Beginning Trailing: Greg Cole began his law enforcement and dog training career upon joining the United States Air Force in 1976. A graduate of the DOD Dog Training Center in 1977, he subsequently served as a security policeman and K9 handler at Loring Air Force Base, 42 Bomb Wing, Strategic Air Command. He handled 3 different patrol dogs and gained his first experiences with narcotics and explosive detection dogs. After working a year as the dog trainer at Thunder Bay Inc. in Clearwater, Florida, he and his family moved to Gulf County Florida in 1984. In 1985 he trained and handled the county’s first police dog in the fields of patrol, tracking, area search, evidence recovery, building search, and narcotics detection, thus establishing the county’s first K9 unit. He also served as a school resource officer, DARE officer, narcotics and criminal investigator, patrol supervisor, trainer and training coordinator, a founding officer of the department’s Honor Guard and was a founding officer of the department’s SWAT team serving as assistant team leader and firearms instructor. As the K9 trainer and supervisor he maintained charge of a six dog team unit and trained a total of fifteen K9 teams for the Department. His dog teams maintained state and national standards in fields spanning patrol, tracking, building and area search, article search/evidence recovery, vehicle search, narcotics and human remains detection. All his K9 teams maintained certifications through organizations such as the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA), the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA), and the National Narcotics Detector Dog Association (NNDDA). Greg was also called upon to assist in the training of many other local and state agencies’ K9 units and is a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) K9 Subject Matter Expert (SME). He also serves as the police K9 operations trainer and adviser for the Gulf Coast State College Criminal Justice program. Greg retired his law enforcement commission in 2013. Establishing J-Max K9 Training and Services, Greg continues services to the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office as their K9 trainer and advisor. He entered into the realm of search and rescue in 2005 training his 2 Labrador Retrievers as specialty human remains detection canines, working land and water. Serving the law enforcement and civilian communities, both dogs became known for their successes in the field. In 2009, Greg and his dog Maximus were recognized for their performance in the field by the United States Army, while serving the military in the search for their missing in Iraq. Greg is a member of the KLaasKIDS Foundation Search Center for missing and trafficked children, serving as a K9 handler and K9 instructor. Greg has received an award from the foundation in recognition of steadfast dedication and perseverance in his work to stop crimes against children. Greg continues to serve local, state, and national organizations as a K9 handler, instructor, and evaluator. He served as an instructor for the Western Carolina University (WCU) advanced cadaver dog program, and is an instructor with HRD Specialized K9 Training, established 2002. Greg is also a K9 instructor/evaluator and serves on the board of advisors for the National Network of Canine Detection Services (NNCDS). Greg trained and is currently working his third labrador retriever, K9 Sloopy, as a specialty human remains detection K9 team, performing forensic recovery on land and water. He maintains current certifications with Sloopy through the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association (NNDDA) and the National Network of Canine Detection services (NNCDS).
Intermediate trailing: Pam Nyberg has been involved with search and rescue for the past 15 years. She was a founding member of Alpha Team SAR in 2004, which is based in the metro Atlanta, Georgia area.
Her breed of choice is the Labrador retriever. Pam is currently working 3 Labradors: 2 are operational. She has been working Jazz, certified in human remains detection for the past 6 years and Bodi, certified in trailing, for the past 10 years. Gibbs, the 3rd canine, is training to be the next scent specific trailing partner for Pam.
Living in the metro Atlanta area has provided numerous opportunities for interesting and challenging deployments in both disciplines. In addition, Pam has participated in numerous K9 seminars throughout the country. She has also instructed trailing classes at some of these seminars.
Advanced Trailing: Bios forthcoming
Urban Trailing: DJ Beddow has 20 years experience in Emergency Planning/Management and over 17 years in K9 Search and Rescue. She was first introduced to K9 work in the late 80’s as a Sergeant at Charlotte Correctional Institution. She is the Director, trailing/tracking trainer and evaluator of SWFK9 Search Unit, also Instructor, and Evaluator for organizations like National Network of Canine Detection Services and National Association of Search and Rescue. She has trained for AMPWDA, SW Pansar K-9/EFA, Westfork Dog Training, Bay County Sheriff’s Department, United States Search and Rescue Team, National Center for K-9 Training and many others. She is the founder of National Canine Detection and Inspections and Scent Specific K9 ExacTrak®. DJ Beddow is also an Evaluator for the National Association of Search and Rescue for Human Remains Detection, Area Search and K9 Trailing. She is also a service dog trainer for the organization 1Boy4Change that trains K9’s for children and veterans around the United States. She has certified K9’s in air scent, tracking, man trailing and human remains detection with NAPWDA, Cross Country Canines, NNCDS, SWFK9Search Unit and NASAR. She has been featured with bloodhound George on the Discovery Channel for scent work and understanding as well as K9 Cop magazine and EBella magazine with bloodhound Gracie Bell. She currently has canines working in tracking, trailing, exactrak and human remains detection. She is NASAR SAR TECH II certified, an OSHA 503 Trainer, Iona CERT team, member of the Lee County Human Trafficking Task Force Advisory Board, canine designee for FDLE, Child Abduction Response Team, member of Keiser University Criminal Justice Advisory Board, Florida Fire Marshal and Inspectors Association, and member of NNCDS, NASAR, and N.C.D.I. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and is a Fire Inspector and Arson Investigator on the Lee County Arson Task Force in Southwest Florida. K9 Higgins is a seven year old Basset Hound who has passed national testing standards in Human Remains Detection with Cross Country Canine, Network of Canine Detection Services and National Association of Search and Rescue. She has worked cases for numerous law enforcement agencies as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigations. DJ Beddow and bloodhound Gracie Bell won the 2012/2013 Jimmy Ryce K9 Trailing Team of the Year in the State of Florida presented by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and State Governor for their efforts in a ten and a half hour trail and finding a missing two and a half year old child alive. She has aided, searched and assisted numerous law enforcement agencies including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Child Abduction Response Team. She has now taken on one of her biggest challenges with an Italian Bracco Pointer named Bussola who has nationally certified in Area Search and Trailing and now working on her ExacTrak. The Bracco is an extremely intelligent, athletic, high drive canine that will absorb information that will challenge the abilities of any handler and trainer. Combining scientific facts with studies, training and team assessment abilities is something Dj strives heavily on when working with each handler and canine as an individual team and partnership.
Beginning Air Scent: Janet Geist is a founding member of the North Alabama Search Dog Association and has been part of training a number of dogs and breeds on the team throughout the last 20 years. She has had operational dogs in both area/HRD, area only and HRD only as well. Her dogs have been a mixed breed (GSD/Husky who looked like a Terv), a Malinois and her two current dogs are Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers. Her older toller is HRD only and her younger is a new area dog. She has loved working such diverse personalities and loves teaching area classes that include many breeds as well. It is a joy for her to be back teaching an area dog of her own over the last year. She has certified and maintained certifications in both Area and HRD with NASAR through the years and is also a NASAR evaluator for Area and HRD. She has taught at various CSAR and NNCDS seminars and has a particular love for beginners (handlers and dogs).
Intermediate Air Scent: Darcy Harbaugh is a founding member of the North Alabama Search Dog Association and has been their team training officer since the beginning. She had a background in AKC obedience, agility and tracking before she got into SAR and has always enjoyed working her dogs. She is on her third operational area dog, a 6 year old lab named Beckett. She has certified all of her dogs on both area and HRD with NASAR or NAPWDA (HRD). She loves area work and has helped train all of their team dogs – across many breeds – in that discipline. She enjoys the freedom the dog has to work, and enjoys working to resolve issues for dogs during training, and to challenge the more experienced dogs from time to time. She is a long standing NASAR Lead evaluator in both Area and HRD. She has taught at a number of CSAR seminars over the years and enjoys watching new dogs work in locations and conditions that are new for her too.
Advanced Air Scent: Denver Holder – (bio forthcoming)
Beginning Land HRD: We’re more than EXCITED to have Mickey Januskiewicz join our CSAR Land HRD instructor team! Mickey retired from the Charleston Police Dept. in 2005, after 30 yrs. She spent 18 years as K9 handler, trainer, and supervisor, with the Charleston Police Dept. Mickey trained, worked and handled Dual-Purpose Belgian Malinois: (K9 Remo, K9 Rurik, K9 Paddy). She’s a NAPWDA Master Trainer for Utility, Narcotics and Cadaver. Mickey is a member of South Carolina Search Dogs with her Labrador retrievers K9 Abby and K9 Ruby (HRD) and a Dutch Shepherd: K9 Raylan (Trailing).
Intermediate Land HRD: Jan “Jay” Topolski. Jay has a diverse background when it comes to his animal training experience, professional, and educational pursuits. For 20 years, his career in animal training and behavior range from applications in military, private corporations, and federal organizations.
His career started in the U.S. Army as a K9 military policeman- training and certifying with numerous apprehension and detection dogs. After his military service, he ventured to Orlando Florida to follow his passion of working in the zoological industry. There, he flourished as a large exotic animal trainer; training animals to include: large marine mammals, birds of prey, and other large terrestrial animals and exotic birds for educational and show production within the zoological industry. While in Florida, he was an integral part in consulting, re-structuring, and leading an explosive detector dog program for a private tourist/entertainment-based corporation. His passion and experience have recently led him to Fredericksburg VA, where he continues to help advance the canine industry.
Academically, he holds a Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.) degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida with an emphasis in Neuropsychology, and is currently pursuing his Masters in Forensic Science at George Mason University. JT also travels nationwide to present at speaking engagements, lectures, and training seminars.
He currently works for the Federal Bureau of Investigation- Evidence Response Team Unit.
Advanced Land HRD: Brad Dennis and Paul Martin! YAAYYYYYYY!!
Brad Dennis has over 30 years of experience in search and rescue and 22 years as a K-9 handler. He is currently working his 4th HRD K- 9, Grace, a labrador retriever. Brad is the National Search Director for the KlaasKIDS Foundation’ Search Center for Missing & Trafficked Children. He managed the community- assisted search effort following the abduction of 12-year-old Polly Hannah Klaas in 1993 from Petaluma, Ca.; which has become the model for child abduction search strategies.
He has managed search efforts for over 300 missing/abducted children around the country. He travels extensively throughout the United States providing dynamic and relevant instruction concerning search and rescue operations, advocacy to families of missing children, child abduction search management, sex trafficking of minors and serves as “Evaluator” for the National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR). He has been instrumental in the rescue of numerous children from sex trafficking and the intelligence he has gathered has assisted in taking down several child prostitution rings. His rescue efforts for missing children have been chronicled on CNN, The Early Show, The Today Show, Dateline, MSNBC, and 48 Hours. He has been awarded the Commissioner’s Award from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the prestigious Justice Award from the Foundation for Improvement of Justice for his efforts to locate missing children. Brad is the owner of Threshold Education. This veteran owned training and consulting team conducts training scenarios to prepare responders for realistic deployment operations. Brad is a retired Cryptologic Master Chief Petty Officer, US Navy, and is highly decorated for his counterterrorism work with the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He also proudly serves as the Pastor of Eden Fellowship Church located in Pensacola, Florida.
Paul S. Martin, M.A. is an affiliate of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), the Society of American Archaeology, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and is the past president of the National Network of Canine Detection Services. He is a member of the AAFS Standards Board Consensus Body for Dogs and Sensors. He is the cofounder of HRD Specialized K9 Training that was established in 2002. He earned his B.S. in Anthropology with a concentration in Forensic Anthropology at Western Carolina University in 2011 and his M.A. at the University of Mississippi in 2015. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Memphis in the Department of Earth Sciences, where his dissertation research is “Traces of Death: Can Cadaver Dogs be Used to Detect Historic and Prehistoric Human Cemeteries on Archaeological Sites.” Since 1997, he has been involved with search and rescue, and has specialized in human remains recovery since 2000. He has worked cases and consulted for numerous agencies on the local, state, and national levels in regard to the recovery of human remains. He has presented research to American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Society for American Archaeology, United South and Eastern Tribes, NSDA, Southeastern Section meeting of the Geological Society of America, NASAR, and the Mississippi Archaeology Association. In 2011, he helped to develop Cadaver Dog Training offered through the Forensic Osteology Research Station (FOREST) at Western Carolina University. This was the first university based program in the country where he served as the coordinating instructor for two different courses there. He was affiliate faculty to the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at WCU from 2012-2017 and has been an assistant instructor for the Field Recovery of Human Remains class from 2012-2015. His major research interests in forensic anthropology include taphonomy, cadaver dogs, geophysical survey methods, recovery, mapping, soil analysis, and theory. He is currently working with his fifth canine partner in the field of human remains detection. Picture of Paul + his K9 forthcoming!
Beginning water HRD: Lisa Higgens and Craig Schultz bio’s forthcoming
Intermediate / Advanced water HRD: Deana Hudgins has been involved in search and rescue as a canine handler since 2001. She is the Executive Director for the Ohio Search and Recovery Canines, Inc. (OSAR K9) and a FEMA Canine Search Specialist for Ohio Task Force One. She has conducted hundreds of searches for local, state and federal agencies.
Deana holds canine certifications through NAPWDA in Area Search and Cadaver, NASAR in Area Search, HRD Land, Water and Disaster, and FEMA Live and HRD. She is also a NASAR Canine Lead Evaluator and AERIES Chief Examiner. She has taught HRD land, water and disaster workshops throughout the country. She serves as an instructor for the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy’s Crime Scene Management and Forensic Aspects of Death classes.
Logistics and Base Team Support for your K9 Teams. Note this is a new track: If you’ve been wanting to support your K9 handlers (and don’t have a K9 of your own), this could be the track for you!
Scott Gooch is the Vice-President and an operational member as Team Liaison of Wake Canine Search and Rescue. He began working with Wake Canine in 2014 when encouraged by a co-worker to attend a team training session with his rescue dogs. Although both dogs did not become team members due to previously unknown health issues, he continued to train with the team. During a search for a missing subject in Coats, NC he remained at the forward staging area working as a liaison between the Wake K-9 search team, the incident command, and other search teams in the field. Throughout the mission he kept the team updated with new data and upon completion of the team’s mission, he assisted the handlers, dogs, and searchers in rehabilitation and recovery. Subsequent searches and exercises have reinforced the advantage of this role.
Scott is a Physician Assistant in Emergency, Industrial, and Urgent Care medicine currently employed by Medcor. His current position is as the Medical Administrator for the Medcor clinic at the Fluor Novo-Nordisk DAPI construction site in Clayton, NC building the world’s largest and state-of-art pharmaceutical manufacturing for advanced diabetes treatment products. His day-to-day responsibilities include providing emergency and routine care to the site’s workforce, collaborating with the site’s management on health and safety issues, and assisting the site’s safety professionals with investigating, recovering from, and preventing on site work place incidents. Prior to this position, he worked in hospital-based emergency departments for over 17 years.
Mr. Gooch holds a Masters of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center with a focus in emergency medicine and a Bachelor of Science in Medicine (BSM)- Physician Assistant from Western Michigan University. Scott is also a Senior Fellow of the Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants and Fellow of both the American Academy of Physician Assistants and North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants. Scott’s most important title is “Doc” he earned as a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman attaining the rank of Petty Officer Third Class (E-4) while assigned to U.S Naval Hospital Great Lakes, Great Lakes, IL and with the Fleet Marine Forces at CSSD-14, 1st FSSG, MCAS El Toro, Irvine, CA.