More than 60 K9 Teams travel to Denver to benefit from essential training tactics
K9s United hosted K9 law enforcement teams from across the country during a four-day training session outside Denver to ensure K9 units have the highest levels of customized training and animal care necessary to best protect and serve their communities. The private workshop was held from May 23 – 26 at American Legion Post 1985, located at 870 First Street in Firestone. Sixty-one K9 teams traveled from Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming to attend the elite training opportunity to take vital learning back to their hometown agencies and help them protect and serve their local communities.
The in-depth workshop encompassed human detection including tracking, trailing, area and building searches; criminal apprehension techniques and scenario-based training; odor and narcotics/explosive detection; along with basic and advanced obedience training. Additionally, this workshop helped K9 teams understand the importance behind dog selection; and how it can impact each team’s success in the field.
“At K9s United, we’re committed to helping K9s and their handlers better protect each other as they serve their communities,” said Debbie Johnson, founder and president of K9s United. “Every day presents challenges that can quickly escalate into dangerous situations for K9s and their handlers. Our training program is customized for each canine team and allows them to productively work together to safely elevate their service and keep their community safe.”
The workshop also helped handlers with certification preparedness designed to work on skills and disciplines needed to achieve local, state and national K9 certifications. Participating instructors included a mix of current and former law enforcement K9 handlers, as well as civilian trainers. While the training was full for K9 teams, handlers and their canine partners, there were some open audit spots for K9 officers who wanted to attend without their canine partners. The free workshop was made possible through the generous support of corporate and individual donations, including 5.11 Tactical, a producer of purpose-built gear for active service. K9s United has also held similar training sessions for K9 teams in California, Iowa and throughout Florida.
Many law enforcement agencies don’t have adequate funding to provide their K9 units with the vital resources they need, including advanced training; equipment and kennels; vehicle heat alarms and door poppers; canine emergency kits and bulletproof vests and other larger health expenses. Through community and corporate support, K9s United helps fill that void and aid law enforcement agencies to ensure their K9 units have the programs and supplies the dogs need most.
Additionally, K9s United actively works to lobby for legislation that protects and serves these selfless and voiceless working dogs. K9s United has successfully championed for Florida legislation that creates harsher penalties for criminals that harm a working K9 and, if a dog is hurt in the line of duty, it can now be transported via emergency vehicle to the area’s closest emergency vet. K9s United is committed to supporting legislation on a local, state and federal level to protect K9 teams across the country.
In addition to the K9 workshop, every dollar raised by K9s United supports the nonprofit’s mission to educate, train and provide vital equipment and services to K9s who serve in the field. The nonprofit also has a long-term plan to build a regional training facility in North Florida so they can better train and help protect the loyal K9s serving communities throughout the US. Those who would like to support K9s United can visit K9sUnited.org to make an online donation help more law enforcement attend future workshops and expand opportunities for the nonprofit to host additional training seminars throughout the country.