Chad Smith is K2 Solutions’ Director of Explosives & Hazardous Materials. Chad manages all aspects of K2’s Explosives Directorate; acts as a Homemade Explosives (HME) and an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician, Subject Matter Expert and Explosive/Hazmat Section Manager. Chad is a NAVSCOLEOD Certified graduate with Master EOD Badge who has more than 20 years of EOD, IED and explosive experience.

During Chad’s career, he has trained numerous state and federal law enforcement, US Military and foreign partners on IED awareness and recognition, tactical training and explosive safety and handling and has taught multiple classes on live fire exercise, tracking lanes, tactical medical procedures and booby trap scenarios for North Carolina’s Tactical Winter Tracking Course. Chad has been in charge of multiple EOD teams during Secret Service and State Department VIP protection details. As a Special Operations Team Member, Special Activities, Reconnaissance & Assault Operator, Chad has developed, planned and executed operations in sensitive worldwide environments/locations unilaterally or as part of a joint/combined force. He has facilitated planning, coordination and execution of unilateral, joint and foreign combined forces training missions and deployment rotations.

Chad is also a Master Breacher and previously worked as a liaison providing technical knowledge for the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, sharing breaching knowledge for research/development projects and tactics, techniques and procedures.

www.k2si.com


Class: Bridging the Gap: Bringing the K-9 Handler and the Explosive Technician Closer

This course is designed to strengthen the canine handler’s explosive knowledge through reality-based training techniques. It will provide insight and explosive odor knowledge to help determine the right odors for training your canine. Lastly, this course will maximize the handler’s understanding of the explosive odors that they could encounter during various real-world searches.

Dr. Lisa T. Briggs has served many years in the applied field, is a criminologist, an active K-9 trainer and handler and is the Director of the Cadaver K9 Training Facility at Western Carolina University. As the lead instructor for the WCU HRD K9 training program, Edwin Grant brings a long-standing career in law enforcement and has trained and handled almost all specializations of K-9s, including bomb, tracking, trailing and air scent. For the last decade plus, Edwin and Lisa have teamed together in the area of HRD K-9s.

Edwin and Lisa are search and recovery specialists for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and utilize K-9s in most of their work with active cases. They are also on the Department of Homeland Security Reunification Team and both have law enforcement K-9s and are a part of the State Bureau of Investigations HRD K9 Task Force. They deploy all over the country, as well as outside of the United States, and they are eager to share some of their lessons learned (many the hard way) with those interested in the discipline.


Class: Human Remains Detection K-9s: Lessons Learned

With over 50 combined years of experience in law enforcement, criminal justice and specifically missing person’s recovery, Dr. Lisa Briggs and Officer Edwin Grant bring a wealth of knowledge to discussions through “lessons learned” from training and deployments in the specialization of human remains recovery with the use of detection K9s. The two are raising awareness of weakness in the field and make a ‘call out’ to law enforcement K-9 handlers to consider the challenging, but rewarding, work in a fairly new discipline – that until recently was manned only by volunteers. Their presentation will also include K-9 and handler tips and strategies.


Class: WATER RECOVERY OF HUMAN REMAINS WITH THE USE OF SCENT DETECTION K9S

The National Institute of Justice reports that on any given day, there are as many as 100,000 active missing person cases in the United States (Ritter, 2007). People go missing, and efforts are necessary to locate those individuals-hopefully alive; but in the event that the victim perished, their body still needs to be recovered.  Those struggles are only exacerbated when the victim is located in water, and since 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water, the probability is increased that aquatic searches are evident. When water is a factor in missing person cases, the search becomes intensely more difficult.  Due to water currents and conditions, increased variability of human decomposition, and limited resources and equipment, the investigation and recovery of missing persons is compounded.  Dr. Briggs and Edwin Grant will cover how these variables affect the use of scent detection K9s in the recovery of human remains.

Eric Byrd is the National Channel Manager for Kinetic Performance Dog Food with a focus on Police/Military K-9 teams across the country. Eric has been working closely with K-9 teams for the past 8 years and has grown and developed relationships with multiple agencies and teams. Eric is an avid Quail Hunter and has been training English Pointers for 20+ years. He started his pursuit of dog food nutrition after experiencing issues in his kennel that were hard to explain (low energy, decreased stamina, long recovery periods and messy kennels). In his pursuit of answers to these issues, Eric discovered Kinetic Performance Dog Food after many discussions with manufacturers across the Pet Food industry. Immediately his kennel saw the results of what superior dog food nutrition can do and the many benefits the dogs experienced when the calorie/nutrient rich nutritional profile was being fed.

Eric then joined the Kinetic Team in 2021 and has traveled the country giving canine nutritional classes and seminars to Police K-9 teams, Military K-9 teams and Bird Dog Field Trialers. His personal approach and experiences with dogs and their food weave together a nutritional class experience that is both fun and informative, giving each handler a better understanding about the Pet Food Industry and the ingredients they put into their K-9s.

K-9 Nutrition: Is Your Dog on the Right Fuel and How Do You Know?

Does your dog itch continuously, lose hair, have a dull-stiff or brittle coat or show signs of coat dander or flaking? Do you feed him 5-6-7-8 cups of food or more a day to maintain his weight? Does your dog’s stool look like a cow patty, are they gassy? There is a reason for this and you don’t have to look much further than the bag of food…

This is a fast paced, interactive class that teaches the student; how to read a nutritional label, define what “that” ingredient is. How to tell a good dog food from a bargain brand and understand how minerals and vitamins get depleted in a K-9 Officer and pictures of what happens when you don’t replace the nutrients. You don’t fuel a high-performance car or motorcycle with low octane gas and expect it to reach peak performance and it is the same with your K-9 Athlete.

By the end of the class, you will be armed with the ability to look at your canine and see the effects of poor diet and what changes you can do to correct them.

Luis Rodriguez was welcomed to the Vohne Liche Kennels family in January 2007. Luis has nine years of experience as Head Trainer of the K-9 Unit with the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections. He is a Graduate of the VLK Trainer’s Course and is now a Senior Instructor for multiple law enforcement and military working dog courses. Luis is fully bilingual in Spanish and English and is the primary instructor for VLK’s Spanish-speaking clients to include Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Mexico and Costa Rica.


Class: Obedience to Odor

This class will take handlers deeper into why detection dogs do what they do. Luis will delve into what drives are and how they are utilized. The term ‘obedient to odor’ refers to the dog understanding that odor drives the reward, not the handler. This fast pace class will cover everything from odor imprintation, to reward, to search patterns and the whys behind each of these components of detection dog training. Not only is this class highly entertaining but, most of all, it is also highly informative.

For more than 20 years, Joris Kerckhof served and instructed in the military, private security and federal police and developed an intimate knowledge in canine operations from puppy to retirement during that time. From detection services to crowd control and tactical operations, they have been and are confident in the ability to tailor canine training to achieve the desired result. Be it a personal pet, an at-home protection dog, Police K-9 or Military multi-purpose canine, we believe in developing brave dogs who meld with their families or partners to not only be of service but also provide loyal companionship. Born from strife and out of love, Belgium’s Finest K9 is built upon the tried-and-true methods and techniques founder Joris Kerckhof personally learned and applied as a Belgian Federal Police canine handler. BFK9 specializes in the use of NePoPo® training system developed by Michael & Bart Bellon and equipment in combination with the representation and distribution of Martin System® equipment. Julius Caesar once said, “Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae.” The English translation is, “Of all these, the Belgians are the bravest.” And from our experience, none so more than our dogs


Class: NePoPo® *Live-Demonstration using dogs*

NePoPo® the modern way of dog training

Jake Wright served in the United States Marine Corps, which gave him the opportunity to see first hand all the capabilities a K-9 can offer. As he transitioned out of the military, this inspired him to train dogs both for civilians and law enforcement. Over the last 10 years, Jake was able to come up with a true balanced training approach. During that time, he has competed in sports IPO (Schutzhund), PSA and became a certified PSA decoy. Currently, he is the Owner and Head Trainer at Precision K9 Work in Austin, Texas. This is where they specialize in detection dogs, pet obedience and various protection sports. He and his staff work daily with handlers in law enforcement and clients with family dogs. This requires a knowledge of various training techniques and full understanding of canine behavior. He is very passionate about canine education and his mission is to make sure K-9 handlers and dog owners get the best education and training available. Visit precisionk9work.com


Class: Teaching the Out Command

This class will cover step by step instruction on teaching a clean and clear “out command. Not just how to get out from a tug but also off a decoy and in high stress situations. Many problems occur when starting to teach the out command, including conflict and stress with our dogs. Learn step by step instruction with dogs in a real-time demonstration.


Class: The Art of Remote Collar Introduction and Problem Solving

Remote collars are a great way to get the off leash control and reliability we all want. This class will teach the step-by-step approach on starting a dog in the remote collar and how we can get the off leash reliability. Along the way, we will cover misconceptions about remote collar training and discuss problem solving and troubleshooting solutions that may arise when using the remote collar.

ICRWDA President and Wynn Resorts K9 Program Manager Ryan Millbern has over 17 years of K-9 management, training and handling experience within Law Enforcement, High Threat Overseas Security Contracting and Domestic Security Operations. This experience includes standing up new K-9 programs, existing K-9 program assessment and improvement protocols, creating K-9 program specific corporate and law enforcement policies/SOPs, developing operational deployment strategies and establishing K-9 and handler testing and selection procedures.

Ryan has also trained scores of Police, Contract and Security working dogs and handlers in numerous disciplines including explosives detection, narcotics detection, wildlife conservation detection, human remains detection, bed bug detection, scent discriminate trailing, patrol apprehension and personal protection. He has obtained Trainer and Handler certifications from various entities including ATF, DEA, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of State, Colorado Police Canine Association, North American Police Work Dog Association, United States Police Canine Association, Southern Coast K9, Silver State K9, Ford K9 Training, and Hill Country Dog Center. Additionally, Ryan more than doubled sales and dramatically increased product quality, educational enrichment, brand reputation and integrity during his tenure as the Director of Working Dog Operations with a struggling Police K-9 Handler School/Trainer school in North Carolina.

Ryan is a retired Police Officer, North Carolina Board of Community Colleges approved Police K-9 Master Trainer School Instructor, a human borne explosives decoy currently supporting TSA’s National Explosives Detection Canine Training Program (NEDCTP) at airports across the United States and presently holds a federal security clearance. Ryan is also proud to serve as the Senior Program Manager of K-9 Operations for Wynn Resorts Las Vegas, overseeing a large multi-threat vector K-9 Unit tasked with the protection of over 13,000 employees and guests across the sprawling Forbes 5-Star rated resort.

ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL CASINO & RESORT WORKING DOG ASSOCIATION

ICRWDA is the world’s leading hospitality and resort security focused K-9 association. ICRWDA’s mission is to support Casino, Resort and Private Security K-9 handlers with cost-free professional training and to provide K-9 Subject Matter Experts to any entity in the hospitality/resort/tourism industry looking to create new K-9 programs or to improve their existing K-9 assets. ICRWDA also provides scholarship opportunities for Security and Law Enforcement K-9 teams to attend K-9 training conferences across the globe. ICRWDA is a registered 501c3 Non-Profit organization. For more information visit us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube or www.ICRWDA.org


Class: Reality Based K-9 Training and US Based Operations for LE/Commercial Explosives Detection Teams

The demand for competent explosives detection teams in the United States is growing exponentially, yet the bulk of EDD teams across the nation remain undertrained, underfunded and underutilized. Are you and your dog truly ready to face today’s explosive threat environment? Do your training techniques reflect what you actually face? Join ICRWDA President and Wynn Resorts K9 Program Manager, Ryan Millbern, as he covers RBT protocols that are specific to modern explosives detection K-9 teams including planning, documentation, safety protocols, K-9 vs Handler learning objectives, Single Purpose vs Dual Purpose K-9s and cost-effective, real-world training scenarios designed to increase capabilities and confidence. Ryan will also be discussing best practice operational techniques for US based LE and commercial explosive detection teams to maximize capabilities with limited EDD resources to better address current explosive threats to the US homeland. Topics will include proactive vs reactive sweeps in commercial environments, area prioritization, post-blast search protocols and communications with venue management, LE and Bomb Squad personnel.

Dave Reese is the CEO of 3 International companies and a boarding kennel in Chicago: K-9, INC (police and military green dog sales), International Scent Solutions (K-9 consulting), ShipMyPets.com (working dog and pet logistics) and VIP PET HOTELS (boarding kennel). Dave is a Certified Master Trainer with 33 years of experience in the K-9 Security and Defense Industry. He has worked with agencies in over 25 countries including Madrid, London, Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Mexico, Scotland, Hong Kong, Canada, Indonesia, Australia, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan and many others.

Dave specializes in consulting, green dog sales, import/export of working dog and pet logistics, scent detection, training, handling, kenneling and specialty training. He has consulted for governments and international organizations and has lived and traveled throughout the world to work with police, military, private sector security and anti-terrorist experts.

Dave is a law enforcement Training and Standards Board Master Canine Instructor, a Master Anti-Terrorism Specialist, published author and patent holder. He wrote the first private sector laws for the K-9 Industry and has worked on special projects in the scientific research and development of working dogs.


Class: Applied Natural and Biological Systems of Working Dogs

In this class, we’ll be discussing how environmental acclimation/stimulation and different applied training methods effect working dogs. We will teach understanding of classical conditioning VS operant conditioning, true drives compared to learned drives, biological systems of working dogs, K-9 body language and how they all affect K-9 training.

Kevin Beck is the Vice President of Canine Training Operations for Global K9 Protection Group. He currently oversees the training and operations for over 320 canine teams deployed across the United States. Kevin is a former United States Marine Corps Canine Instructor, Trainer, Handler and Supervisor for Department of Defense/Federal Air Aviation Explosive Dog Program at Lackland, AFB, Texas. Kevin is a graduate of the West Virginia State Police Academy Institute, West Virginia and the F.B.I.’s Hazardous Device School (EOD) at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama.

Kevin is a retired Wilmington Police Officer and was the owner/operator of Becks K9 Service, where he supplied canines to the US Customs and Border Patrol, US Capitol Police, US Embassy in Guatemala and Mexico and the Department of Homeland Security to include the Special Operations Command of the US Navy and US Army.

Kevin holds certifications as an Instructor through the DoD Instructor Academy at Lackland AFB and is a Master Trainer with the United Police Work Dog Association (UPWDA) and a National Trainer and Judge with the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA). Additionally, Kevin is qualified by the State of North Carolina as an Expert Witness in Law Enforcement Canine Training and Operation Procedures.

Kevin travels throughout the United States and to multiple countries to hand test and procure all canines for Global K9 Solutions. Kevin has tested and selected thousands of active canines across the United States of America and across the Globe.


Class: K-9 Procurement 101

We’ll be discussing the 25 years of procuring dogs from Western and Eastern Europe and the pros and cons of purchasing dogs in Europe. The overall goal of this class is to educate to the attendees on the proper selection of dogs using the methodology of nerve strength verses retrieve drive and the fact that drive will mask over weak nerves in a dog. This class will focus on both single purpose dogs and dual purpose dogs and how using the nerve strength methodology instead of drive will enable the attendee to select a far better single or dual purpose candidate for their K-9 program.

Mark Flynn began his K-9 career in 1984 at the Military working dog academy at Lackland AFB Texas and served for 11 years as a Military Working Dog Handler, Supervisor and K-9 Trainer during operations in the Philippines, Turkey, and Germany and during Operation Desert Storm.

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 41-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 served as a prolific Handler, Front Line Supervisor, Full Time Trainer and Assistant Commander and now Unit Commander over the course of a 28-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 Detector Trainer.

Major Flynn utilizes his 38 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 programs, such as Nat-Geo, (Big, Bigger, Biggest edition), Beyond Scared Straight (Hagerstown edition) and numerous other programs and podcasts.


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 K-9s 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, Alcohol and Electronic Detection Canines, the  prevalence of buprenorphine (brand name Suboxone, which is very widespread in the mid-Atlantic correctional systems), Synthetic Opioids and synthetic cannabinoids.  We will discuss the value of passive alert dogs and PEOPLE scans for contraband detection.

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 PowerPoint presentation and an extensive Q&A session.

DISCLAIMER: Some material shown as part of Mark Flynn’s presentation contains graphic scenes of prison and gang related violence and injuries. Participant Discretion advised.


Class: Making Sense of Scent: Understanding, Developing and Increasing Drives of Detector Dogs in Odor Detection

This class will help handlers and trainers alike understand and appreciate the dog’s unique and amazing sense of olfaction, as well as how the underlying drive and basic needs of a detector dog can best be utilized in training and real world scenarios. The class will explore the relationship between K-9 needs and K-9 drives and how we maximize these in the training of a  foolproof detector dog. Mark will teach the indicators and behaviors of detector dogs in odor, as well as the Who, What, Where, When and (especially) WHY of scent-based training.

From odor patterns and Imprinting to reward schedules, just noticeable difference (JNDs) to Absolute thresholds, behavior alerts to final response, this quick-paced class will cover everything from reading a dog to final reward, the search patterns best used, as well as breaking down the explanations behind each of the mechanisms of detection dog training.

Mark utilizes his almost 40 years of K-9 training in Military, Corrections, Police and Civilian dogs in a dynamic and enjoyable PowerPoint, no-holds-barred discussion and informative questions and answer session to end the class.