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John Skalski’s Bio

John retired from the Detroit Police Department after 31 years of service. He was a canine handler for 30 years handling a patrol K-9, narcotics K-9, an explosive detection K-9, and a human remains dog. John served as the K-9 trainer for the Detroit Police Department for 27 years.

From 1998-2001 John was the chief K-9 trainer for the Oakland Community College police academy K-9 training department. He is also a nationally certified trainer and judge for the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA). He was a former President of the USPCA for region and was also a member of the national board of directors for the USPCA. John also served as the Chairman of the USPCA Trainers Committee for 12 years.

John is recognized as an expert witness in both Federal court and municipal court in the area of police service dogs, as a trainer and handler.

Summary of Accomplishments:

  • Trainer and coordinator of the Detroit Police Canine Unit as it grew in the late 80’s to an all time high of 34 dogs and 29 handlers.  Supervised and directed all facets of the unit as it pertained to training, operation and deployment.
  • Trained over 1,500 dog teams in all aspects of training.
  • Instructing an average of 8 seminars a year for the past 20 years, a majority on the national level in all phases of training.
  • Used as and recognized as an expert witness in federal, state and local courts.
  • Participated as a judge or competitor on either the regional or national level over the last 25 years.  Consistently finished in the top tier of competitors on both levels.
  • Recognized as an expert in the training of explosive detection dogs.
  • Attended an average of 6 seminars a year in all subjects pertaining to police service dogs.  The last few years the emphasis being on explosive detection dogs.
  • In 1989, attended 8 weeks as an invited participant, at the Federal Police Dog School in Germany, in the State of Niedersachsen.
  • Trained in 1989 for 4 weeks at the Royal Dutch Police Canine Training Center.
  • Chief instructor for 11 USPCA National Training Seminars over the last 30 years.  Subjects dealing with Explosives, Protection, Tracking, Patrol, ID lineup and Decoy were covered in the instruction.
  • Initiated a new seminar training principal where we empower the handlers and dogs to become more efficient by doing the seminar instruction to small groups, for more hands on instruction, and also do portions if not all of the seminar in their city or work environment.
  • Trained and also deployed at Henry Ford Hospital in the early 70’s with Canines.
  • Trained 6 dogs and 4 handlers for Beaumont and Providence Hospitals.
  • Trained the Detector dogs (explosive and narcotic) from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies in that training consortium.
  • Currently training with other law enforcement agencies on a regular basis in all forms of training.
  • Currently providing dogs for executive protection, explosive and narcotic detection for private contractors.
  • An instructor at seminars covering all phases of police canine work.  (9 in the last year)
  • One of the chief instructors for Michigan Municipal Risk Management’s Canine seminars.  Two seminar and testing sessions a year conducted at Camp Grayling.
  • Still attending seminars to expand and keep abreast of new training techniques.
  • Currently conducting tests on new training techniques for detector and tracking dogs.  These tests may lead to improved training using existing techniques.
  • Currently training and placing dogs for Police service.