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VPCA News

   Do you have a news story that you would like to share with the members of the Virginia Police Canine Association? Please contact our Secretary to have your news story included on our website.



VPCA MOURNS LOSS OF K9 ROCKO
K9 Rocko October 10, 2014

     The VPCA joins the Harrisonburg Police Department in the mourning of K9 Rocko. K9 Rocko passed on October 10, 2014. K9 Rocko served many years with Master Police Officer Timothy Wright of the Harrisonburg Police Department as a Patrol/Explosives Team. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Wright family in these difficult times.

View our other Fallen Heroes...

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K9 Mako (MCPD) Retires
May 15, 2013

K9 Mako      K9 Mako was officially placed in to retired status Wednesday, May 15th. The 6-year old German Shepherd had been in service as a police service dog with the Manassas City Police Department since July 2008. K9 Mako has maintained certifications as a Narcotics Detector and Patrol Utility Police K9 since he finished Basic K9 Handler School in early 2009. K9 Mako graduated from Pro-K9 Services and was instructed by Deputy Arrington and Deputy Myrick.
     He served with his Handler, SPO Russ McAndrews, and received many awards and commendations for his service. He received 2 "Case Of The Year" awards from VPCA, along with an Iron Dog Award. At the 2012 USPCA Region 6 Police Dog Trials held in Bensalem, Pennsylvania; K9 Mako received 4 trophies for his performance, that followed only 5-weeks after being returned to duty from a serious fracture on one of his rear feet causing him to be out-of-service for over 3 months. There were over 30 teams from across the northern east coast performing at the USPCA Trials.
     K9 Mako received many awards during his short career:

  • VPCA 2012 "Case Of The Year Award" for Narcotics.
  • VPCA 2010 "Case Of The Year Award" for Narcotics.
  • 3rd Place Narcotics Vehicle Search at the 2010 VPCA Iron Dog Competition.
  • USPCA Top Dog - 2nd Place for overall performance in all categories.
  • USPCA Obedience - 2nd Place for several obedience excercises.
  • USPCA Criminal Apprehension - 3rd Place for criminal apprehensions with and without gunfire.
  • USPCA Scent Work - 3rd Place for scent work in articles search and suspect serarch.
  • WDDO Honorable Mention for assisting with a testimony lecture for the WDDO in 2013.
         K9 Mako and SPO McAndrews maintained certifications with the VPCA, USPCA, and WDDO. K9 Mako will be living with SPO R. McAndrews, and has plans to remain active with his training.

    Read the Manassas Observer article on K9Mako.org... (printed 07-26-2013)

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    FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
    Burglars Poison K9 & Pet Dog At Cop's Home

    Reprinted from: PoliceOne.Com
    Published: March 7, 2013

    Trax was killed by poison from burglars breaking in to house of a cop      RICHMOND, Calif. - Burglars poisoned two dogs Friday before breaking into an officer's home and stealing guns and other items. The officer, whose identity has not been released, and his wife brought their pet black Labrador Retriever to the vet Friday morning when they noticed it was sick, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
         While they were gone, the burglars poisoned his police K9, a Belgian Malinois, and stole three sporting guns and two handguns; leading police to believe the intruders were nearby waiting for the officer to leave.
         "It's frightening that somebody would target him specifically, that they would not only burglarize the house but also harm the dogs," Lt. Bisa French said. "They didn't even need to poison the (police) dog - it was locked up in a kennel."
         The Richmond police union and police management union are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible. Anyone with information is asked to call (510) 232-8477.
         The black lab died the next day from the poisoning. The police K9 was ill but is recovering, according to the article.

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    Florida v. Harris
    February 19, 2013

    Scales of Justice      In the US Supreme Court case of Florida v. Harris, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Clayton Harris in a unanimous decision. In fact, the US Supreme Court expressed considerable confidence that "trained drug sniffing dogs are reliable" in the decision written by Justice Kagan. The court rejected a proposed checklist of reliability that the Florida Supreme Court considered.

      - from Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSBlog
           Justice Kagan wrote: "A finding of a drug-detection dog's reliability cannot depend upon the state's satisfaction of multiple, independent evidentiary requirements. No more for dogs than for human informants is such an inflexible checklist the way to prove reliability, and thus establish probable cause."
           In describing how a court should now proceed to evaluate whether a dog's alert did constitute "probable cause," the Kagan opinion said that the court should allow both sides - the police and the accused - "to make their best case," and then determine whether the particular sniff had satisfied the Court's new "common sense/prudent person" standard.
           As for Aldo and this particular alert, the Court said that the dog's training record "sufficed to establish" his reliability on that occasion.

         Another US Supreme Court K9 sniff case, Florida v. Jardines, is yet to be decided...

         Look for more on these cases to come soon to the Legal page.

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    VPCA MOURNS LOSS OF K9 ADOS
    October 4, 2012

    Shrouded Sheriff badge K9 Ados

         The VPCA joins the Fauquier County Sheriff's Office in the mourning of K9 Ados. K9 Ados passed on October 4, 2012. K9 Ados served many years with Deputy Darrell Shores of the Fauquier County Sheriff's Office as a Patrol/Narcotics Team. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Shores family in these difficult times.

    View our other Fallen Heroes...

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    Deputy Myers Featured In K9 COP Magazine Deputy Myers Featured In K9 COP Magazine
    November/December 2011 issue

         Congratulations to Deputy Scott Myers of the Stafford County Sheriff's Office, who was featured in an article in the November/December 2011 issue of K9 COP Magazine. The article was about K9 Tactics and Equipment used while operating and handling a Police K9. Deputy Myers contributed to the contents of the article along with several photos of him and his partner. You can order a subscription for K9 COP Magazine or a single-copy of the issue containing the article by following this link to K9 COP Magazine.

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    Louisa County Bloodhound Killed
    WJLA News 7
    By Suzanne Kennedy
    Published: December 14, 2011

    Shrouded Sheriff badge

         She was a valued member of the Louisa County Sheriff's Department and this week, she was killed in the line of duty. Early Saturday morning (December 10, 2011), K9 Maggie, a 6-year-old bloodhound, was attacked by a pit bull while tracking a suicidal man in the woods.
         Now her handler, Lieutenant Patrick Sheridan, is left grieving her death. Sheridan has had Maggie since she was a 12-week-old puppy. They were joined at the hip and bonded as partners.
         "It hit me yesterday I went out and she wasn't there and she'll never be there again," Sheridan says.
         The eager, 80-pound black and tan dog was known for her love for children and her ability to solve crimes even when humans couldn't. "She put people in crime scenes that we couldn't do," says Major Donald Lowe of the Louisa County Sheriff's Deptartment. "There was no other way to do it, but she did it."
         Alfred Bennett's pit bull Coco is responsible for the attack and he says he wishes it never happened. And even though that apology has been made, the Department is left mourning her loss.

         Memorial Service details to follow.

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    Manassas Park Police Officer Struck By Car, Suspect Shot
    Manassas Journal Messenger newspaper
    By InsideNOVA Staff
    Published: September 04, 2011

         A Manassas Park police officer was struck by a car and a suspect wounded by gunfire during a suspicious vehicle call early Sunday, September 4, 2011. At 1:49 a.m., a Manassas Park officer responded to a report of possible drug activity in the 8600 block of Cartwright Court, police said in a press release. The driver "increased his speed and attempted to flee the area striking and running over the officer," the press release said.
         The officer, a 5-year veteran of the force, suffered serious injuries and was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital. The driver fled on foot after striking the officer and was found a short distance away, police said. "The suspect had sustained a gunshot wound as a result of the incident," the release said. Police did not say if officers shot the man. He was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital.
         City police spokeswoman Karen Barton said the officer was in stable condition Sunday morning. The condition of the man shot was unknown. Police did not release the name of the officer hit by the car.
         Police have charged Robert Daniel Washington III, 21, of Arrington Farm Court in Manassas with the Attempted Capital Murder of a Police Officer and Malicious Wounding of a Police Officer, police said.

    Read more Manassas Journal Messenger newspaper articles...

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    VPCA ON-LINE STORE
    April 8, 2011

         New items have been added to the VPCA On-Line Store. Although work is still being done for the VPCA Merchandise on the On-Line Store, there have been many third-party items placed on the site. A "Suggested Reading" Book Listing has been provided for Members and Guests as well, most of these were suggested by our own Legal Adviser Mrs. Sylvester.
         Browse the items offered by non-VPCA companies, but continue to check back for the completion of the VPCA Merchandise. Plans are to offer Membership and Iron Dog Registration payments through the internet, along with the various items sold by the VPCA to raise funds for the Association.
    Visit the VPCA On-line Store.
    See the Books Listing.

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    K9 BALLISTIC VEST LIST
    February 2, 2011

         We are gathering a list of names for an eligibility list of those VPCA K9 Teams that still need ballistic vests. Any Team who is a current VPCA member is eligible to put their names on the list. As vests become available, random names will be drawn and ballistic vest will be donated to the Team. The K9 must be not be older than 5-years old, and the Team cannot already have a vest.

    See the K9 Ballistic Vest Eligibility Name List.

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    2010 "CASE OF THE YEAR" AWARDS
    January 26, 2011

         The VPCA 2010 "Case Of The Year" awards were presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting at the Warrenton Police Department on January 26, 2011. The Awards were presented by Awards & Certifications Chairman, Mario Lugo of Manassas Park PD. Each year, the Awards are voted on from the cases that are submitted throughout the year for each training discipline. Entrants in each category are not allowed to vote for that category, but may vote for the other categories in which they have not submitted cases. This year's awards saw a tie for both the Narcotics Detection category and Patrol/Utility category, so two awards were presented for each category. There were no entries for Explosive Detection or other training disciplines.

    2010 Narcotics Detection Awards
    - Captain M. Lugo/K9 Brutus (Manassas Park PD)
    - PFC R. McAndrews/K9 Mako (Manassas City PD)

    2010 Patrol/Utility Awards
    - Corporal C. Brubaker/K9 Zar (Fauquier County SO)
    - Sergeant R. Pollard/K9 Nobel (Harrisonburg PD)

    View all previous VPCA "Case Of The Year" Entries.

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    1st ANNUAL "SERVE & PROTECT" COMPETITION
    September 6, 2010

    Pro K9 Services

       VPCA proudly announces Pro-K9's 1st Annual "Serve & Protect" Competition, occurring on Saturday September 11, 2010. The event will be located at the Pro K9 Training Center in Culpeper, and is open to both sworn law enforcement K9 Teams and civilian sport teams. Civilian events begin at 0900, and Law Enforcement events begin at 1400.
       Read More Details...

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    VPCA MOURNS LOSS OF K9 GRIFF
    August 4, 2010

    Shrouded Sheriff badge

       The VPCA joins the Stafford County Sheriff's Office in the mourning of K9 Griff. K9 Griff passed on August 4, 2010. K9 Griff served with Deputy Brian Miller of the Stafford County Sheriff's Office as a Patrol/Explosives Team. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Miller family in these difficult times.

    View our other Fallen Heroes...

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    PRO-K9 MOVES TO NEW LOCATION
    April 14, 2010

    Pro K9 Services    Professional Canine Services moved today from Unionville to Culpeper. The new location is just off of Rt. 522, less than 4 miles from Main Street in the Town of Culpeper. The new address is 10377 Lanes Farm Lane, Culpeper VA 22701.

       Owner/Operator Bryant Arrington boasts that the training facilities have "expanded from 3 acres to 15 acres." Looking over the new facilty grounds, he commented "This is a huge opportunity for us. The possibilities for training here now are practically endless." Arrington laid out several plans to improve the facility by adding a multitude of training scenarios; including burried concrete culvert pipes, platforms to train canines for suspects hiding up in trees, and incorporating more firearms training with the canines.

       There is a large classroom for lecture training and a multitude of animals to expose canines to working around various types of wildlife. The training field has more than doubled in size, there are scratch walls for both narcotics and explosives scent training, and there is 15 acres of cleared and wooded land for tracking and other training exercises. There are 3 shooting ranges on the property to allow more gun-fire training with the canines.

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    POLICE DOG AMONG CITY EMPLOYEES RECOGNIZED
    Manassas Journal Messenger newspaper
    By Keith Walker
    Published: April 7, 2010

    K9 Brutus

       Manassas Park, Va. - Detective Mario Lugo didn't have much to say except "Thank you very much" after he and his police dog K9 Brutus were named Manassas Park employees of the year for 2009.

       K9 Brutus didn't attend the Manassas Park City Council meeting Tuesday, but Lugo accepted a box of dog treats and a plaque in the shape of a dog biscuit on behalf of his canine partner.

       Lugo, who was nominated by his peers, got a standard issue, rectangular recognition plaque. Manassas Park Mayor Frank Jones said Lugo, who was recognized last year by the Eastern District U.S. Attorney's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Virginia Police Canine Association, earned the award.

       "Because of the dedicated efforts of Mario and the team, there are folks who are not on the streets who would like to be, but have no business being on our streets. There are weapons that are off our streets and there are drugs that are off our streets," Jones said of Lugo and the police department. "All I can say is 'Well done,'" Jones said.

       "Thank you for the dedication and service." he told Lugo.

       The City Council also named the Public Works Department as Team of the Year for 2009 for its work in keeping the city's streets cleared during the big December snowstorm. Manassas Park City Manager Mercury T. Payton said the department's efforts moving the record-breaking snowfalls "positively impacted the safety and lives of the citizens of Manassas Park."

       "Every Public Works employee was willing to work 24 hours, seven-days-a-week to clear streets of snow and make the roadways safe for the public," Payton said. Mechanics alternated shifts to keep the trucks running so the 18-man crew could keep the streets cleared. "Some of the crew members worked over 24 hours on less than three hours of sleep," Payton said. Jones said the response by the public works department was "beyond expectation."

    Senior reporter Keith Walker can be reached at 703-369-6751.

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