Search dogs, Safety Night to highlight annual NAPWDA training

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

Grant County will literally be going to the dogs next week.
About 75 canines and their handlers, along with trainers/evaluators from across the country will be attending the third North American Police Working Dog Association training and certification held Sept. 16 through Sept. 20.
“When it comes to police, people are often used to the bad stuff, but this is good stuff and we want to showcase what Grant County has to offer,” said Grant County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Morgan, one of the organizers of the event.
The event continues to draw police officers, drug enforcement officers, as well as search and rescue personnel from California to Washington, D.C.
“A lot of people were wondering what was happening last year when all these police cars were all over the county,” Morgan said.
The event is sponsored by the GCSO and Grant County Tourism, which hosts a breakfast during the opening program and also gives each participant a welcome package containing information about the community.
“We surveyed those that were here last year and the average they said they spent in that week in local businesses was around $1,000,” Morgan said.
Tracie Kinman-Rothwell, director of the Grant County Tourism, said approximately 47 teams participate in the workshop from all over Kentucky and other states.
Many of the visitors will stay in local hotels and help give the local economy a boost, she said.
“Our view is that those teams will also spend money in the county at local businesses for food, gas and etc. during their stay,” Kinman-Rothwell said. “Generating revenue to our local businesses is our goal and supporting such an event is critical to bringing that revenue to our county.”
Morgan, who has been a canine officer in Indiana as well as now serving as Grant County Middle School’s Resource Officer, has been a member of NAPWDA for several years.
Hosting the event in Grant County means many participants don’t have to drive or fly across the country to get certified.
Most of the training will be conducted at the Northern Kentucky Fairgrounds in Williamstown or at Lloyd’s Wildlife in Crittenden. Some of the training will be for narcotics or drug dogs and some will be for cadaver dogs that sniff out human remains submerged in water.
This year’s event will also feature a Safety Night for the community starting with emergency service demonstrations at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at Grant County High School.
Safety Night will include helicopters, fire trucks, police and search and rescue dogs. A canine demonstration will be held at 7 p.m. Concessions will also be available from the Grant County Band Boosters.
The GCHS JROTC will present colors and the GCHS marching band will perform the National Anthem.
“This event is going to have something for everyone,” Morgan said. “There’s going to be a lot going on in a short period of time.”