Recently, Texarkana Arkansas Police K-9 Officer Randy McAdams with K-9 ‘Gus’ attended the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) Region 20 Canine certification and competition in Texarkana. This certification tests all aspects of K-9 handling including patrol functions and narcotics detection, which the handler and dog have to pass to continue working together at their law enforcement agency. In addition to certification, the handlers and their dogs compete against other teams within the region for placement in several categories including the prestigious Overall Patrol Handler/Dog Award.
K-9 Officers must be committed to a demanding training regimen to ensure the team performs at peak performance in police patrol, odor detection functions, as well as annual certifications. Texarkana Arkansas Police adhere to guidelines set forth by the United States Police Canine Association; the largest organization to certify and set standards for service dogs in the world. Sergeant Joe Bennett stated, “We want a standard of training that is not only court recognized but also maintains the purpose and scope of our department Canine Policy.”
The dogs we use are select Shepherds, imported from Europe which have passed a rigorous testing program and then specifically trained to our chosen application which incorporates positive reinforcement techniques. Sgt. Bennett adds, “We want the citizens of Texarkana Arkansas to be assured that the dogs used by our Police Department are safe and reliable. The K-9 officers handling these dogs are trained to implement procedural guidelines that control and direct all activity surrounding the deployment of the Canine Team.” Our most common use of the canines is for crime prevention and control methods. The K-9 Team is considered a valuable asset to any police department.
While attending the annual certification during March 11-15, Officer McAdams and K-9 “Gus” a 4 ˝ year old Shepherd from Czechoslovakia, performed well above the recognized standard. The certification process is a weeklong testing and evaluation procedure which includes several areas of assessment. The competition included 21 canine teams, some of which have been recognized or competed nationally during previous certifications, such as Officer McAdams and K-9 Gus. McAdams and Gus placed within the top three in nearly every category and received honors of taking Second Place overall. This is Officer McAdams and Gus’s third regional trial and certification competition. The team has placed in the top four overall as Handler and Dog for the last three years at each Regional Trial, as well as first place patrol team in 2011 and second place patrol team in 2012 with the K-9 teams from Texarkana, TX. All of which are remarkable. Also, Officer McAdams and Gus have qualified for the USPCA National Competition every year. However, city budget constraints have prevented the team to compete on the national level.
When not backing other officers on high priority police calls, preparing for certification, training or working a special event like festivals or the fair, McAdams and Gus can be found assisting other law enforcement officers and agencies who continually call upon the team to assist with traffic stops, drug detection, lost, wanted and escaped subjects. This activity amounts to over 2100 calls a year resulting in the arrests of over 200 criminals, not to mention locating subjects who are lost, suicidal, or have escaped from custody.
The placement of Officer Randy McAdams and ‘Gus’ in these competitions is a testament to the quality of K-9 Teams maintained at the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department. Officer Randy McAdams says, “I would not be able function at the level I do without my strong faith in the Lord and my great family. My wife, Kandi, and my kids support me in more ways than they know. They have been there for me during the times I struggled, not just when things are going well. They will help Gus and I train and put up with me when I am hard to get along with and focused on K-9 matters. They have a way of reminding me what is important and to not worry so much”.
The quality of canines that the Texarkana, Arkansas Police Department has would not be possible without the unwavering support and assistance of the Texarkana community. Gus was purchased with a grant provided by longtime resident and supporter Julia Mobley with Commercial National Bank. This assistance and encouragement from our community is invaluable to the success and accomplishments of Officer McAdams and Gus.
Thank you and you can visit the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department online at http://www.txkusa.org/arkpolice.
Officer Kristi Mitchell
Public Information Officer