Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding has been tapped by his 91 fellow sheriffs statewide to lead training and policies at the new not-for-profit Indiana Sheriffs’ K-9 Academy. Indiana Sheriffs’ Association Director Steve Luce said Wedding was selected because of “his strong commitment to effective law enforcement training and his longtime, professional experience as a K-9 handler.”

Part of expanded training offered by ISA, the K-9 Academy is the first in-state facility dedicated exclusively to law enforcement canines. Opened in the fall of 2016, the center offers kennels, classrooms and tactical search facilities. Handlers and dogs from all county, city and state agencies are welcome to enroll. “Canines have extraordinary talents in sight, smell, agility and diligence that can be invaluable policing tools in making our communities safer,” Luce said. “A well-trained K-9 unit can help find lost children and others who have wandered from caregivers,” Wedding added. “What’s more, canines and handlers can speed searches of parcels, vehicles, and buildings when every moment counts for citizen safety.”

Luce said the K-9 Academy is housed at the new Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch, a privately funded project under construction to provide free leadership camps to future deputies, troopers and police officers, as well as at-risk youth. “Part of the K-9 facility already existed as a veterinary clinic on the recently purchased Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch property located near Brazil, Ind.,” Wedding said. “The existing vet office was remodeled to accommodate classroom training and team teaching. A new structure was added to tactical simulations and evaluations of building and vehicle searches.” Based on best practices of other states, Indiana’s police service dogs will now be able to receive in-state patrol certifications on obedience, tracking, searches and control as well as detection certifications on narcotics and explosives, Wedding said. “Our hope is Indiana taxpayers will save money through the K-9 Academy’s lower training fees. Local law enforcement agencies will benefit from uniform training standards, less out-of-state travel and therefore more time with those we serve and protect,” Wedding said.

Scott Minier

Deputy Executive Director

Indiana Sheriffs' Youth Ranch

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