Aaron Taylor

Owner, Ridgeside K9, LLC

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Marine Corps Infantry 1998-2004
Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office 2004 – 2018
Owner – Ridgeside K9, LLC
Vice President Animal Division – ActivPower Inc.

Education – The George Washington University (bachelor’s Degree in security studies)

Aaron served six years in the Marine Corps in both the Infantry and Diplomatic Security. Aaron then went into Law Enforcement in the Northern Virginia region where he served 15 years with time in patrol, community policing, narcotics, full-time SWAT, SWAT K9 and patrol K9. During his tenure in law enforcement, Aaron went back to school full-time at night and earned a bachelor’s degree in security studies from The George Washington University.

Brian Burdette

NAPWDA Master Trainer for 20+ years

Bradley Gillespie

Canadian Police Canine Association

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Brad has been involved with handling and training working dogs for 20 years. He has trained police and military dog teams globally. Brad is currently a trainer with the second largest Police K9 program in Canada where he specializes in patrol, explosive detection and tactical integration. Brad considers himself a student of the game and tries to employ science and proven based approaches to training whenever possible. He is continually striving to better train operationally reliable K9 teams though training programs that are repeatable, reliable, fundamental, teachable and learnable.

Brent Schoenfeldt

Brent is a current Board-Certified Emergency Room Physician at Pocono Medical Center, EMS Director for multiple EMS agencies, is the current Physician for Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department SWAT team, and is a Tactical Combat Care instructor. Prior to his current position he was SERT team physician for Stanly County Sheriff Department in Albemarle, NC. Brent is Urban Search and Rescue certified. His passions include Tactical Medicine and Prehospital Medicine.

Brent will be teaching K9 First Aid & More with Scott Dunlap.

Cory Nordin

National Industry Manager – Working Dog – Eukanuba/Royal Canin

Cory spent the last 15 years working in the zoo industry managing large animal programs, teaching courses on animal training, and working with nutritionists on a daily basis to achieve peak health and body condition on the animals in his charge. Cory has an extensive background in animal health, husbandry, training, and nutrition. He has worked with thousands of animals around the world as a consultant to their animal management needs.

As the National Industry Manager for the Eukanuba/Royal Canin, Cory focuses on the Canine nutrition needs specific to the working dog performance athletes. He consults with individuals, law enforcement departments, government agencies, search and rescue teams and other organizations to provide optimum results from a nutritional aspect for their canine partners working in the field.


Cliff Samson

Canadian Police Canine Association


Topic: TRACKING: The how and why of breaking your tracking into 5 levels including: Rural, Urban, Residential, Hard surface, the Hunt.

Cliff has been involved in the training of police and other forms of working dogs for over 30 years. During that time he has been involved in the training of Police, Military, Search and Rescue and numerous types of detection dogs including Drugs, Explosives, Accelerant and Cadaver. Cliff handled several tracking dogs during his policing career and has spent many years teaching tracking to Police, Military and search and Rescue K9 handlers.

Cliff was the president of the Canadian Police Canine Association for 10 years, was one of the founding members of CLEAR the Canine Law Enforcement Accreditation Registry in Canada and is still involved in both of these Canadian K9 initiatives. Cliff is currently a trainer with the second largest Police K9 program in Canada where he is in charge of their SAR and HRD programs.

Dave Blosser

Tri-State Canine Services

Dave brings 25 years of canine training from a diverse background of European dog sports and law enforcement. He has competed in law enforcement canine competitions prior to his service as a police officer. As a civilian handler/trainer Dave would place 1st in these competitions. Dave has worked with and trained handlers and canines for US military contracts, NSA, Military Special Ops, FBI and various law enforcement agencies across the world. His dogs and teams are responsible for many high profile cases from drug seizures to apprehensions. Dave offers on and off site training for cadaver, narcotics, explosives detection as well as all patrol duties at his facility or your location. His company offers single and dual purpose canines pre-trained or selection tested.


Dr. David “Lou” Ferland

Class: K-9 Use of Force/Search Management
Taking the Bite out of Crime?

Dr. David “Lou” Ferland is the current Executive Director of the United States Police Canine Association. He is also a retired Police Chief after serving 30 years as a police officer with 15 of them as a K-9 Handler. He is a founding member of the Working Dog Foundation, a non-profit organization which raises money for new dog teams and funds the training at the NH Police K-9 Academy. He was the head trainer of the NH Police K-9 Academy for 10 years.

Danny King

Danny is a Patrol Officer for a nearly 500-man agency in the Las Vegas valley.  From 2012 until 2018, he investigated officer involved shootings and use of force. Since 1998 he has worked Patrol, K9 (Patrol/Narcotics/SWAT), Problem Solving/Street Crimes, and as an In-Service Training Officer. He is a Certified Litigation Specialist in Use of Force and one of a handful of Advanced Force Science Specialists worldwide.

Dave Dourson

Co-owner and co-founder of Kinetic Performance Dog Food

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Dave has 30-years of experience in various blue-water business ventures that focused on filling a “need” that, many times, in the corporate world, were overlooked by CFO’s that focused on profit over quality. Dave and his partner, John Howard, met while working for a large, mid-west based, pet food company in 2009. With a desire to focus on animal health over profitability, the two left corporate America and started their own company in 2011. The pair spend countless hours working with various kennels across the United States on K9 nutrition and conducting nutritional seminars. Dave has conducted seminars for various divisions of the DoD, Homeland Security, USSS, Military Divisions and numerous State and Local PDs.

Eric Stanbro

Owner VanEss K9 Academy LLC, cohost of @working_dog_radio podcast

Eric is a 23 year veteran of law enforcement. His current assignment is as the full-time K9 trainer for a busy K9 unit as well as the Training Director of the Police K9 Association, which consists of 40 K9 teams. Eric handled four dogs on the streets including as a member of a busy, inner city swat team. Eric spent several months training dogs for Naval Special Warfare Group. His specialty is large group scenario based K9 training where he puts dogs and handlers through very realistic, and often very challenging, scenarios with the main goal of creating a team that will succeed on the street and go home safely.

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Franco Angelini

K9 Bite Dr. Decoy Seminar


In September 2005, after 25 years of working in military, federal, and municipal law enforcement, Franco Angelini retired. His career as a K9 Handler and Trainer began in the US Army as a Sgt. and Military Police K9 officer in 1984. After the military he moved on to work for the United States Secret Service (Uniform Division) from 1986 to 1988. After the Secret Service, Franco became a K9 Handler/Trainer for the Harrisburg Police Department (Pennsylvania) where he retired in 2005. In conjunction with being a K9 Handler and Police Officer for the city of Harrisburg, he also instructed at Castle's K9 Inc. After retiring from the police force in 2005 Franco worked full-time as the lead instructor at Castle's K9 Inc.

Franco has been running his K9 Bite Dr. Decoy Seminar since 1994. At the conclusion of 2015, the "K9 Bite Dr." achieved a milestone by graduating an excess of 2,000 students! He has, and continues, to work with private companies, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, and with military/special operation units on a national and international level.

Franco now concentrates all of his efforts on educating students in the art of decoying-helper work so that handlers may be able to attain their goal of becoming accomplished handlers, proficient trainers, and professional decoys. The K9 Bite Dr. Decoy Seminars have been held nationally as far north as New Hampshire, as far South as Florida, and as far West as Hawaii, covering 25 states in-between. Internationally Franco has hosted seminars in Canada, Australia, and England.

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JC Richardson

Owner Delmarva K9 LLC

JC Richardson started a career as a Deputy Sheriff for Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office in MD in 1998. Shortly after, he was given a chance to enter the K9 unit. Since 1999 he has worked four dual purpose Patrol/Narcotic dogs. In 2007, JC became a master trainer and took over the training duties for the eight K9 Teams for the Wicomico County Sheriff's K9 unit. Since then JC has expanded the monthly maintenance training to approximately 30 K9 Teams from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. In 2015, JC started Delmarva K9 LLC to provide police K9’s to departments throughout the country. JC has been qualified as an expert in the MD and Federal Courts systems.

  • Master Trainer Delmarva K-9

  • Maryland Police Training Commission Instructor

  • NTPDA Judge

  • Master Trainer for Wicomico Co Sheriff Office

  • Master Trainer for Eastern Shore Criminal Justice Academy

  • National Police Canine Association

  • Deputy Sheriff K-9 Handler


Janis Gianforte

President - NUPRO Suppliments / Nutri-Pet Research, Inc

Janis Gianforte had a love for horses all her life. She became a Standardbred (trotter) race horse trainer for over 20 years and specialized in rehabilitating injured and lame horses through aqua therapy. During that time she also worked for many race track veterinarians.

While training horses, Janis became interested in natural healing and performance through nutrition. By chance, she met a nutritional doctor who was making a line of horse supplements. His products made a dramatic improvement in her horses.

She decided to get involved in his dog business in 1989 with her husband, Bruce.  A few years later, the company Nutri-Pet Research, Inc., was manufacturing dog, cat and ferret supplements now owned solely by them. Janis is proud that her company has helped countless thousands of pets grow award winning shiny coats, optimal health, vitality and longer lives through supplemental nutrition.

Jim Hagerty

Over 20 years handling and training K9’s including LAPD Metropolitan Division, SOF Community and ATF SRT. Instruction on the Combat & Fight Tables, equipment, capping, e-collar and enhancing fight.

Jerry Bradshaw

Training Director, Tarheel Canine Training, Inc.

Jerry Bradshaw is Training Director & President of Tarheel Canine Training, Inc. (tarheelcanine.com) in Sanford, North Carolina. Jerry is the co-founder, executive director, International Regional Director, and director of judging for The Protection Sports Association (psak9.org) as well as a founding director and evaluator of the National Tactical Police Dog Association (tacticalcanine.com) known as NTPDA.⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Jerry has been training dogs for competitive protection sports since 1991, been a member of IPO sport clubs and the training director of Tarheel Canine PSA one of the most successful PSA clubs in the country. Jerry has competed in National Championship trials in both IPO and PSA winning several championships.

Tarheel Canine Training, Inc. is a NC Department of Agriculture Licensed Boarding Facility, we are DEA and ATF and NC DHR Licensed for police K9 training activities. Tarheel Canine is registered with the Department of Defense as a contractor in the CCR database and in the ORCA database. We hold one the 5 small business awards for the Department of Homeland Security Wide Canine Contract. Tarheel Canine is an A+ Rated and Accredited Company with the BBB of Eastern North Carolina.

Jim O’Brien

Owner of NC K9 LLC

Jim is the owner of NC K9 LLC in Stantonsburg, NC. Jim has been handling and training police canines since 2005. Jim served as a police officer in New Hampshire for 15 years and handled two police canines during that time. Since moving to North Carolina in 2014, Jim has trained police canine handlers and military canine handlers from all over the United States and several foreign countries.

NC K9 LLC specializes in providing trained police canines and handlers courses to Law Enforcement. Jim also conducts decoy, tracking, detection, and problem solving seminars to enhance your canine unit.

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John Brannon

Owner Shallow Creek Kennels

John’s career in law enforcement spans a 24 year period with the last 22 years being spent as a K9 officer working five dual purpose Police Service Dogs. For approximately 20 years, John was employed by the Coral Springs Police Department, Broward County, FL where he was responsible for all of the day to day operations of the K9 Unit, from involvement in budgetary issues, the selection of canines, training and instruction of the canines and handlers, to the actual deployment of canine teams. While with Coral Springs, John was an active Special Response Team member and the S.R.T. K9 team leader.

John Howard

Co-Owner & Co-Founder of 3-Amigos Nutrition Group & Kinetic Performance Dog Food

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John has nearly 30-years’ experience in Sales, Marketing and Animal Nutrition and formerly managed the Pet Food Division of a large animal nutrition company. An owner and amateur bird dog trainer, John has been directly entrenched in nutrition for working and sporting dogs for more than a decade. John oversees all the Marketing and Nutrition activities for 3-Amigos and the Kinetic brand. When he’s not in the field with his Labrador Retrievers, you’ll most likely find him working on new products, managing ad campaigns or writing Nutrition articles for working and sporting dog publications.

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Kenneth Licklider, SMSGT, USAF (Ret)

Owner/Operator of Vohne Liche Kennels, Inc

VLK, a Service Disabled Veteran owned company headquartered in Denver, IN, with additional facilities in CA and Holland is widely known as the premier Private Canine Training Facility and Detection Service Provider in the world and has been providing superior service for the past 26 years.

Kimberly A. Metzger


Kimberly began her career as a prosecutor in Monroe County, PA in August 2012. In June 2018, she joined the Cumberland County Office of the District Attorney’s Office as a Senior Assistant District Attorney, with an emphasis on trial work. In six years, Kimberly has prosecuted 28 cases to jury verdict, including prosecutions for Possession With Intent to Deliver, Aggravated Assault, Criminal Homicide, Burglary and Robbery.

One particular area of focus for Kimberly has been assisting law enforcement officers in building their investigations and preparing them for the likely challenges they will encounter in their cases. Kimberly believes in a team approach to criminal prosecution, beginning from before the first warrant is approved through trial and sentencing.

Class: K9s in Court: Dealing With Legal Issues Pre-Trial through Appeal

Your K9 partner’s job may be finished after the successful search or track, but your work is only beginning. A successful criminal prosecution requires LEOs to be an active part of the case as it makes its way through the court process. Knowing the “rules” and what to expect when you trade out the BDUs for your suit and tie will make you an effective tool against any legal challenge. This class will review procedural and evidentiary rules, current case law and emerging trends in search and seizure, with an emphasis on issues particular to the use of the K9.

Ryan Morris

Tripwire Operations


Matt Godwin


President - DNA K9, LLC

Matt spent over a decade in the US Army spending a cumulative time of two and a half years fighting and leading anti-terrorism missions in both high and low intensity areas of hostility. Matt retired from the Army and took the position of 2IC of a Special Units Procurement and Training K9 Program at the largest defense contractor kennel in the US where he was responsible for selecting and exposing top tier canines to elements of more complicated and high risk type operations his target clients would be shortly operating in around the globe.

Matt is currently a sworn K9 Handler in North Carolina whose main responsibilities are to maintain seven local K9 units in-service training and respond to high risk call outs for local and fugitive recovery teams within his jurisdictional boundaries. Matt prides himself with always being available to K9 handlers and considers it an honor to be contacted in order to support in any capacity the unit’s mission.

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Paul Hammond

26+ years Working Dog experience, 22 years of which saw continuous canine operations in hostile environments. 8 years directing canine programs in support of high-profile government organizations including the US DoS and the DoD in Iraq and Afghanistan. 15 years of continuous canine operations in Northern Ireland deployed with the British Military Army Dog Unit, during some of the most challenging & hostile times in its history; completing 2,342 recorded operational detection tasks, against live devices.

Paul completed 6 years as a working dog adviser in support of the British Government Defense Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) and more recently worked alongside Auburn University`s Canine Research & Development Program on various US Canine Defense & Research projects. He recently returned from briefing the EU Working Dog Commission (representatives of 22 – countries) on Body-worn Explosive K9 Detection.

Paul will be teaching: Operational Based Explosive Dog Training & Importance of Search Intel

Paul Shaughnessy

Founder Excel K-9 Services, Inc.

Paul was a field sergeant and officer in charge of his 150 member department’s K9 unit that currently consists of three police service dog teams which serve a diverse urban community. He was responsible for all training and deployment issues. He is a graduate of the Police Executive Administrative Leadership School, SWAT Operator’s School and served as the supervisor of the department’s full time SWAT Unit. Paul is now retired from law enforcement after 16 years of service.

Russ Hubbard

Founder and President of Odor Trace

Russ is a former special operations professional in the field of psychological operations and warfare. He has conducted operations in numerous zones of conflict to identify and prosecute individuals engaged in improvised explosive devices used against the host countries and the United States. He has done additional work in support of the U.S. Department of State.

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Ricky Farley

Alabama Canine Law Enforcement Officers Training Center, Inc.

Ricky has owned and operated the Alabama Canine Law Enforcement Officer’s Training Center since 1992. He has had the privilege of training police service canines for over 28 foreign countries as well as over 1500 police departments inside the United States. Over his 21-year career, Ricky has trained canines in areas of narcotics, explosives, accelerant, and cadaver detection as well as apprehension.

Over his 21-year career, Mr. Farley has trained canines in areas of narcotics, explosives, accelerant, and cadaver detection as well as apprehension.

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Scott Clark

Owner and Founder of High Drive K-9

Scott has been a Police Officer for the City of Coral Springs Police Department, Broward County, FL since January 1999. Since 2001, he has been assigned to the K9 Unit where he currently serves as an active K9 Handler & Head Trainer. He has been working and training patrol and detection dogs since 2002. He is a current certified State of Florida FDLE K9 Team Instructor and FDLE K9 Team Evaluator. In addition, Scott is the K9 Unit Head Trainer, Multi-Jurisdictional K9 Head Trainer, SWAT K9 Team Leader, Trainer and SWAT K9. Scott has a vast knowledge in Canine Behavior, Decoy Development, Bite Building, K9 Tactics, K9/SWAT Tactics and has countless K9 & SWAT Deployments.

James Eagleson

The 4:20 Group, LLC

James is a highly trained officer in the field of criminal interdiction. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. His service to his country took him to many different countries as a member of the Combat Systems Division. He spent six months assigned to law enforcement operations in the Caribbean Sea. The primary mission was seizing contraband from go-fast boats. 

He began his career in law enforcement when he was employed by the North Charleston, SC Police Department. After a little over a year, he moved on to work for the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. He worked as an interdiction officer on the I-95 corridor. After several years on the State's Drug Unit, he was assigned a K-9 Officer position. For six years, James was assigned to Project Sea-Hawk as a task force officer with the Department of Justice. His duties were border checks on commercial vehicles in the port of Charleston as well as boarding container and cruise ships that entered the harbor.

James is certified by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy as a police instructor. He has taught over 600 courses for the Drug Enforcement Administration, Northeast Counterdrug Training Center, Regional Counterdrug Training Center, Department of State, HIDTA, including instructing at Advanced Agent Training in Quantico, Virginia. He has also taught at the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico. Now retired, he continues to pursue his passion of instructing law enforcement officers on the topic of criminal interdiction, has more than 22 years of law enforcement/training and has logged over twelve thousand hours of instruction in the classroom.

Mike Sciarillo

Mike has been a Detective with the Pocono Mtn Regional Police for 14 years. In 2008 Mike was assigned to the DEA as a Task Force Officer with Group 54 Scranton. Since this assignment, Detective Sciarillo has worked with countless Agencies throughout the country during which mutually beneficial relationships were forged. Detective Sciarillo has testified as an expert in Federal and State Court regarding drug investigations.

Nicholas Cortes

Nick is a 17-year veteran of the Pennsylvania State Police and is currently a Sergeant assigned as the Patrol Section Supervisor for Troop R Blooming Grove. In 2013, Nick was selected to be a Trooper in the Department’s first full time team dedicated to Criminal Interdiction and was assigned to SHIELD East. In 2014, he was promoted to Corporal and assigned as the SHIELD East Supervisor until July of 2017. Throughout his career, Nick has personally seized over 1.3 Million in US Currency, 693 pounds of Marijuana, 15 pounds of Cocaine, five pounds of Heroin and 23 fabricated hidden compartments from cold stops, primarily on the I-80 Corridor.

Dr. Lauryn E. DeGreeff

Dr. DeGreeff has worked in the field of K9 detection science for more than 10 years. She began her career studying under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Furton at FL International University, where she received a Ph.D. in Chemistry with an emphasis in Forensic Science. Her research focused on the sampling and delivery of human odor, living and deceased, for the purpose of K9 detection. Following the completion of her doctorate, she carried out a research fellowship at the FBI, Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research. Her focus was detection and determination of volatiles from human scent and odor and human blood for the development/improvement of K9 training aids and training methods. In 2012 she began her research at the Naval Research laboratory with efforts focused on the characterization of explosives for instrumental and K9 detection. She has since developed, patented, and brought to the commercial market an aid for training on mixed odors. She is currently studying the effects of training on the K9's ability to generalize or discriminate like odors. Dr. DeGreeff has published a number of journal articles, has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences and holds two patents.

Scott Dunlap

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Scott is currently the Assistant Team Leader and Medic for his agency’s SWAT Team. Prior to his 14 years in Law Enforcement, Scott had a 15 year career in Fire/Rescue, EMS, HazMat and Technical Search & Rescue, including a member of FEMA PA TF-1. Scott also teaches Tactical Medicine and Active Shooter Response outside of his Police Agency.

Scott will be teaching K9 First Aid & More with Brent Schoenfeldt.


Stephen A. Mackenzie, Ph.D.


Class Title: Why Double Blind Training and Testing Are Important

Dr. Stephen Mackenzie holds a Ph.D. in the genetics of behavior from Cornell University. He is currently a Professor in the Animal Science Department at the State University of New York at Cobleskill, where he teaches Genetics, Behavior Problems of Companion Animals, Domestic Animal Behavior, Canine Training, Care and Training of the Working Dog, and Canine Aggression.

He has been a Deputy Sheriff for the Schoharie County Sheriff’s Office for over twenty years, serving as their K9 handler and trainer for seven years. He is rated a Master Trainer of utility, cadaver, narcotics and wildlife detection dogs by NAPWDA, is an Executive Board member of North East Wilderness Search and Rescue, Inc., was the founding president of the New York State Canine Association and is the author of Decoys and Aggression: A Police K-9 Training Manual, Aggression Control: How to Teach the “Out”, and Police Officer’s Guide to K9 Searches. “Doc” is a Nose Work Trial Judge for the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW), a court recognized expert in animal behavior at both the state and federal levels in both criminal and civil cases.

Todd Wilber

Founder and President of Precision Explosives, LLC.

Todd is a former special operations (tier 1) bomb technician and explosive materials expert. He has identified/disposed of/decommissioned several thousand bombs (IED to nuclear). He has done additional work with several USG agencies as a subject matter expert, project manager and operations.  Todd is an adjunct professor at New Mexico State University where he lectures and instructs on explosive identification, detonation and disposal.

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