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The NATIONAL POLICE BLOODHOUND ASSOCIATION’s Annual 2019 40-Hour Training and Annual Certification Seminar, started on Saturday April 27th and concluded on Thursday, May 2rd. The National Police Bloodhound Association was founded by the Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York State Police Departments in 1962. The NPBA is considered as the nation’s first and foremost leading authority in the use of the scent-discriminating man trailing Bloodhounds in Law Enforcement and Search and Rescue. The NPBA has set the standards that is widely accepted in many of the courts of the United States where Bloodhound Testimony is accepted. The NPBA has been associated with Garrett County since the early 1980’s. Up until 2001, the NPBA conducted its Annual Spring Training Seminar at the 4-H Camp, located near Bittinger. In those days, the annual event conducted its training for over 80 handlers and hounds each year. The camp was coordinated by Sgt. Ron Brown of the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office. In 2001, the annual seminar moved and was hosted by the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office at the Allegheny State Park in Salamanca, New York, near Bradford, PA. In 2015, the seminar returned to Garrett County once again, this time hosted by Sheriff Rob Corley, and planned and arranged by Westmoreland County Deputy Sheriff Lou Battistella, who is a part-time resident of Garrett County.


The number of handlers and hounds today are not the same numbers that was once seen in Garrett County in the earlier years, due to changes in agency budgets coupled with a much larger presence of patrol dogs as seen today in most police and sheriff departments across the United States. Bloodhounds are specialized in their skill. Due to the Bloodhound’s long-time testimony acceptance standing in most courts of the country where the admissibility of the Bloodhound’s testimony is accepted, the Bloodhound is most often limited and maintained as a single disciplined dog. However, since then, the NPBA has added a Fall Training and Certification Seminar that has an overall effect that realizes an equal number of hounds and handlers over the course of an entire year.


Once again, the NPBA Handlers and Hounds took part in the 6-Day Training Seminar on the stage of McHenry|Garrett County Maryland. Accommodations for the group were provided by the WISP Resort and the Classroom portion of training was provided by Garrett College.


A total attendance of 66 registrants participated.  41 Handler and Hound Teams; 10 highly qualified field instructors; 5 administrative instructors; and 10 prospective member observers. This year’s Spring attendance hailed from 19 States (AZ, CA, CT, FL, GA, IL, IN, MA, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV) and Germany; and all were members of various Law Enforcement Agencies.


The NPBA conducts two – 40 Hour Seminars each year; Spring – McHenry, MD and Fall – Matthews, NC. The 40-Hour Training and Certification Course consists of 8 hours of classroom and 32 hours of field training and evaluation under the guidance of an appointed experience law enforcement handler/instructor. The course covers Bloodhound Health presented by NPBA Instructor, Dr. Marybeth Cline; Basic Scent & Scent Trailing; Scent Articles; Training Trails; Trailing an Armed Subject, and Legal Updates and Courtroom Testimony. Each participant, upon successful completion receives 4 CEU’s (Continuing Education Units) through Garrett College’s Continuing Education and Workforce Development Department as the course is an Approved Licensure and Certification Course through the Maryland Higher Education Commission. The seminar was prearranged with some twenty-six locations, offering a wild variety of training areas, each selected to challenge the skills of the Bloodhound Team to validate the annual offered Certification. The 2020 Annual Spring Seminar is scheduled for May 2 thru May 7, again in McHenry. Visit and Check us out on Facebook.

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