TPSO K9 shines

Published 2:21 pm Monday, March 14, 2022

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Sheriff Daniel Edwards extends a huge congratulations to four members of the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit, who just last week successfully participated in the 2022 USPCA Region 10 Trials!
Lieutenant Corey Michelli, Sergeant Daniel Shelton, and Sergeant Colby Varnado each attained USPCA Certification in Basic Patrol Certification. Basic Patrol Certification includes four phases, Obedience, Agility, Searching and Criminal Apprehension and Recall. Through these four phases, judges are looking for the extent of control by the handler, the dog’s ability to surmount various obstacles, their ability to locate articles or persons, and the handler’s control of the dog under various circumstances, including apprehension under gunfire.
Also participating in trials was Lieutenant Tom Wheeler, who along with K9 Slash, successfully attained certification in Narcotics Detection. The purpose of this test is to evaluate the ability of the canine to detect and find narcotics concealed in various locations, including vehicles and interior rooms.
On top of successfully completing certifications, Lieutenant Michelli swept away numerous awards, taking home 1st Place in Obedience, 2nd Place in Agility, 3rd Place in Scent Work, and even came in 2nd Place overall in Patrol Work.
Certification through the USPCA is a voluntary program which, upon completion, provides participating agencies with an extensive repository of training materials, life insurance for the handlers and their canine partner, and legal representation for any challenges to the certification received. The USPCA understands that each handler and dog is at a different level of training and knowledge.
Captain Blane Sanders, commander of the Criminal Patrol Division expressed his utmost pride towards the K9 Unit for their achievement. “These guys set a goal to become USPCA certified and over the course of three months they pushed themselves hard enough to make it happen. Not only did they become certified, but Lt. Michelli took home four extra awards, and was only a few points away from receiving the top dog award.”
Since 1971 the United States Police Canine Association has provided annual canine team certifications, and to this day is the nation’s largest, continuously operating organization that promotes quality-trained and certified canine teams.