is just now five months away.  Registration and Event registration for this conference will be posted on this website in the month of May.  The national conference dates have been scheduled for September 24-28, 2017.   This event promises exceptional training opportunities and highly sought  guest speakers that have been invited to this years conference.  Please make plans to attend the association’s big event.  We look forward to seeing you there.


The American Police Canine Association continues to grow tremendously in which it 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 our upcoming conferences and  provide you with new training information that will make each of you more educated and prepared in carrying out your duties as law enforcement K-9 teams.


In closing, thanks to each of you for those that have made and continue to make the commitments and contributions that have made the A.P.C.A. a highly professional and accredited organization.  Each of you are part of the A.P.C.A. team in which working together toward one common goal, we all succeed.


Stay safe and keep training those dogs!



Sincerest Regards,


Mike Johnson, President

American Police Canine Association

March 2017

The 2017 A.P.C.A. K-9 Sniff-Off is now entered into the record books and will be remembered as one of the best and most memorable events in its running history.


The Vincennes Police Department is to be commended for a job well done as they hosted a first class event.


A big A.P.C.A. salute to the Vincennes Police Department, Chief Dusty Luking, K9 Supervisor Josh Burke, Officer Mike Caswell and Officer Kody Waggoner for the months of hard work and planning that went into this event.


Exceptional lodging accommodations and meals were enjoyed by this year’s attendees.  A never-ending supply of pizza and wings were supplied to the group on their arrival, followed by a knockout breakfast the following morning prepared by Vincennes Mayor Joe Yochum.

The thirteenth annual Sniff-Off consisted of twenty-eight teams represented from Indiana, Kentucky and North Carolina.


Teams competed in three event phases that included buildings, canisters and vehicles.  This year for the first time offered a unique challenge in the vehicle phase in which teams searched military vehicles and aircraft at the Indiana Military Museum.


Raffle prizes were also won by our attendees that were donated by several businesses and individual sponsors.  We would like to thank and extend our sincerest appreciation to this year’s sponsors.  A big thanks to American Aluminum, Kiesler’s Police Supply, Working Dog Dry Goods, Dewclawz, Sirche, Clot it,, Battlemug, Rural King, Pet Smart, Bill Bones Pizzeria, Monicals Pizza, Buffalo Wild Wings, Zip n Sip, Mayor Joe Yochum, Chief Dusty Luking, Chief Sonny Pinkstaff, Indiana Military Museum, Washington Christian Center, Vincennes School Corporation and Vincennes FOP Lodge #62.


The competition was very competitive with score times being hundredths of seconds apart. Teams broke for lunch at mid day and finished up the day with the last teams completing the event at 300pm.  This year’s Sniff-Off top three teams were;

8dd898c8c111b3c403846ffaf61d6973b24babbe-1Jeff Eldridge & K9 Bandit, Crown Point Police Department who were presented the 2017 Champion Team Award with a time of 2.0580 and 0 penalty points.

d7be10e25142cb250aab4439fd1994d5d4efd4f1-1Second place went to Case Cummings & K9 Diesel, Washington Police Department who were presented the 2017 Runner Up Award with a time of 3.0426 and 1 penalty point.

7e22912fe78671ad684a4c56cef9bbd9d13153cd-1Third place Semi- Finalist Award was presented to Bob Klein and K9 Harley, Knox County Sheriff’s Department with a time of 3.3447 and 1 penalty point.

Congratulations to each of these teams for an outstanding performance.


In closing, this year’s event was a great day in our associations history.  We enjoyed a day of fellowship, competition, networking and training.  A special thanks to our judges, Denny Kunkel, Scott Adam, Shawn Mayer, Rich Ryan and Josh Burke.


The APCA Executive Board also held its 2017 Spring Meeting in Vincennes on March 3rd.  The Board voted to provide six issues of K9 Cop Magazine paid by the association, beginning in April 2017 to each association member recognized in good standing.  Issues will be mailed soon.


The APCA North Carolina Spring Seminar will be held the week of April 24-28, 2017 in Concord, North Carolina.  It will be hosted by the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office.  This year’s seminar promises to be an outstanding training event.  We hope you mark your calendar and make plans to attend.  Registration and hotel information is posted on this website.


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

Sincerest Regards,

Mike Johnson, President

American Police Canine Association

January 2017

The President’s Perspective

A.P.C.A. News and Upcoming Events….


As we have turned the page and entered into a new year, our association is off to a great start for 2017 in preparation for three excellent training seminars for our membership. Our hosting agencies are working diligently in completing the many details prior to welcoming our teams to each of this years events.


The 2017 A.P.C.A. Sniff Off will be held March 3-4, 2017 in Vincennes, Indiana and hosted by the Vincennes Police Department.


Registration and event information is posted on this website. Three meals and seminar shirts will be provided by the A.P.C.A during the event. Raffle prize items will also be awarded during the event. If you have not yet registered, please reserve your hotel reservations immediately as rooms are limited.


The A.P.C.A. Executive Board will conduct it’s Spring Meeting on Friday, March 3, 2017 at 3:00pm at the Holiday Inn Express, 2720 Battery Road, Vincennes, Indiana. Those members who will be unable to attend should contact association President, Mike Johnson prior to March 1, 2017. On additional business notes, the association wishes to extend its sincerest appreciation to Master Trainer Charles Kirchner for his many years of service as a member of the association’s Accreditation Board. Charles Kirchner submitted his formal letter of resignation as a board member on January 1st due to his many commitments. President Mike Johnson has appointed A.P.C.A. Master Trainer Al Gill as a replacement member to the Accreditation Board in filling this vacancy. Also, as a reminder to all Master Trainers and Trainers…please be sure to submit your annual resume updates to A.P.C.A. Accreditation Chairman Richard P. Ryan, 7505 W. Silo Drive, Frankfort, Illinois 60423 or email at A second copy is to be forwarded to A.P.C.A. Secretary Shawn S. Mayer, Scott County Sheriff’s Department, 111 S. 1st Street, Scottsburg, Indiana 47170 or email at Resumes must postmarked and received no later than January 31, 2017.


For those applicants applying for Master Trainer or Trainer’s accreditation, all packages must be received by the A.P.C.A Accreditation Chairman and the Secretary no later than January 24, 2017.  All packages must be submitted within 90 days of the convening of the accreditation board per accreditation rules. The final spring accreditation board will convene during the A.P.C.A Spring Seminar on April 23, 2017 at 6:00pm at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Concord, North Carolina.

The A.P.C.A North Carolina Spring Seminar will be held the week of April 24-28, 2017 in Concord, North Carolina. This year’s host is the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina.  This year’s seminar promises to be an outstanding conference. We hope you mark your calendars and make plans to attend this year’s east coast event. Registration and hotel information is posted on this website.

In regard to the 2017 A.P.C.A. National Training Conference there have been some changes for this year’s event. Due to financial and logistics considerations, the national planning committee has made the decision to relocate this year’s event to Knox County, Indiana.


The Knox County Sheriff’s Department will be the hosting agency for this years conference which will be held September 24-28, 2017. Registration and Event information will soon be posted on this website.

Each of our members should have received their 2017 Membership Dues notices in the mail. Membership dues are due by January 31, 2017. If you have not received them please contact A.P.C.A. Membership Chairman Rick Queen at

We look forward to seeing each of you during 2017 and hope that you will make plans to attend this years offerings. Stay safe and keep training those dogs!

Sincerest Regards,

Mike Johnson, President

American Police Canine Association

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 Sim-munition 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 enforcement’s 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 recipients 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 vigilant 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

August 2016

K-9 Handler Tim Brackeen

K-9 Officer Tim Brackeen was shot on Saturday, September 10, 2016 as he attempted to arrest a wanted suspect for outstanding warrants. After a valiant fight, Officer Brackeen passed away from the injuries he sustained on Monday September 12, 2016.


Tim was a member of the Shelby Police Department where he faithfully served his community for over 12 years. He was honored as “Officer of the Year” in 2012. Tim was active member of Faith Baptist Church where he served as an usher/security team member. In his spare time, he enjoyed woodworking and many outdoor activities.

Tim leaves behind his wife of 18 years, Mikel Brackeen and his daughter, Daphney Brackeen. Tim also leaves behind his numerous brothers and sisters from the Shelby Police Department and his K-9 Partner, Ciko.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to:
Shelby Police Department K9 Unit
PO Box 207
Shelby, NC 28150

Funeral services for Officer Tim Brackeen will be Friday September 16th, 2016 at Shelby High School’s baseball stadium. The school is located at 230 East Dixon Boulevard, Shelby, NC 28150.

Any K-9 Units East, North, or South of Shelby that would like to participate in the procession to the funeral will meet at 1245 hours at David Baptist Church. The church’s address is 2300 David Church Road in Kings Mountain, NC. The church is just off Highway 74 at the Stoney Point Road Exit.

We will discuss details of our involvement in the funeral and cover any questions anyone has. We will then leave the church at 1300 hours and caravan to Shelby High School for the funeral. Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office will be providing a lead car for the procession to the funeral. Any K9 Units west of Shelby can meet at the baseball stadium at 1330 hours.

Please let Captain Downey (704-747-2464) or K-9 Trainer Robbie Waldrop (704-674-1587) know how many K-9 teams your agency will be sending for planning purposes by 1800 hours this evening.

The suspect, Irving Fenner, was located in Coventry, Rhode Island and peacefully taken into custody by the State Police. He is now facing 1st Degree Murder charges.

The Cleveland County District Attorney plans to seek the death penalty.

May 2016
The President’s Perspective

The 2016 A.P.C.A North Carolina Spring Seminar in review…

The 2016 Spring K-9 Seminar was held in Cherokee, North Carolina during the week of April 18-20, 2016. This years hosting agencies were the EBCI-Natural Resources Enforcement Department and the Cherokee, North Carolina Fire Department. Our heartfelt thanks to Sgt. Rick Queen, Captain Ken Maney, Lt. Jeremy Blankenship and Connie Cooper who did a phenomenal job in the planning and coordination of this years training conference! The lodging, meals and training venues provided were exceptional. The training week offered numerous training opportunities both in the field and in the classroom. The association also performed a Public K-9 Demonstration before the Cherokee Tribal Council and a K-9 Memorial Service for our fallen K-9 Sam, a APCA Arson Detection Dog. K-9 Sam was a member of the Cherokee, North Carolina Fire Department who passed away in 2015.

This year’s conference was attended by thirty K-9 teams from the states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Indiana. The week’s training consisted of basic problem solving, classroom instruction and certifications. A big APCA thanks to Mr. Patrick Patten, Tactical Woodland Operations School and APCA Master Trainer Rich Ryan, who presented classroom instruction to our attending teams during the week.

awarddog-trainingdog-training-2family-k-9 k-9-ball-1 kids-dog

The APCA Accreditation Board also convened for accreditation business and Master Trainer / Trainer Applicant Interviews. The Accreditation Board approved Kevin J. Osuch, Matthews Police Department, NC a Master Trainer Accreditation in Tracking Teams. The Board also approved Matthew R. Harris, Gaston County Police Department, NC and Christopher L. Graham, Kings Mountain Police Department, NC a Trainers Accreditation in Patrol / Narcotics Detection Teams. Congratulations to each of these individuals and welcome to the APCA Instruction Team. We look forward to working with you at future association training events.

The Accreditation Board approved new certification rules pertaining to the Aggression Control Certification. Beginning January 1, 2017: All Aggression Control Certifications shall utilize only the body suit or the hidden sleeve as authorized bite equipment in the certification. The certifying Master Trainer’s discretion will dictate the type of approved equipment to be used in the certification. Exposed bite sleeves will not be allowed to be utilized in the certification beginning on this date. A second approved change that will take effect at the 2016 National Conference: All applicants will obtain a critique sheet and have them completed by a Master Trainer they are assigned to. It will be the trainees responsibility to maintain and submit the critique sheets in their respective applicant packets to the Accreditation Board in which they will appear for future applicant interviews. In addition, all applicants will be mandated to attend one lecture class per year and have the critique sheet completed by the instructor.

The association is now gearing up for the 2016 APCA National Conference in Bedford, Indiana. The conference will be hosted during the week of September 25-29, 2016. Each member should have received a registration letter and registration form which was mailed to each of our members. We urge each of you to book your room reservations immediately as the hotel has been booked todate at 75% capacity. Room accommodations at the Four winds Lakeside Inn and Marina, the primary hotel, are limited to 104 rooms. Teams not securing these rooms will be required to commute or seek alternative hotels that are located 20 minutes from the Primary hotel. So book your rooms now!! This year’s conference promises to be a first rate event that will offer numerous nationally renown guest speakers, exceptional training venues, great lodging, great food and networking opportunities. We plan to see you there!

Sincerest Regards,


Mike Johnson, President
American Police Canine Association

March 2016
The President’s Perspective

The A.P.C.A….It’s your association…Get involved in 2016.

As your elected president…I would like to say that our association is off to a great start as we enter 2016. There are two upcoming events in the spring and fall which are being planned and coordinated for our membership, which we hope you will register for and attend this year. As we all can attest, winter months challenge K-9 Units as they continue to maintain their proficiency training in cold and inclement weather conditions….and more often than not, can affect their motivation to train in these adverse environments. Now is the time to get the engines kick started and get involved in this year’s training offerings.

The twelfth annual A.P.C.A. K-9 “Sniff-Off” was held on the weekend of March 4-5, 2016 in Crown Point, Indiana. Congratulations and our many thanks to the Crown Point Police Department’s K-9 Unit of Jeff Eldridge, Stanko Gligic and Dave Wilkins who put on a second straight year of nothing but a first class performance. This year’s event kicked off at the Radisson Hotel with a Friday night “knock your socks off, all you could eat buffet”. The attending members and participants enjoyed an evening of catching up and fellowship prior to the next day’s narcotics trial competition. The competition began at 8:00am on Saturday morning with over fifty persons in attendance in which breakfast was served during the “Rules Briefing”. The event field consisted of twenty- four narcotics detection teams and was very competitive throughout the day with only hundredths of seconds separating the standings. This year’s judges were Master Trainer Denny Kunkel , Master Trainer Scott Adam, Master Trainer Roger Reardon, Master Trainer Doug Ayres, APCA Secretary Shawn Mayer and Joshua Burke, Vincennes P.D. Our Sniff-Off Event photographer was Master Trainer Robert Lewis. This year’s honors went to the top three teams which were presented by A.P.C.A President Mike Johnson and Vice President Denny Kunkel. The 2016 “Sniff-Off” Champion Team Award was presented to Kevin J. Garber Jr. & K-9 Mojo, Hobart Police Department with a competition time of 5 minutes 4891 seconds. The Second Runner-Up Team Award was taken by Jesse L. Crane & K-9 Maximus, Bedford Police Department with a competition time of 6 minutes 6997 seconds. The Semi-Finalist Team Award went to Kenny L. Williams & K-9 Mojo, Hobart Police Department with a competition time of 7 minutes 2066 seconds. Congratulations to each of these finalist at this year’s “Sniff-Off” challenge! Most importantly, we wish to thank the many business sponsors who donated free food and services to the association in hosting this training event.


The association’s Executive Board convened for it’s spring business meeting on March 4, 2016 at the Radisson Hotel in Merrillville, Indiana. Several business issues were discussed and decided upon by the board. Election of Offices for the positions of Accreditation Chairman and Director #5 were also conducted. Membership election ballots were unsealed and counted by the A.P.C.A. Election Committee in which the results elected Richard P. Ryan as Accreditation Chairman and Simon Gresser as Director #5. Each of these officers will serve for a three year term until their offices expire. Congratulations to Rich and Simon. The Executive Board also unanimously recommended the all associate membership to certify under the association certification rules that pertained to any non-aggression areas, which will also include Search & Rescue Team Certifications. This Executive Board recommendation will be brought before the General Membership Meeting during the 2016 National Conference on September 26th for a final vote by the membership. If approved by the membership certification of associate members will be in effect on that date.

There is still time to register for the 2016 A.P.C.A. North Carolina Spring Seminar! For those that love the outdoors and breathtaking scenery, this year’s location is in hills of the Great Smokey Mountains. Our hosting agency is the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Natural Resource Enforcement in Cherokee, North Carolina. The event will be held April 18-20, 2016. Training will include hands on field training, classroom instruction and annual A.P.C.A. certifications. Seminar Coordinators Captain Ken Maney and Sergeant Rick Queen have been involved in months of planning for this annual training event. This event promises to be a first rate training seminar in which the red carpet treatment is being provided to our attending member teams and guests. We encourage you to register for this event as it has been given the attention to every detail. It is an event you will be glad you attended. Event and registration information is posted on this website. Hope to see you each of you in North Carolina!

The A.P.C.A. Accreditation Board will convene during the Spring Seminar on Sunday, April 17, 2016 at the Quality Inn, 2807 US 74 East, Sylva, North Carolina 28779 at 6:00pm. The Accreditation Board will conduct accreditation board applicant reviews for those applicants appearing for Master Trainer and Trainer Accreditations during this meeting.

Planning is underway for the 2016 A.P.C.A. National Conference to be hosted by the Bedford Police Department and the Lawrence County Police Department in Bedford, Indiana. Conference dates are September 25-29, 2016. Conference information and registration forms will be available on this website in the next few weeks. This event promises to provide exceptional K-9 problem solving and numerous street based scenario training venues which will be challenging and educating for this year’s participants. This is an event that you do not want to miss. Mark your calendars now as September will soon be here!

A big A.P.C.A. congratulations to the following certified K-9 teams who recently completed a three month law enforcement patrol dog / narcotics detection training program. Congratulations to Captain Richard J. Wehrman & K-9 Xraith – Knox County Sheriff’s Department; Deputy Mark E. Wilson & K-9 Citar – Morgan County Sheriff’s Department; Deputy Richard J. Clayton & K-9 Lega – Morgan County Sheriff’s Department; Deputy Cody W. StJohn & K-9 Daino – Morgan County Sheriff’s Department; Deputy Edson E. Westgate & K-9 Behr – Owen County Sheriff’s Department; Deputy Damon N. Baker & K-9 Virka – Martin County Sheriff’s Department; Officer Case A. Cummings & K-9 Diesel – Washington Police Department; Officer Jerry R.C. Bertelsen & K-9 Cid – Martinsville Police Department; and Michelle R. Weaver & K-9 Kimber – Bloomfield, IN.


Left to Right: Ed Westgate & K9 Behr, Jesse Crane & K9 Maximus, Mark Wilson & K9 Citar, Richard Clayton & K9 Lega, Jerry Bertelsen & K9 Cid, Case Cummings & K9 Diesel, Michelle Weaver & K9 Kimber patrol-dog-graduation

Left to Right: APCA Trainer Michael Arthur, Mark Wilson & K9 Citar, Jesse Crane & K9 Maximus, Richard Clayton & K9 Lega, Richard Wehrman & K9 Xraith, Michelle Weaver & K9 Kimber, Damon Baker & K9 Virka, APCA Master Trainer Mike Johnson

Membership Dues Reminder! For those members who have not submitted their 2016 Membership Dues, please mail them to the Membership Chairman. For those who have submitted their dues, you will soon be receiving a wallet size 2016 laminated dues card at your mailing address. We welcome our newest members to our association: Case Cummings, Louis Salinaro, Edson Westgate, Jerry Bertelsen, Lucus Harmon and Tyler Ramsey.

Our membership continues to grow monthly consisting of highly trained and professional law enforcement K-9 teams from all four corners of the nation. With this being said, we as an organization are beginning to expand our seminar and conference locations so that all of our membership can access and host upcoming training events in their regions of the the country. The A.P.C.A. has evolved into a highly professional and accredited organization in which many, many individuals and department’s are to be thanked and commended. Without their commitment and hard work in stepping up and taking on the required responsibilities, none of this would exist. To each of you, we are indebted for your service and valued contributions in making this a first class association.

Organizations in order to fulfill their mission statement and existence, require individuals to make commitments. It’s more than just paying membership dues and being a card carrying member and adopting a position “that’s my contribution”. It’s being part of something that makes a positive difference in our lives and the lives of others we serve….. a part of belonging to something that is larger than any of ourselves and that defines who we are and our value system. It’s being part of and involved in a professional law enforcement affiliation whose mission is to provide education and training to those who protect and serve our nation’s citizens, their freedoms and the American way of life. Each of you make a difference, get involved!!

Sincerest Regards,


Mike Johnson, President
American Police Canine Association

December, 2015
The President’s Perspective

Brandon Surratt & K-9 Hyco, Anderson County Sheriff's Office, South Carolina

Jeremy Blankenship & K-9 Sam Cherokee, North Carolina Fire Department

The American Police Canine Association is deeply saddened that Sam passed away tonight due to un for seen medical complications. Sam had one arson conviction under him and one pending in short time Jeremy Blankenship had Sam. Sam was a awesome partner please pray for them.

Deputy Brandon Surratt & K-9 Hyco, Anderson County Sheriff's Office, South CarolinaDeputy Brandon Surratt & K-9 Hyco, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina

On October 21, 2015 Anderson County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a reported carjacking at a Dollar General Store on Highway 24 in Townville. Four suspects were believed to be involved in the crime. Deputies located the suspect vehicle and initiated a vehicle pursuit which led to the intersection of New Prospect Church Road. The suspects then ran from the vehicle on foot at which time Deputy Surratt released K-9 Hyco to engage the fleeing suspects. One of the suspects fired several shots at K-9 Hyco, striking him with numerous rounds as K-9 Hyco gave chase of the suspect at the rear of a building. K-9 Hyco was transported to a local Animal Hospital in attempts to save his life, in which he died a short time later. K-9 Hyco received full police honors in which he was laid to rest. Several hundred officers and members of the community and the American Police Canine Association were in attendance. K-9 Hyco’s action’s were nothing less than heroic. He will be honored by this association as a true hero and is an inspiration to our law enforcement K-9 profession.

Deputy Brandon Surratt & K-9 Hyco Standing in GymDeputy Brandon Surratt & K-9 Hyco Training

Deputy Brandon Surratt and K-9 Hyco served as a K-9 Team together for six years. The team received a A.P.C.A. President’s Award for Professional Excellence in 2012 after obtaining a level III trailing certification. The team was certified in Patrol and Narcotics Detection. The American Police Canine Association will present its highest and most distinguished honor to Deputy Surratt and K-9 Hyco on September 28, 2016 at the the 2016 American Police Canine Association National Conference. The Uncommon Valor in the Line of Duty will be presented to this team for their heroic actions of October 21, 2015 in which K-9 Hyco, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office gave the ultimate sacrifice which will never be forgotten. K-9 Hyco, may you rest in peace and to Brandon, may God bless you and give you comfort in your time of loss and sorrow.

Deputy Brandon Surratt & K-9 Hyco Training in GymDeputy Brandon Surratt & K-9 Hyco Lying DownDeputy Brandon Surratt & K-9 Hyco at Attention

The Upcoming Events Schedule is being lined up for 2016. Three training events have been posted on our website in which registration information is now available to our viewers. We encourage you to register early for these events that you are interested in attending. The 2016 A.P.C.A. Sniff-Off will be hosted by the Crown Point Police Department on March 5, 2016. Our Coordinators, Jeff Eldridge, Stanko Gligic and Dave Wilkins are laying out the red carpet again for this years attendees. If you like a buffet spread, these guys can’t be beat!! Tons of the best food you’ll ever get your hands on! Last year was amazing. Great conference and professionally done. Looking forward to this March! The Executive Board and the Accreditation Board will convene its annual Spring Meeting during this event. Election results will also be decided during this meeting for the offices of Accreditation Chairman and Director Position #5. Each of our regular membership should have received an unmarked ballot which was mailed to you by our membership chairman. We ask each of you to be sure to cast your ballot for the candidate of your choice and mail to the Election Chairman no later than February 28, 2016 so that your vote will be received and counted by the Election Committee at the 2016 Spring Meeting.

The 2016 A.P.C.A. North Carolina Spring Seminar will be conducted on April 18-20, 2016 in Cherokee, North Carolina. Our hosting agencies for this years seminar are the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Natural Resource Enforcement Department and the Cherokee Fire Department. This event promises to be an exceptional training opportunity for our membership. Captain Kenneth Maney and Sergeant Rick Queen will be this year’s conference Coordinators. The event will offer problem solving, street based scenario training, classroom lectures and A.P.C.A. Certifications. We hope to see you in the Smokey Mountain Region this Spring!

Each of our members will soon be receiving their 2016 A.P.C.A. Membership Dues notice in the mail from our membership chairman. Please be sure to remit your dues no later than January 31, 2016. Annual dues are $50.00 per member and may be paid payable to the American Police Canine Association.

A big A.P.C.A. Welcome to our newest association members! We would like to welcome the each of you a dynamic and growing professional association. Welcome to David Godfrey, Dennis Roberts, Troy Bodinc, Daniel Osborne, Darin Cook, Steve Morgan, Gary Mattingly, Christopher Watkins, Scott Cornelison, James Wright, Robert Morgan, Melissa Newman, Jason Haycox, Michael Mitchell, Lee Stanley, Kelly Schroeder, James Goodwin, Joseph Cotterman, Aaron Crawford, Sutton Flick, Douglas Leonard, Cody StJohn and Michelle Weaver.

Sincerest Regards,


Mike Johnson, President
American Police Canine Association


September, 2015
The President’s Perspective

2015 A.P.C.A. National Conference in Review………

Congratulations to the City of New Haven, Indiana and the New Haven Police Department in hosting a phenomenal 2015 A.P.C.A. National Conference that was held September 20-24th. This conference was exceptional in the many training opportunities that were provided both on the field and in the classroom. More than two years of planning were involved in which every small detail was prepared for. Our association extends it’s heartfelt thanks, to New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald, New Haven Chief of Police Henry McKinnon, Executive Assistant to the Mayor / 2015 National Coordinator) Deb-Anne Smith, Sgt. Brent Bolinger (2015 National Coordinator), Administrative Assistant Jen Blackburn, Officer Scott Adam and OfficerJonathan Wenzel. We are indebted to each of them for the thousands of hours they unselfishly gave in providing a top rated training conference for this year’s participants. It is indeed one that has forever raised the standard.


This year’s conference was attended by one hundred and thirty five members from eleven states. Guest presenters for the week included Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Bomb Tech Booz Moise (FBI Recognition Course), Special Agent Jason Livingston (Unclassified Overview of Terrorism), Rhode Island State Police (Retired), Roger J. Reardon (Boston Marathon Bombing Case Brief), Attorney John M. Peters (K9 Legal Seminar) and Edward McKaig, D.V.M.(Emergency Vet Care Presentation).

APCA Conference; New Haven, Indiana

K-9 Operations and the Law

Field training included problem solving and certifications, K-9 Boat Deployments, Helicopter Insertion Training with suspect and open area narcotics searches and explosive detection training with peroxides.The association wishes to thank the Lake County Sheriff’s Department aviation unit and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for their invaluable support for this weeks training event.

Two notable highlights for this year’s conference were the National Awards Dinner and the Public K-9 Demonstration. Nationally renown speaker, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke presented this year’s key note address entitled “Law Enforcement in Today’s World” during this year’s awards ceremonies. Sheriff Clarke was also presented the Key to the City of New Haven by Mayor Terry McDonald. Our association wishes to extend its deepest appreciation to Sheriff Clarke for taking time in his public schedule to give this year’s impressive and important address. The association also performed a public K-9 Demonstration at New Haven High School before a packed crowd.

The ninth annual national awards dinner was held on the final night of the conference with over two hundred guests in attendance. Seventeen recipients were presented awards for exemplary professional achievement. 2015 Executive Board Citation Awards went to New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald, New Haven Police Department, Deb-Anne Smith, Sgt. Brent Bolinger, Jen Blackburn, Scott Adam, Officer Jonathan Wenzel and Lake County Sheriff’s Department Aviation Unit. Executive Board Citation Awards for Excellence in Service Awards were presented to Roger Reardon, Rhode Island State Police (Retired) and Captain Jeremy Bridges, Bedford Police Department, IN.

The Accreditation Board Professional Excellence Award was presented to Roger Reardon, Rhode Island State Police (Retired) in recognition as a Master Trainer in Patrol, Explosives and Narcotics Detection. The 2015 Narcotics Interdiction Team of the year was presented to Officer Todd M. Bradshaw & K-9 Rafa, Pineville Police Department, NC (United States Department of Homeland Security). The 2015 Patrol Dog Team of the Year (United States Large Level Department) was presented to Deputy Lennie B. Rivera & K-9 Storm, Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, NC. The 2015 Narcotics Detection Team of the Year (United States Large Level Department) was presented to Sgt. William P. Downey & K-9 Indio, Gaston County Police Department, NC. Deputy Shawn S. Mayer & K-9 Arina, Scott County Sheriff’s Department, IN received the 2015 Narcotics Detection Team of the Year (United States Small Level Department). Officer Kevin J. Garber Jr. & K-9 Butch, Hobart Police Department, IN received the 2015 Patrol Dog Team of the Year (United States Medium Level Department). The evenings final award was presented to Officer Kenneth L. Williams & K-9 Mojo, Hobart Police Department, IN for 2015 Narcotics Detection Team of the Year (United States Medium Level Department). Congratulations to each of the individuals and K-9 Partners.


The final anticipated moment of the awards dinner was the association’s raffle prize drawing. Three awards winner were drawn for $7,500.00 in raffle prize money by Sheriff David Clarke for the winning officer’s department’s K-9 Program funding. The first place prize in the amount of $5,000.00 went to Vice President Denny A. Kunkel, Georgetown Police Department, IN. Second place prize in the amount of $1,500.00 went to Officer Rick Queen, Cherokee NRE, NC. Third place price in the amount of $1,000.00 went to Officer Derrick Devine, Washington Police Department, IN.





On September 21, 2015 the American Police Canine Association conducted it’s annual General Membership Meeting at the Holiday Inn Express, Fort Wayne, Indiana. The association held it’s election of expired office terms. Offices for election were that of Accreditation Chairman, Grievance Chairman and Director #5. For the Accreditation Chairman’s position, the members nominated Robert Lewis and Richard Ryan for the office. For Director #5 members nominated Simon Gresser and Brent Bolinger. For Grievance Chairman, members nominated and voted unanimously for Roger Reardon. Roger Reardon was sworn in as Grievance Chairman during the meeting for a three year term as being uncontested.

Within thirty (30) days of the General Membership Meeting held on September 21st, the A.P.C.A. Membership Chairman per the association’s bylaws will forward election ballots to regular members for the purposes of casting their ballots for the contested offices of Accreditation Chairman and Position #5. Instructions will be provided as to the marking and mailing of the ballots. The received ballots will be opened at the 2016 Spring Executive Board Meeting in which the winning candidate will be announced and notified to accept the office until their expired term. Bids were also accepted on the floor to host the 2016 A.P.C.A. National Conference. Bedford, Indiana was unanimously accepted as the hosting location to be hosted by the Bedford Police Department and the Lawrence County Police Department. Conference dates are September 25-29, 2016.

Other business……It is official. On September 2, 2015 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) granted and classified the American Police Canine Association as a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization. After a year of completing a required documentation process we have accomplished this important business which will be a great asset to the financial stability of our association. Special thanks to association Secretary Shawn S. Mayer who spent months completing this complex process and was the work horse that accomplished this objective for our association.

Certification changes….the Accreditation Board approved a change in the Narcotic Detection Certification Standards. The change adopted is as follows: In addition to the five certification narcotic odors being required to certify in, a team may certify in additional narcotic odors if the handler supplies the odor wishing to be certified in.

New North Carolina Seminar decision……the Accreditation Board approved new changes for future North Carolina’s Spring Seminars. The approved change is as follows: In the event a North Carolina Spring Training Seminar is not held for the years 2016 and 2017, the association will offer two certification workshops annually for certification purposes only at this association’s expense. There will be no charge to participating teams. Certification workshops will be held in the spring and the fall for two days each. The associaton will be responsible for all Master Trainers travel, lodging, car rental and per diem expenses. There must be a minimum of 10 teams prior to a Master Trainer being assigned to attend. For each additional 15 teams an additional Master Trainer will be assigned to attend. Per Diem will be established and paid by the association at $50.00 per day for expenses.

In closing, 2015 has been an exceptional year for our association, as President I wish to thank each and every member for your support and contributions you have given in making this a proud and professional association which is dedicated to the mission of professional service, education and training.

Sincerest Regards,


Mike Johnson, President
American Police Canine Association

July, 2015
The President’s Perspective

Latest information for our membership………

Our association wishes to extend it’s sincerest heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the family of Master Trainer Robert C. Anderson, whose mother passed away in Florida during the month of June. We will continue to keep Bob and his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Also we wish to extend our congratulations to Master Trainer Roger J. Reardon who recently retired from the Rhode Island State Police upon completing twenty-five years of service. Roger we wish you and your family the best in your upcoming retirement and hope you have a happy one.

The National Conference is fast approaching and registrations have started coming in. We ask that you make your reservations early as we are expecting a high attendance at this year’s conference. This years keynote speaker is national renown Sheriff David Clarke, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Sheriff’s Department. This years event is set for September 20-24, 2015 and hosted by the New Haven, Indiana Police Department. Event and lodging information can be found on this website under the Upcoming Events Section. This is a conference you definitely don’t want to miss!

For those members wishing to be considered for the A.P.C.A. President’s Awards, the review process concludes 09/01/15. All case activity information must be postmarked no later than 09/15/2015 to be eligible for consideration. Send summaries of activities to: A.P.C.A., Attn: President’s Awards, P.O. Box 382, Bedford, Indiana 47421.

Those members wishing to submit letters of nomination for their fellow members for this year’s national awards should forward all correspondence no later than 07/29/15. Awards criteria can be found under the Awards Section of this website. Please forward nominations to: Awards Chairman, Master Trainer Scott Adam, 3308 Cedar Valley Drive, New Haven, Indiana 46774.

During the month of May the association conducted annual certifications in Florence, South Carolina. The photos included in this monthly letter are a few selections that were taken during certifications which were held at the Darlington Motor Speed Way. K-9 Teams represented agencies from the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, Florence City Police Department and the Hartsville Police Department.


Welcome aboard to our newest members in the month of June! We are pleased to have Joshua Russell, Wesley Carlisle, Joseph Johnston, Danny Comlin, Jeremy Johnson, Joseph Nicholas, Nathan Keener, Gilbert Fairman,Randy Thomas, Matthew Brunswick, Sam Crish, Michael Sarro, Ryan Barr, Charles Wirick, Brian Parker, Shawn Feldner, Keith Whan, Derrick Fort Sr., Matthew Vasel, Damien Maddox, Wilson Bishop, Anthony Dandurand, Damon Baker and Daniel Gazzola. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.

Until our next update, stay safe out there and keep trainin’ those dogs!

Sincerest Regards,


Mike Johnson, President
American Police Canine Association