Welcome to United States Tactical K9
This web site is newly-revised and updated to make it easier to access and more user friendly. I have posted information below for the “Canine Liability 360” class with upcoming classes and fees listed further below. I am posting articles and sharing “Reasons We Get in Trouble” archived (in the right column or below) as time allows. Please “subscribe to the email blog” on this page if you want to be on my email list and receive notifications of “Reasons” postings or other posts sent via this web site. Thanks for your continued support!
– Bill Lewis II
Some “tactics” to prepare you for court and the street….
Canine Liability 360
CL360 is still rated as the most comprehensive liability seminar being offered to handlers and K9 supervisors since 2010 according to attendee feedback! Here are classes currently scheduled with more information below;
July 24 & 25 – Clearwater, Florida (4 spots remaining)
August 21 & 22 – Huntington Beach, California*** (class full – waiting list established)
September 25 & 26 – Murfreesboro, Tennessee
October 2 & 3 – St. Charles, Missouri
October 17 & 18 – Delaware, Ohio
(***”Canine Narcotics Detection Liability” being held in conjunction on August 20)
“Being consistent, making good decisions and keeping proper documentation will limit your liability and make you a better K9 handler and K9 supervisor.”
CL360 is a 2-day (16 hours) course that serves as an essential phase for the handler and supervisor to assist in managing their K9 program and preparing for their potential “legal defense” to prevail in the event of a lawsuit or claim by examining TAC Team’s “360 Degrees of Responsibility” involving a single purpose patrol dog or cross-trained police service dog assigned to patrol and/or a tactical team. The instructor is Sergeant Bill Lewis II (Retired) with over 40 years of law enforcement and instructor experience related to patrol operations, K9, SWAT, supervision, and leadership. He has published various articles relating to legal trends, case decisions, K9 teams and K9 programs. He started working with K9 teams in 1980 as a decoy and later as a handler, supervisor, instructor, trial judge, consultant, unit evaluator, certifying official and expert witness – over 29 years of K9 experience. Sergeant Lewis was the recipient of the prestigious CATO Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
From Canine Liability 360: “The biggest liability with training police K9 teams today is the majority of the time is spent training the dog.”
Note: CL360 class is not recommended for detection-only K9 handlers. (See below for narcotics detection liability courses.) The primary focus of the class addresses the use of patrol (“bite”) dogs and the associated liabilities to potentially reduce risk and avoid trouble. Handlers of single purpose tracking/trailing dogs that may or may not bite a suspect at the end of the trail could benefit from attending this class.
K9 handlers, supervisors, administrators, and SWAT team leaders (who deploy with K9 teams) from the same agency are encouraged to attend together so everyone involved with their respective police dog program can simultaneously learn information and hear recommendations for successfully running their program. By doing so, they should all leave with a better understanding of each other’s duties and responsibilities to reduce risk and limit liability. This class has been taught across the United States to experienced – and newly-appointed – K9 handlers, K9 supervisors, K9 administrators, patrol supervisors, patrol watch commanders, SAR handlers, Police Chiefs, SWAT supervisors, and SWAT team leaders as well as city attorneys, prospective handlers, decoys, trainers, an Assistant Police Chief, a county attorney, risk managers and supervisors/administrators preparing to start or contemplating their own K9 program.
“The best time to prepare for a lawsuit and prevail is before the bite occurs.”
Participants will learn from the firsthand experiences of the instructor – successes and mistakes – as well as experiences of other handlers and supervisors involved with other K9 programs as some cases, videos and recent incidents not found in “case law updates” are reviewed and lessons learned shared. CL360 goes beyond case law and legal updates to address all aspects involved with a K9 program. The class will include a review prior to the class of actual K9 deployment narratives with related discussion about the reports during the class as well as a report writing exercise at the class as part of the report writing section.
Information shared in this class will assist in K9 program management and may also assist to maintain or justify the retention of your K9 program during budget “cutback” considerations in these tough economic times.
CL360 has been submitted by host agencies and previously approved for state (like POST) continuing education credit in Connecticut, Oklahoma, Oregon, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, Nevada and North Dakota.
Are you a new K9 supervisor? Have you recently attended a liability and supervision course regarding K9 operations and supervision? Do you have any previous “K9” experience? CL360 courses usually have 50% or more of supervisors and commanders in attendance with “zero” experience with police dogs and K9 operations – and that’s commendable because they are attending these class to better learn about their K9-related duties and responsibilities.
“Canine Narcotics Detection Liability” is a new course being introduced in 2018 and offered as an optional third day (8 hours) with the CL360 classes in California and Tennessee to address the liabilities associated with narcotics detection involving a K9 team. The topics presented by Senior Deputy Al Barger will include; How to apply recent court case decisions, the mechanics of a traffic stop, proper documentation (report writing, K9 affidavit, K9 stats, and handler resume), the proper way to obtain narcotics from your evidence room for training, training aid storage requirements (accountability and audits) and interdiction/wall stops. The day will include a practical application of “traffic stops with a K9 sniff” with hands-on participation by attendees. Sr. Deputy Barger is a single-purpose narcotics detection handler and a well-qualified instructor for CNCA and CNOA.
“[Drug] Canines in the Courtroom” is offered as an optional third day (8 hours) of “narcotics detection liability” separately or in conjunction with CL360 where Prosecuting Attorney Ted Daus and Sheriff’s Deputy Andy Weiman from HITS Training & Consulting partner up for a powerful eight-hour lecture addressing “drug detection dogs” that will show you how to put all of your hard work and drug dog training efforts on display in the courtroom. Successful prosecution of drug dog cases hinges on your dog’s reliability. If you’ve worked or supervised a drug dog for any amount of time, you already know how fast the laws are changing for search and seizure and what was illegal yesterday, is being openly smoked today. Key cases and court decisions will be presented and analyzed. Documentation of training and courtroom testimony is critical and proper record keeping essential – all will be addressed. Registration fee for this class will include the book “K9s in the Courtroom” co-authored by the instructors ($34.95 retail) for designated classes.
“Canine Liability for Patrol Supervisors” is a modified one-day (8 hours) version of CL360 presented by Bill Lewis II to assist patrol supervisors and watch commanders with minimal to zero knowledge of K9 operations and policies who are currently supervising or who may supervise patrol K9 handlers – but are not assigned as the designated K9 supervisor. In most agencies, patrol supervisors, not the designated K9 supervisor, are assigned as the immediate supervisors for patrol K9 handlers and responsible for the first-line supervision and primary evaluation of the handlers. Immediate supervisors and other patrol supervisors become “K9 supervisors” in terms of liability when a K9 team is deployed under their supervision during a field operation or works in the field under their general supervision. Patrol supervisors are usually knowledgeable with patrol operations and liability aspects related to the other less lethal tools, but less familiar with patrol supervision and liability as it relates directly to the police service dog.