Brad Dennis has over 30 years of experience in search and rescue and 22 years as a K-9 handler. He is currently working his 4th HRD K- 9, Grace, a labrador retriever. Brad is the National Search Director for the KlaasKIDS Foundation’ Search Center for Missing & Trafficked Children. He managed the community- assisted search effort following the abduction of 12-year-old Polly Hannah Klaas in 1993 from Petaluma, Ca.; which has become the model for child abduction search strategies.
He has managed search efforts for over 300 missing/abducted children around the country. He travels extensively throughout the United States providing dynamic and relevant instruction concerning search and rescue operations, advocacy to families of missing children, child abduction search management, sex trafficking of minors and serves as “Evaluator” for the National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR).
He has been instrumental in the rescue of numerous children from sex trafficking and the intelligence he has gathered has assisted in taking down several child prostitution rings. His rescue efforts for missing children have been chronicled on CNN, The Early Show, The Today Show, Dateline, MSNBC, and 48 Hours. He has been awarded the Commissioner’s Award from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the prestigious Justice Award from the Foundation for Improvement of Justice for his efforts to locate missing children.
Brad is the owner of Threshold Education. This veteran owned training and consulting team conducts training scenarios to prepare responders for realistic deployment operations. Brad is a retired Cryptologic Master Chief Petty Officer, US Navy, and is highly decorated for his counterterrorism work with the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He also proudly serves as the Pastor of Eden Fellowship Church located in Pensacola, Florida.
Greg Cole began his law enforcement and dog training career upon joining the United States Air Force in 1976. A graduate of the DOD Dog Training Center in 1977, he subsequently served as a security policeman and K9 handler at Loring Air Force Base, 42 Bomb Wing, Strategic Air Command. He handled 3 different patrol dogs and gained his first experiences with narcotics and explosive detection dogs. After working a year as the dog trainer at Thunder Bay Inc. in Clearwater, Florida, he and his family moved to Gulf County Florida in 1984.
In 1985 he trained and handled the county’s first police dog in the fields of patrol, tracking, area search, evidence recovery, building search, and narcotics detection, thus establishing the county’s first K9 unit. He also served as a school resource officer, DARE officer, narcotics and criminal investigator, patrol supervisor, trainer and training coordinator, a founding officer of the department’s Honor Guard and was a founding officer of the department’s SWAT team serving as assistant team leader and firearms instructor.
As the K9 trainer and supervisor he maintained charge of a six dog team unit and trained a total of fifteen K9 teams for the Department. His dog teams maintained state and national standards in fields spanning patrol, tracking, building and area search, article search/evidence recovery, vehicle search, narcotics and human remains detection. All his K9 teams maintained certifications through organizations such as the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA), the North American Police Work Dog Association (NAPWDA), and the National Narcotics Detector Dog Association (NNDDA). Greg was also called upon to assist in the training of many other local and state agencies’ K9 units and is a Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) K9 Subject Matter Expert (SME). He also serves as the police K9 operations trainer and adviser for the Gulf Coast State College Criminal Justice program.
Greg retired his law enforcement commission in 2013. Establishing J-Max K9 Training and Services, Greg continues services to the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office as their K9 trainer and advisor. He entered into the realm of search and rescue in 2005 training his 2 Labrador Retrievers as specialty human remains detection canines, working land and water. Serving the law enforcement and civilian communities, both dogs became known for their successes in the field. In 2009, Greg and his dog Maximus were recognized for their performance in the field by the United States Army, while serving the military in the search for their missing in Iraq. Greg is a member of the KLaasKIDS Foundation Search Center for missing and trafficked children, serving as a K9 handler and K9 instructor. Greg has received an award from the foundation in recognition of steadfast dedication and perseverance in his work to stop crimes against children. Greg continues to serve local, state, and national organizations as a K9 handler, instructor, and evaluator. He served as an instructor for the Western Carolina University (WCU) advanced cadaver dog program, and is an instructor with HRD Specialized K9 Training, established 2002. Greg is also a K9 instructor/evaluator and serves on the board of advisors for the National Network of Canine Detection Services (NNCDS). Greg trained and is currently working his third labrador retriever, K9 Sloopy, as a specialty human remains detection K9 team, performing forensic recovery on land and water. He maintains current certifications with Sloopy through the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association (NNDDA) and the National Network of Canine Detection services (NNCDS).
Lisa Higgins is a certified NASAR SARTECH II, a Canine SAR Tech III. She has been in law enforcement since 1978. She started with Pearl River P.D. as a mounted officer and has completed her thirty year run with St. Tammany Sheriff's Office mounted as well as SAR canine. She was in the Special Operations Division from 1991 through 2008.
Higgins is co-founder of LaSAR, is a member of NSDA, and a member of NNCDS, serving on the advisory board. Lisa qualified as a "Subject Matter Expert" in canine body recovery in New Orleans Criminal Courts. Higgins is a member of the Federal DMORT Region VI Team, Louisiana and Texas State Mass Fatalities Taskforce.
Higgins serves as a civilian contractor with the FBI on the Victim Recovery Team. She has co-authored several articles and a book chapter on water search and recovery.
Paul S. Martin, M.A. is an affiliate of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), the Society of American Archaeology, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and is the past president of the National Network of Canine Detection Services. He is a member of the AAFS Standards Board Consensus Body for Dogs and Sensors. He is the cofounder of HRD Specialized K9 Training that was established in 2002. He earned his B.S. in Anthropology with a concentration in Forensic Anthropology at Western Carolina University in 2011 and his M.A. at the University of Mississippi in 2015. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Memphis in the Department of Earth Sciences, where his dissertation research is centered on Cadaver Dogs and Ground-Penetrating Radar.
Since 1997, he has been involved with search and rescue, and has specialized in human remains recovery since 2000. He has worked cases and consulted for numerous agencies on the local, state, and national levels in regard to the recovery of human remains. He has presented research to American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Society for American Archaeology, United South and Eastern Tribes, NSDA, Southeastern Section meeting of the Geological Society of America, NASAR, and the Mississippi Archaeology Association.
In 2011, he helped to develop Cadaver Dog Training offered through the Forensic Osteology Research Station (FOREST) at Western Carolina University. This was the first university based program in the country where he served as the coordinating instructor for two different courses there. He was affiliate faculty to the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at WCU from 2012-2017 and has been an assistant instructor for the Field Recovery of Human Remains class from 2012-2015. His major research interests in forensic anthropology include taphonomy, cadaver dogs, geophysical survey methods, recovery, mapping, soil analysis, and theory. He is currently working with his fifth canine partner in the field of human remains detection.