Bart and Michael Bellon have been travelling the world giving seminars for many years. During those years, they saw that animal welfare laws were being more strictly implemented internationally. Bart and Michael were and are convinced that dog training must be politically palatable. NePoPo® is a reflection of this conviction. In addition to teaching seminars, Bart and Michael designed, patented and produced their own electronic collar brand, the Chameleon®. This brand was designed with animal welfare in mind, striving to be the most animal friendly and inconspicuous collar on the market with the highest degree of functionality. In 2015, Michael and Bart started the NePoPo® Dog Training school and soon stopped giving seminars. Today, there are more than 300 NePoPo® Gold School Graduates around the world. On the 4th of April, 2018 Bart and Michael had the opportunity to purchase the Martin System® company, a worldwide leader in innovation in electronic collars for dogs, that was founded by their friend, Charles Martin. With the purchase of Martin System®, the Martin System® and Chameleon® brands were merged. Products from the Martin System® line were honed to match with the modern, animal friendly philosophy of the NePoPo® School. Michael and Bart do have a unique profile in the dog world that they will share open and frankly at the Police K-9 Magazine conference.

Class: TBA

Dr. (Col) Richard Vargus initially retired in 1995 after 24 years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps and Army. Following retirement, he began an extended career in law enforcement, assuming positions in federal and local law enforcement, most notably as an FAA Special Agent Canine Coordinator for the FAA Easter Region, serving on the FBI New York Joint Terrorist Task Force immediately after 911 as well as the Operations Officer of the newly established New York Federal Air Marshal’s Office. In 2003 he transitioned to become a Deputy Sheriff with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

In Jan 2005 Dr. (Col) Vargus was recalled to Active Duty deploying to Iraq in Jan 2005 Commanding the Iraqi National Police Academy in An Numaniyah Iraq train over 7000 Iraqi National Police Officers. From 2006 to 2012 he retained on active duty where he assume the duties as Chief of Law Enforcement Operation Directorate Joint Security Office, US Central Command. Dr. Vargus had oversight of 35,000 Military Police, and Security forces, theater customs operations, protective services in the 26 country CENTCOM area of responsibility. Most notably establishing the canine program that directed deployments and utilization of over 1200 military, contract and coalition explosive and narcotics canine teams.

Dr. Vargus returned to retired status in October 2012 and entered federal civilian service as the Department of the Army Military Working Dog Program manager. In 2018 he was selected as the Department of Defense Canine Program Manager, in both positions developing global canine policy, establishing the global strategy to provide canine interoperability supporting overseas contingencies, US Secret Service National Security Special Events and POTUS, VPOTUS, SECSTATE travel. Dr. Vargus retired from federal service this past April 1st.

Dr. Vargus is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff, Air War College, Senior Leaser National Security Management Course and holds a Doctorate in Public Administration and Masters in National Security Studies. He and his wife, retired Lieutenant Colonel Norma Vargus, a veteran of tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Vargus and his wife hail from New York City and currently reside in Alexandria Virginia.

Class: TBA

David Dorn is a Medical Retired Sergeant for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department. Prior to his medical (shoulder replacement) retirement David worked in Law Enforcement for two separate agencies totaling over 18 years. Over 20 years of experience in canine handling, training and certifying/evaluating detection dog teams and patrol dog teams. David Dorn currently owns and operates as CEO and Head Trainer for his company K-9 Specialized Training and Consulting LLC. David currently provides training, consulting and expert consulting for several Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, including but not limited to Federal Protective Services, United States Park Police, several Universities, such as UC Berkeley, UC Davis located in California, San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, San Joaquin Sheriff’s Department, including high risk private professional vendors. David is the Primary Vendor Company for California Department of Corrections Adult and Juvenile K9’s and CalFire. David’s company is a Certified California Small Business. David’s business holds a California Seller Permit. David business holds a Federal Business Level DUNS and Sam-Cage Code Vendor number as well.

For most of David’s canine handling career, he handled two (2) canines on a daily basis. David implemented the Canine Unit at the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department in 1998. David has assisted several other LE Agencies in the implementation of their Canine Programs, managing, and maintaining their agencies K9 Units.

David is an accomplished author and has created an Online Education K9 platform K-9FTO (K-9 Field Training Officer), which is an Education Registered Mark and Copyrighted. This educational curriculum is for the education of Handler Instructors and K9 Supervisors to assist and bridge the gap of initial training to the actual deployment in the field (real world), which in turn helps canine teams be ready for certification and evaluation in the operation field not just in the training room.

He has also been published in K-9Cop Magazine, Police K-9 Magazine with featured articles in scent detection dog training and deployment, “Normalization of the Explosive Detection Dog Handler”, k-9 unit supervision, as well as problem solving the k-9 program.

David has thousands of hours in basic, and advanced Peace Officer Training and holds an Intermediate California Peace Officer Standards and Training Certificate (POST).

David has thousands of hours in basic and advanced Police Service Dog, Narcotic and Explosive Detection Dog Handler Training. David has participated in over 4,000 individual canine searches in the field. In addition, he has been present and observed hundreds of NDD and EDD deployments by other canine teams from all over the nation. David holds a certificate as a California POST Certified Canine Team Evaluator since 2002. David sat on the committee for the Western States Police Canine Association in the implementation of K9 Teams Certification and has been a Certifying Official as well as a Trail/Competition Judge for Detection K9 Teams since 2008. Over the past 16 years, David has certified and evaluated over 100 K9 Teams.

David also held a chair position and assisted in the implementation of the International Explosives Detection Dog Association. He is also a current, since 2001, member of the California Narcotics Canine Association. David Dorn is one of only 38 approved Cargo- Team 3rd party Evaluators for TSA. K-9STAC LLC is one of only 7 relevant Certification Companies selected and approved to conduct such TSA Cargo K-9 Team Evaluations.

David not only speaks as a subject matter expert on scent detection, training, deployment, and supervision at several major canine conferences a year since 2008, he also continues his education as a student at those conferences as well.

David maintains a professional relationship with all of his past and current trainee handler and trainers, including other vendors and certification officials in his industry. In turn keeping everything on a professional training is training and certification testing is testing relationship to avoid any conflicts for businesses and court issues that could arise otherwise. All of his large scale or multiple agency trainings including with TSA Personnel has all been voluntary (no monetary exchange or promises).

Our (Main) Evaluator (David Dorn), already posses the training, experience in training, operational director, certifying and evaluating K9 Teams and we believe he meets the background to perform the functions as Consultant and Director of All K9 Operations for the Patriot Group. Our company, including David will continue to certify WSPCA & POST K9 Teams and strive to be the most competent and knowledgeable professional in his field.

David not only speaks as a subject matter expert on scent detection, training, deployment, and supervision at several major canine conferences a year since 2008, he speaks at least 4 a year since. David also continues his education as a student at those conferences as well.

As of now I am the Owner and CEO for K-9STAC LLC, however, I have my assistant Angela Spears, whom assistance with the Scheduling or Security Coordinator positions of this program and I will ensure that that person(s) meet and exceed all training, continued training and experiences to ensure we have and continue to have the best people in the industry.

Website: K-9 STAC

Class: The Role of the K-9 Unit Supervisor

Students/attendees will leave the class with an understanding of today’s K-9 Unit Supervisor role. Whether they are a current K-9 Unit Supervisor or charged with forming a new K-9 Unit the student/attendee will be provided with valuable insight into the role of the K-9 Unit Supervisor and the liabilities that fall upon the supervisor on every k-9 related issue.

Erica Chadwick is a 280-hr certified yoga instructor out of Phoenix, AZ. Since 2017, she has studied Yoga, Trauma Informed Yoga, Movement Biomechanics, Physiology and Anatomy. Having worked alongside law enforcement since 2013 as an industry manufacturer, Erica has gained the trust of police officers nationwide using her knowledge of trauma and stress coupled with her straightforward approach and ability to understand law enforcement culture.

Class: TacMobility – Controlling the Mind and the Machine

Controlling the Mind + the Machine is a proactive de-escalation training program that couples the understanding that emotional and physiological affects of trauma inform each individual’s decision making abilities-whether an officer or individual. This information equips officers to recognize what personal liability they themselves bring to an incident therefore allowing for a non-emotion lead decision.

TacMobility introduces the body and mind connection to police officers across the USA using methods that are meant to help alleviate muscular tension, prevent injuries, increase sleep and lower stress responses in the body.

*Note – Live stretching demonstrations performed with attendees*

Shanon Kimball has been handling trailing bloodhounds in SAR for 11 years. She has been deployed by local law enforcement and the FBI within the state of Alaska. She is the Founder/Trainer/Director of North Paw K9 Search and Recovery, a team of K-9 handlers who specialize in urban trailing, human remains detection and gunshot residue K-9s.

Shanon has been involved with search and rescue in Alaska in 2008. First, with the Anchorage Police Department (APD) Search Team and then five years with the Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs. Shanon is currently on the rotation of Incident Command for the Anchorage Search Team and has also been the Director of the Anchorage Search Team for the past 10 years.

Shanon is an instructor for National Association for Search And Rescue (NASAR) and Law Enforcement Bloodhound Association/Forensic Canine Consultants (LEBA/FCC). She has taught seminars and certified dogs as far away as Germany for the German Bloodhound Mantrailing Association.

Class: Urban Search Management

This class will focus on managing a search in the urban and suburban environments and how to locate missing people in those areas.

Class: Scent Theory and K-9 Deployment: Part 1 & 2

This class will take a look into how the dogs do their jobs, the why’s and how’s of deploying a tracking/trailing dog and how they work. It will also cover what to do as a flanker and support for K-9 teams.

Shadi J. Ireifej DVM DACVS graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology (2001, Magna cum laude). He then attended Cornell University where he received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (2006, DVM).

After completing his studies at Cornell, Dr. Ireifej participated in an intense one-year small animal medicine and surgery rotating internship at Angel Animal Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts (2007), followed by two rigorous one-year small animal surgical internships at Long Island Veterinary Specialists (LIVS) in Plainview, New York (2009).

Dr. Ireifej achieved his board certification in small animal surgery by completing a three-year small animal surgery residency at LIVS (2012), and subsequently became a Diplomat for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (DACVS). After operating for almost 10 years at LIVS, Dr. Ireifej elected for warmer weather, and transplanted to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2016.

In Las Vegas, Dr. Ireifej became a staff surgeon at Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center (LVVSC). In 2017, he began flying across the United States, performing surgeries at a number of emergency and specialty hospitals in need of surgical assistance. This was followed by a Chief of Surgery position at United Veterinary Specialty and Emergency in Silicon Valley, California. Managing their three locations, Dr. Ireifej and his team successfully cared for dogs and cats in the Campbell, Mountain View, and San Jose areas.

In 2018, Dr. Ireifej joined TrueCare for Pets in the Los Angeles, California area as Chief of Specialty, where he was instrumental in morphing the after-hours and weekend emergency hospital to a successful 24-7 emergency and multi-specialty veterinary hospital. While the size of the hospital tripled, Dr. Ireifej instituted hospital-wide protocols, managed the surgery, internal medicine, and oncology departments, and became a leading force on social media platforms.

In 2020, Dr. Ireifej changed gears in his already illustrious career, finding a novel and state-of-the-art means of reaching concerned pet owners and their ill pets worldwide, VetTriage. Dr. Ireifej currently serves as their Chief Medical Officer.

Shadi has been published in scientific and medical journals and enjoys lecturing to a variety of audiences. He is known for being a positive force and energetic force, both professionally and personally.

Class: Veterinary Telemedicine: Welcome to the future

This class will outline the current status of veterinary telemedicine, dive into the inherent problems associated with that and describe the various telemedicine outlets currently available to handlers and vet clinics. Additionally, we discuss how VetTriage is a leading force in this overarching goal with regard to spearheading the future of veterinary telemedicine.

Class: German Shepherd Dog Conditions

This class goes into a number of disease conditions that are prevalent in the German Shepherd Dog breed. The goal is exposure to these various conditions to individuals so handlers and officers can have a deeper understanding of these conditions as well as be able to identify potential medical emergencies.

Dr. Jean Heidker has been working with dogs for close to fifty years and is still active in training. During that time she has trained dogs in all areas of life from well-behaved pet to hunting, herding and service dogs. Service dogs have included search and rescue, scent detection, man trailers and PTSD canines for service men and women. Nutrition to keep them at the top of their game has always been of high importance.

     Dr. Heidker has a PhD in Animal Nutrition and Feed Technology from Kansas State University which she has applied to developing products for companies for commercial production as well as specialized solutions for a single user or group. She has worked closely with veterinarians to provide not only new products for their needs but also to provide innovative ideas and feeding regimes to animals not responding to conventional treatments. The common answer is not always right and her goal has always been to provide practical field-tested products and answers based on science and practical knowledge and application. Products and solutions are field tested using her own animals or those that are in training to make sure they are suitable and practical for field use. Her company, P & S Nutrition, was created first to serve the needs of working K9s with products and advice when her son was in Iraq, but has become known also for serving all animals that have nutritional issues or handlers seeking a field solution.

     Jean is known for consulting with animals that are having digestive or other nutritional issues and working with their owners to find a solution to improve the animal’s health and create a happy team. This is done by listening to the owner and animal for issues and then providing advice and information on nutrition so a new diet can be designed and then evaluated to provide the very best solution for the animal in question. It also promotes a better understanding of the effect that the diet and other factors may have on the health, well-being and productivity of that client.

     Thinking outside the box is a way of life that finds unconventional solutions to problems that are often overlooked. Using the motto that “anything is possible” and “never give up” many new products and previously unsolved issues with all animal species have been resolved.

     Dr. Heidker offers free nutritional counseling to those K-9s in law enforcement.

Class: How Keeping Your K9 at the Right Weight And Using Certain Joint Supplements Can Prolong Useful Life

What is the useful life of your K9 partner? There are many things that go into this including breed, working conditions, how often and how hard he/she is worked, injuries on the job as well as age when your partner began actual field work. One item that is overlooked on a regular basis is proper body condition. This includes not only being overweight, but also being underweight. Both of these conditions can decrease useful working life.

Body condition can also affect the joints. Certain joint supplements given at the right stage in the dog’s life can have an effect on how long he/she will be able to perform. Not all joint supplements are created equal and while there are many on the market all making claims not all of them are effective. In this presentation I will present those that have real merit and when it is best to start including them in your K9’s diet for the best result.

Blake Broadhurst has been an Orlando police officer for 13 years, spending 11 of the years on specialty units. He has served as an assault member on the SWAT team as well as on presidential protection details. He’s a former tactical officer operating on multiple proactive crime suppression units as well as a former field trainer. Currently he is a K-9 handler and instructor for the K-9 unit. He has been involved in over 100 uses of force during his career ranging from foot pursuits to deadly force encounters. Blake has received four departmental awards, each for different takedowns of armed suspects.

As a K-9 handler, Blake has been deployed on hundreds of real time calls with numerous apprehensions with over 100 catches with his current K-9 partner, Champion. As an instructor, Blake holds certifications as a K-9 Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor and Federal Active Shooter Instructor. As a trainer, he has developed numerous creative and high skilled training scenarios that have been adopted by his agency, including a K-9 defensive tactics course focusing on tactical K-9 team takedowns of a suspect and choke defense techniques.

Class: K-9 Tactical Team Coordinated Takedowns and Choke Defense Tactics

The K-9 Tactical Team Coordinated Takedowns and Choke Defense Tactics course is an advanced class for experienced K-9 teams and handlers that are interested in evolving their skills and real-world performance. The course introduces a structured, efficient and safer way of apprehending and performing a team takedown of a resisting suspect. The techniques taught reduce the amount of force used by a handler, which in turn decreases the use of excessive force. The course will consist of three phases of instruction, K-9 defensive tactics, examples of live K-9 team takedowns and K-9 choke defense techniques. These phases will then be bridged together into specific real-world scenarios for the team to demonstrate the tactics they have learned. This course will increase the professionalism and effectiveness of a police K-9 team when operating in real-world deployments.

Doug Wannemacher retired after 21 years as a full-time K-9 trainer for his local sheriff’s office in October of 2020. He now totals more than 20,000 training hours and has trained 150+ canine teams in various disciplines. Doug is an accredited master trainer for the North American Police Work Dog Association in Utility and Narcotic Detection. He holds certifications from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and is the author and instructor of “Tactical K-9 Deployment In-Service Training” and “Basic K-9 First Aid.” He is the Training Coordinator for Astro Kennels, located in Greenville, SC.

Class Title: Building Search: Imprinting to Tactics

In this class, you’ll learn how to modularly train building search from beginning to end. Topics discussed will include imprinting the alert behavior of human odor as well as teaching a consistent, trained final response, all while incorporating tactics that will save lives.

Jim is a 31-year police veteran canine handler/trainer who has been involved in the blasting industry since the 1980s. He works in the Science and Technology Field and is involved in explosives research. He has worked throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. Ljunggren was an Explosives Odor Detection canine handler and deployed at the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013. He is the Homemade Explosives and Post Blast instructor for the Massachusetts Department and Fire Services Training Program.
This training program is designed to provide participants with the knowledge of explosive odor imprinting of detection canines with the correct energetic materials to enhance the effectiveness and capabilities of their canine teams. The training allows the handlers to understand the science involved and the ability to locate target odors during a canine search operation. This program also enhances the canine handler’s knowledge of how to search for and locate secondary devices in the post-blast area.

Class: Explosives Explained

An introduction to the past, present and future transnational use of homemade explosives.  The 5w’s.  Exploring explosive compounds and their respective rational of use.  Participants will be exposed and challenged to identify explosive compositions and the rational of use by transnational threats.