Klappenback, Scott

Scott Klappenback has been with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in southern California for more than 30 years where he, as a Designated Level 1 Reserve Lieutenant, has worked patrol assignments his entire tenure. For the past 17 years he has been a K-9 handler with the last 9 years being assigned to the Special Investigations Bureau’s Highway Interdiction Team. During this time he has worked two certified narcotic detection dogs in patrol. Scott’s assignment also includes appointment as a Title 19 Task Force Officer for the Department of Homeland Security. Additionally, he has testified as an expert witness on transportation and sales of narcotics. In 2017, he was the recipient of the National Sheriff’s Association “Reserve Deputy of the Year” award. Scott currently is an instructor for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s POST certified Basic Narcotics Investigation Course and teaches Vehicle Hidden Compartments and K-9 usage. He has also taught classes on K-9 training and usage for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS), Maryland National Capital Park Police, San Diego Police Department and U.S. Border Patrol. In addition, he has instructed classes on K-9 training and usage for the membership of the Orange County Police Canine Association (OCPCA), annual K9 Handler Instruction & Training Seminar (HITS), California Narcotic Officer’s Association (CNOA) annual Training Institute, California Narcotic Canine Association (CNCA) conference, National Criminal Enforcement Association’s (NCEA) annual National Interdiction Conference, Pacific North West Police K9 (PNWK9) annual conference and for a POST certified basic police K-9 handler’s school. Scott is a member and past Board member of the Orange County Police Canine Association (OCPCA).

When not working for the Sheriff’s department, Scott works under contract for the United States Navy Marine Mammal Program and is an instructor for the U.S. Navy’s Marine Mammal Handlers Animal Training Certification Course based in San Diego. He has been in the animal training profession for more than 35 years. He is past president of the International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association (IMATA) which represents more than 2,000 professional animal trainers worldwide. Scott obtained his B.A. degree in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine.


Class: Protecting our Profession

The law enforcement community has been under extreme scrutiny the past several years and so has the marine mammal training profession for even longer. The animal rights movement produced the movie “Blackfish” that has changed the marine mammal animal training profession forever. And the law enforcement working dog profession is not immune from this type of scrutiny and attacks. As a K9 handler in today’s climate it is imperative the basic principles of animal training are understood by the handler. This understanding will assist in avoiding court challenges by defense experts, poor public perceptions on how our K9s are treated and more importantly improve your K9’s performance. Scott will review basics of animal learning and share his concerns regarding how law enforcement can collectively best avoid being victim of the next “Blackfish effect”.