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K-9 Workshop Brings 100 Teams To The Area

K-9 Workshop Brings 100 Teams To The Area

by Amanda Thomas / Douglas County Sentinel Douglas County Sentinel


K-9 teams from throughout the state will be in Douglasville this week for the 2012 North American Police Work Dog Association Georgia State Workshop.

The workshop, which will be held today through Friday, is hosted by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for the second year in a row. NAPWDA master trainers will also be at the workshop that covers apprehension work, explosives detection, tracking and cadaver work, according to Lt. Michael Barnhill. This is the second time the department has hosted the workshop, though they have been NAPWDA members for at least the last 15 years.

“It’s a great opportunity for training and to have more than 100 teams in our area is also great for the economy,” Barnhill said. “When they were here before they all seemed to like the way we handled it and I know all of our folks took a lot away from it as well.”

The dogs with sheriff’s K-9 unit have been helpful in solving cases involving narcotics detection and tracking other criminal activity. Barnhill has been with the sheriff’s department 22 years, 17 years with the K-9 unit. He handles all the training for the sheriff’s office, but certification by an outside agency is an important part of the process. Ninety-four K-9 teams were in the city for last year’s workshop.

“We get a lot just from the interaction, seeing what other folks are doing,” Barnhill said. “Everyone here has been very supportive and helped pull all this together and we can’t thank them enough.”

The NAPWDA was organized on Oct. 22, 1977 with a goal to assist police work dog teams throughout the world. Regular members are full time or retired law enforcement officers involved with police work dogs. NAPWDA master trainers have certified more than 60,000 K-9 teams in the United States, according to the organization’s website.

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