K9 Certifications


Starting in 1998, the IFRI/NFSTC Detector Dog Team Certification program working in conjunction with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Contraband Interdiction Program and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) among other partners established the first Statewide K-9 trainer and detection team certification program with independent scientific validation. The program is intended to provide recommended scientific standards of practice for trainers and organizations and to make available an additional layer of credentials for detection teams.

In 1999, Tony Guzman was certified through IFRI as the First Civilian Trainer for detection.

IFRI was the first academic Forensic Center approved by the State of Florida in 1997 to serve law enforcement efforts in the application of scientific principles to the administration of justice. IFRI’s main functions are to conduct original research in forensic science, transfer technologies from other scientific disciplines for use in forensic applications, provide scientific expertise to the law enforcement and legal community and provide needed continuing education and advanced training to practicing scientists.

The partnerships between the institute, law enforcement agencies, government laboratories and corporations result in a unique center for research and training. Dozens of institute affiliated faculty conduct research and provide forensic expertise and are complemented by over 100 scientists in the local laboratories at the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration Southeast Laboratory. FIU and these local forensic science laboratories have regular interactions with scientists from around the world.


The National Narcotic Detector Dog Association (NNDDA) is a professional, nonprofit organization dedicated to the utilization and proficiency of scent detector dogs for the benefit of Law Enforcement and Private Industry.

The purpose of the NNDDA is to provide training pertaining to the laws of search and seizure, utilizing scent detector dogs, and a method of certification for court purposes.


FLECA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the training and certification of Florida’s Law Enforcement Canine Teams. FLECA offers nationally recognized and approved certifications. FLECA standards have been approved by the Hunt Insurance Group and added to the Florida Sheriff’s Self Insurance Fund. FLECA also offers professional canine training seminars in a variety of topics. FLECA is managed entirely by current and former Police Canine Handlers and Trainers. All FLECA Trainers, Instructors, and Certifying Officials have vast knowledge and experience in working and training Police Canines.


Garrison & Sloan had its explosive detection canines certified and placed in compliance with the Department of the Treasury, Odor Recognition Proficiency Standard for Explosive Detection Canines. This certification was attained during June 2005 with the assistance of the U.S. Army RDECOM-ARDEC and the standards set in place with the  contributing agencies such as the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Group, the Federal Aviation Administration (TSA), the U.S. Capital Police; and, the U.S. Secret Service.


The United States Police Canine Association is the largest and oldest active organization of its kind consisting of the police dogs protecting America. The USPCA focuses on Training and National Certifications where over 48 State, Federal and U.S. Supreme Court Decisions have upheld our certifications as bona fide and of the highest quality. USPCA certification guidelines detail the necessity of certification, the constant pursuit of excellence, and the never ending training required to maintain the level of professionalism essential for the protection of both law enforcement officer and their canine partner. Certification under the USPCA guidelines offers a creditable test, that is not a simple pass or fail standard, but one, which actually measures the team’s efficiency.