Bel Air secures grant for officer and K9 partner to attend national workshop

The Aegis

A Bel Air Police officer and his K9 partner were recognized by town officials earlier this week after they were accepted to the North American Police Work Dog Association’s 2018 national workshop.

Officer Jonathan Kaufmann and K9 Blitz will attend the June 10-15 workshop in Springfield, Mass., thanks to a training grant the town received from the Local Government Insurance Trust.

The Town of Bel Air is a long-time participant in Maryland’s Local Government Insurance Trust, or LGIT, which provides group insurance and manages self insurance pools for municipal and county governments in the state. The participating local governments own the trust, according to its website.

LIGT executive director Timothy Ainsworth attended Monday night’s town meeting to present the $2,142 training grant for Kaufmann and Blitz. Also attending was Patti Sterling, Bel Air’s grants coordinator.

In a letter Ainsworth sent to Sterling May 3 notifying her of the grant approval, the LGIT official wrote: “We commend the steps that you have taken to proactively address the training needs within your local government. This is an example of the Trust and local government working together to address risk management concerns.”

The North American Work Dog Association workshop will cover all phases of patrol, including tactical techniques and scenario based training, according to the association. Specialized training also will be available in narcotics, explosives, cadaver, tracking, trailing and accelerants. K9 teams of all levels of experience are welcome.

The 40-year-old North American Work Dog Association’s objectives include assisting in training; establishing a working standard for the dogs, handlers and trainers; providing educational materials through publications and through state and national workshops and improving “the image of the working police dog to the general public.”

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