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Rome named host city for regional police canine certification event

Posted January 22, 2014 by Kristi Kent in News

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

GRCVB Contact:
Luke Chaffin, Special Projects Coordinator

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Rome named host city for regional police canine certification event

ROME, GA. — The Rome Police Department and the city of Rome have been selected as the host for the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) Region 22 Certification Trials. Associated events will take place at various sites in Rome on April 6-11, 2014.

Throughout the week, canines from different agencies throughout Alabama, Georgia and portions of Tennessee will be challenged in a battery of tests that focus on everything from canine agility to obedience, evidence searches, criminal apprehension and more.

Pfc. Richard Penson of the Rome Police Department K-9 Unit and K-9 Deisel, a Czech German Shepherd

Pfc. Richard Penson of the Rome Police Department K-9 Unit and K-9 Deisel, a Czech German Shepherd

“Canine certification means so much to all of the entities involved because it reduces liability and shows that your dog meets a standard that has been set on a national level,” said Pfc. Richard Penson of the Rome Police Department K-9 Unit.

USPCA accreditation levels include everything from basic patrol dog certification to more specialized endorsements such as narcotics and explosive detection.

“We are so excited about partnering with the Rome Police Department and the Floyd County Sherriff’s Department,” said Lisa Smith, executive director of the Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau. “There is truly a sense of pride in one’s town and a real understanding of what it means to have visitors here when an organization elects to host a competition in their own community.”

In addition to Rome, past host cities within the region have included Huntsville, Ala. and Chattanooga, Tenn.

“When participants were most recently [in Rome] for certification in 2007, they bragged on our city,” said Pfc. Penson, a 22-year veteran with the Rome Police Department. “Many told us that they later returned on vacation to take in the city—its history, hotels, restaurants and attractions.”

Some certification events will be free and open to the general public, including criminal apprehension scenarios and agility trials where canines will be required to jump over hurdles, climb and move about catwalks.

“Bystanders will really enjoy seeing how the dogs are trained and some of the things that they go through to become K-9s,” added Pfc. Penson.

After the final event, canines that excel and exceed in the certification courses will be given awards to recognize their achievements, following a combined judges’ tally.

“In hosting events like these and having 60 of the best-behaved animals and their handlers in the region join us for a week, we will be able to continue this year to create an even more dog-friendly Rome,” said Smith.

The United States Police Canine Association was formed in 1971 to bring agencies together that use dogs to protect the communities that they serve, establishing training standards and sharing training methods. Membership consists of agencies throughout the United States, Canada, the Armed Forces, and internationally.

For more information about the USPCA, visit For more information on a tentative schedule of events for the USPCA Region 22 Certification Trials, contact Pfc. Richard Penson at 706.252.5279.


The Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) is the official destination and sports marketing organization of Rome and Floyd County, Georgia. The GRCVB’s mission is to strengthen the economic fabric of the community through tourism development by attracting leisure travelers, conventions, meetings, sports and events.

About the Author

Our Georgia's Rome tourism team works hard to curate content to help you discover and explore our beautiful town! We want to ensure our content is up-to-date and accurate; so please let us know if we ever overlook an important detail! This post was originally written by Kristi Kent and is updated by staff.

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