Visitor Guide

Police dog certification events open to public announced

Posted April 1, 2014 by Kristi Kent in News

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

GRCVB Contact:
Luke Chaffin, Special Projects Coordinator

Rome Police K-9 Unit Contact:
Pfc. Richard Penson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Police dog certification events open to public announced  

ROME, GA. — Several events open to spectators for the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) Region 22 Certification Trials next week have been announced by the Rome Police Department and City of Rome. Over 60 handlers and their canines will be present for the certification testing, which takes place at various locations in Rome on April 6-11, 2014.

Throughout the week, dogs from different agencies in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee will be challenged in various exercises that test canine agility, obedience, evidence searches, criminal apprehension and more. Canine certification through testing helps reduce liability for different organizations, establishes benchmarks for dog training on a national level, and helps court cases when animals are involved in evidence gathering.

All listed events are free and open to the public.

On Monday, April 7 at 7:30 a.m., the obedience portion of the competition will be held at the YMCA Sports Complex at Grizzard Park, 1170 Turner Chapel Road. The event includes standard testing on a dog’s ability to walk off-leash in various directions on command. Agility trials will follow at the same location at 8:30 a.m. and will test ease in climbing, jumping hurdles and moving across catwalks.

At 10 a.m. on Monday, box searches begin where the dogs are directed to find humans that are hiding from them. This segment simulates checking doors and cabinets in a real-life scenario. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., article searching will be tested on the lower fields of the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds, 1400 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Different items will be thrown into vegetation, where they will be located by police dogs.

On Tuesday, April 8, two public events will be held at State Mutual Stadium, 755 Braves Blvd. Canines will be tested in apprehension without gunfire from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and with gunfire from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. This portion of the certification trials entails finding and catching “criminals.”

“To me, working with K-9s is the best job you can have in law enforcement,” said Pfc. Richard Penson of the Rome Police K-9 Unit. “It is extremely rewarding when you are on the other end of the leash as a criminal is apprehended or a missing person is found.”

At the end of the week, the top-performing dogs in the certification trials will be honored at a private awards ceremony to recognize their accomplishments in Rome.

The United States Police Canine Association was formed in 1971 to bring law enforcement agencies together that utilize canines, establishing training standards and sharing training methods on a global scale. USPCA accreditation levels include everything from basic patrol dog certification to more specialized endorsements such as narcotics and explosive detection.

For more information about the USPCA, visit For more information about the USPCA Region 22 Certification Trials and the schedule of events, 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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