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Brad Smith

K-9 Tactical Operator

Brad Smith retired from the West Covina Police Department in southern California in June 2010 after 30 years of service. Brad was a K-9 handler and trainer for West Covina for 25 years and a SWAT dog handler for 18 years. Since 1999 Brad served as National K-9 Chair for NTOA and a K-9 Subject Matter Expert for the California Association of Tactical Officers. Brad specialized in field tactics and officer safety. Brad designed and implemented a K-9 SWAT & K9 Patrol Tactical School called S.K.I.D.D.S. and CATS, was the owner of Canine Tactical Operations and Consulting, and authored the book “K9 Tactical Operations for Patrol and SWAT.” Brad published more than 80 articles for a variety of publications on K-9 SWAT deployment and training.

Brad passed away on April 5, 2024, leaving a legacy of contributions to police K-9 training.

The following debrief from Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s use of a K-9 during a standoff with a suspect hiding in an attic is one of several nominees for NTOA’s K-9 SWAT Deployment Award
If selected properly, any patrol dog can be a SWAT dog, and a properly trained and motivated patrol dog handler can be a SWAT dog handler
While some argue about terminology —tracking versus trailing — let’s consider some strategies to reduce the risks K-9 handlers face when they get close enough to a suspect to be ambushed
Lack of education and training on both SWAT and K-9 elements can paralyze and frustrate the members of a combined group