Kevin started his career in EMS in 1992, first as an EMT for five years before starting Paramedic School. He has worked in the Philadelphia Fire Department as well as working in 911 for multiple counties. Kevin became a Tactical Medic approximately 10 years ago, serving as Team Leader for approximately four years. He has been an instructor for Techline Trauma for the past five years. He has NEAMT Instructor Certification for the following courses: TECC, TCCC-MP/AC, TECC-MP, K9 TECC and BCON

CLASS: Intro to Tactical K-9 BCON

Tactical K-9 BCON is a 4-hour program aimed at any and all dog handlers who are interested in learning the tactical care phases and how they relate to K-9 care.

Topics to be covered include:

1. The K-9 “M3ARCH2” Assessment Tehnique
2. Types of bleeding emergencies
3. Basic K-9 NEURO exam
4. K-9 vital signs
5. Minor and severe hemorrhage control
6. Penetrating chest injury treatment

In this intro class, we will discuss some of these topics briefly. During the second session, we will practice tourniquet application on a K-9 manikin for a short skill session. This class will serve as a good introduction to our courses and provide information for further, more advanced care course opportunities.

Over the last 12 years, Steven Antommarchi has held the law enforcement titles of Patrol Officer, Canine Handler, Canine Supervisor, Canine Trainer and Interim Chief of Police.

    His first encounter with a K-9 team was in New York City on September 11, 2001. He witnessed a search and rescue K-9 team fighting through horrible conditions, while overcoming serious injury for the sake of saving lives. That encounter made such a profound impression on him that he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

    15 years later, on July 7, 2016, in Dallas, Texas, K-9 Officer Antommarchi found himself in the middle of the deadliest attack on law enforcement since 9/11. Tasked with the responsibility of clearing the downtown area for improvised explosive devices, the reason he got into working K-9s came full circle.

    Being mentored by Tony Guzman and Robert “Bob” Suarez, Antommarchi is an Instructor for Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University, a K-9 case study trainer for the International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI) and a trainer for Metro Dade K9.

    Most recently, he became one of the lead trainers and co-designer of the training methodology for a scientific study through IFRI on “Hemp vs Marijuana.” This study is to evaluate the ability for narcotic detector dogs to discriminate between the odor of marijuana and hemp. The study is being headed by Dr. Kelvin Frank of Florida International University and is in the process of being submitted for publication.

    Antommarchi is the K-9 trainer for over a dozen north Texas law enforcement agencies and travels across the United States with a team of K-9 instructors conducting workshops and seminars focusing on operational readiness and K-9 aggression instincts.

Class: K-9 Instincts and Extreme Obedience to Odor  *Live-Demonstration using Dogs*

    Have you wondered why two different dogs of the same breed, with the same amount of drive can act so differently when introduced to various operational exercises? Have you tried to train two different dogs the same way and get vastly different results? The first step in the solution is to learn, understand and exploit the different types of instincts found within each canine which will allow for a more individualized approach to training. In this class, you will learn to characterize those instincts, manipulate them to get the most out of your canine and develop the desired instincts and suppressing the undesired. A detection demonstration will be presented to show the results of proper manipulation of canine instincts paired with trained obedience to odor.

Mark Flynn began his career in the Military working dog academy in 1984 at Lackland AFB Texas, and served for 11 years as a Military Working Dog Handler, Supervisor and K-9 Trainer. He transitioned to the civilian world in 1995, and became a K-9 Handler for the MD DPSCS K-9 Unit. The MD DPSCS K-9 Unit is a 40 person force of sworn police officers that patrol the Maryland Prison systems, it’s grounds and surrounding areas, interdicting CDS, explosives and contraband, providing armed response and Patrol dog assistance to emergencies, and providing tactical response in the event of escapes and inmate uprisings.

Mark Flynn served as a prolific handler, front line supervisor, full time trainer and assistant commander and now Unit Commander over the course of a 25 year career with the MD DPSCS K-9 Unit. He is currently a Maryland police training commission Instructor, and a United States Police Canine Association certified master trainer.

Major Flynn utilizes his 36 years’ experience in the K-9 field as a dynamic and entertaining instructor, and he frequently teaches at the Police, Correctional and Canine academies in the Maryland and DC metro area. He has also appeared on various TV Programs and news channels, such as Nat-Geo, (Big Bigger Biggest Prison addition), Beyond Scared Straight (Hagerstown addition), and numerous other programs.

Class: On the Road or Behind the Fence; Unique Concerns of Police K-9s and Corrections

This 2-hour training seminar will focus on police canines as they serve both on the road and in the correctional environments that they respond to as part of their beat. There will be an emphasis on CDS introduction and trafficking trends. These trends covered will include detecting and interdicting contraband on staff, visitors, volunteers, and support personnel, cell phone detection canines,  prevalence of buprenorphine (brand name Suboxone, which is very widespread in the mid-Atlantic correctional systems), K-2 and Spice, and the value of passive alert dogs and PEOPLE scans.

The class will also cover the development of relationships and use of the rescue dog organizations, and the use of unconventional (Floppy eared) breeds in detector work (English springier spaniels, Labs, Etc.). The class will have a dynamic and interactive power point and an extensive Q&A.

Nicholas King is the Director of Operations and Founder of Von Der King Kennels and Training – VDK. Formed in 2010, VDK specializes in canine and handler training for local, state and federal applications. VDK imports canines from around the world and runs a successful breeding program producing social, stable, driven canines. Nick has been training dogs since 2005, handling a Narcotics Detection K-9 and two Explosives Detection K-9s. VDK was originally located in Michigan, where Nick ran an extremely successful training group consisting of teams from Ann Arbor Police Department, Eastern Michigan University Police, Milan Police Department, City of Flint Police Department and more. Current clientele of VDK includes TSA, CBP, DoD, ATF, numerous other law enforcement agencies and multimillion-dollar private security firms.

Nick is also the Club Training Director for a dog sport called French Ring. Under his guidance and decoy work, multiple dogs within the club are competing at the highest levels, with multiple Regional and Championship events, International Competition and numerous dogs to compete internationally with the “Team USA” designation. French Ring is notable for its complexity of bite targeting and control during aggression. Nick is an active competitor in French Ring, handling and titling five dogs within the sport, two of which are French Ring 3 competitors. Nick is also a Certified Peace Officer in the State of Georgia.

Class: Decoy and Handler – Tools and Techniques for Developing the Street Dog *Live-Demonstration using dogs*

This class will cover basic learning theory, targeting areas, canine equipment, decoy equipment,
specialty tools used in aggression, progression of training evolutions and scenarios. Also included will be a brief overview of our industry leading VDK Muzzle Training System.

Class: Building a Beast with K-9 BSD *Live-Demonstration using dogs*

This class will cover basic learning theory, terminology, K-9 BSD uses, Direct and Indirect Reward Systems and progression of use for K-9 BSD.

Jonathan Baer is retired from the US Air Force. He started his K-9 career with the USAF in January 1999 with the Military Working Dog Program. His first canine overseas contract was in Kuwait for the Department of Defense as the MWD Trainer Supervisor. He then went on to work for the Department of State as the Kennel Master for training in Baghdad. Afterwards, he came back to the United States and started with the TSA, where he worked for three years as a handler and unit trainer. After leaving the TSA, Jonathan went back to contract work as a Handler Trainer in Afghanistan. His last overseas contract ended in September 2020 as the K-9 Project Manager for a NATO contract with Narc/Explosives Teams. Jonathan has 22 years of experience within the MWD/DoS/TSA Canine and NATO Canine Programs. He has certified as a Handler with DoD, DoS and TSA and has been a Detection Dog Certifying Official for the DoS and NATO programs.

Class: Train the Trainer

This class will discuss objective based detection training.

Class: Hidden Compartments, Criminal Patrol & Officer Safety

The focus of the criminal patrol class is to detect, interdict and disrupt the flow of illicit drugs, terrorists, human trafficking and illicit US currency associated with criminal activity on the nation’s highways. The uniformed officer is the first line of defense in protecting national security when criminals are most vulnerable: while in transit on America’s highways. Domestic Interdiction Group’s specifically designed class for criminal patrol provides officers with training on criminal interdiction and information on concealment methods that consist of false compartments within several types of vehicles. Recent and emerging concealment trends will also be covered.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Questioning and evaluating during a traffic stop
  • Modus operandi of drug trafficking organizations
  • False and hidden compartments
  • Cartel trends
  • Professional vehicle searches
  • Escort/decoy vehicles/officer safety issues
  • Racial profiling issues and concerns
  • Bulk currency concealment and transportation methods
  • Concealment methods that consist of fabricated, hydraulic and electronic compartments

A retiree from the Terre Haute Police Department, Dan was assigned to the Organized Crime & Narcotics Unit working undercover and specializing in Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. He was the first K-9 Dual Purpose handler/trainer for Terre Haute PD, working 2 DPN and 1 SPE dog while on the street. Dan is a state certified instructor through the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy as well as a certified K-9 instructor/trainer through Vohne Liche Kennels. He has instructed seminars and classes in several states as well as many classes with foreign students at VLK. Dan has certified dogs with AWD, NNDDA, the State of Indiana and the State of Oklahoma. On top of all of this, Dan has judged K-9 competitions throughout the US and has even traveled to Afghanistan to train Afghan handlers on VLK bomb dogs destined to protect their President Karzai. He has been an instructor for Vohne Liche Kennels since 1996 and began his full time career in 2005.

Website: vohneliche.com

Class: K-9 Use of Force

This class will focus on the use of force policies and best practices for patrol canines. K-9 use of force has become a hot topic these days. Law enforcement agencies now more than ever should institute strong policies and procedures for all aspects of their canine operations.

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: Training using the NePoPo® system

Bart and Michael founded the training system NePoPo®, where the dog will always perform on cue with heart and soul. With animal welfare laws becoming more and more stringent, it is important to train in methods that are politically palatable. All dog handlers need to be cognizant of how training and training tools will be scrutinized by an increasingly assertive anti-training (especially bite work) and anti-electronic collar public. How can we continue to train what we want to and what we must? Bart and Michael will talk about how both the NePoPo® system and Martin System products fit in an animal friendly philosophy.

Shanon resides in Anchorage Alaska. She started in search and rescue (SAR) in 2008 with the Anchorage Search Team. Her current K-9 partner is Abbie, a 5-year-old bloodhound. When she is not teaching Search and Rescue trailing here in the US or overseas in Germany, she operates, trains and evaluates the dogs of North Paw K9 Search and Recovery, which she founded as an urban trailing team, to be a resource for the State of Alaska in 2016. They are deployed by the Anchorage Police department, the FBI and other various law enforcement agencies to aid in lost person cases and locating evidence. She has taught and helped with evaluations/certifications as far away as Germany with the German Bloodhound Man-Trailing Association. Shanon is or has been affiliated with the following:  USAF Security Police – 4 years ODS; Vet Tech; Court Security – current 20 years; SAR since 2008, K-9 Handler since 2009 – bloodhounds; NASAR Evaluator/Instructor Trailing, HRD, Urban Search Management, MLPI; German Man-Trailing Association Trainer/Evaluator Trailing; Lost Person Behavior Instructor

Class: Scent Theory, K-9 deployment and support Flanker Duties

Topics to be covered in this class include:

  • Scent and what it is;
  • How the dogs utilize the scent;
  • Contamination and how to work with it;
  • Deployment for trailing K-9’s emphasis on an urban environment, from the SAR perspective and the best way to utilize each discipline;
  • Flanker duties;
  • Lessons learned

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.