Board Member Profiles
President | Brian O’Dell
Brian O’Dell assumed the duties of association president in July 2013, after being appointed to fill the position by the executive board. Brian began his career with detection canines in September 1998 with his first detection canine Vinnie, a six-year-old German Shepherd. Vinnie retired in August 2001 and Brian trained with a second German Shepherd named Axel. In June 2002, while a canine handler for a law enforcement agency, Brian graduated from Canine Instructor School. As an instructor, Brian has helped train new instructors, new canine handlers, and green dogs. Brian also helped train a canine team for the Yuma P.D., the El Paso P.D., the New Mexico State Patrol, and the Donna Anna County S.O. Brian was appointed as president of the association in July 2013.
President Emeritus | Fred Helfers
Fred Helfers started training and handling detection canines in 1982 while working with the Everett Police department. Fred trained and worked two drug detection canines during his 28 years in law enforcement. Over the past 30 years Fred has expanded his knowledge of detection canines by training canines and handlers in the fields of drug detection, insect detection, natural gas detection and accelerant detection.
Further, for over 20 years Fred operated a professional detection dog training kennel and training facility for police officers, training drug detection and accelerant detection canines and their handlers. Fred’s passion and recognized expertise in training detection canine teams has led him to conduct training seminars and classes throughout United States, Canada, Australia, Sweden, and Brazil.
Fred is a past president of the Washington State Police Canine Association (1986 -1990) and the founding President – President Emeritus of the Pacific Northwest Police Detection Dog Association (PNWK9). Fred’s recognized expertise in the training of detection canines and handlers led to Fred being appointed as a founding member of the Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal Factors (SWGDOG 2005 -2012) and recently as a member of Organization of Scientific Area Committee (OSAC – Dogs and Sensors sub-committee). During his career, Fred Helfers has trained literally hundreds of professional canines and their handlers. Along with being recognized as a master trainer in detection canines, Fred is a certified Nose Work Instructor for NACSW.
Vice President (International) | Gord McGuinness
Gord McGuinness is currently a member of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police Service in British Columbia, Canada. This new assignment follows a 34 year career with the Vancouver Police Department. Prior to his retirement from the VPD, Gord spent 18 of 34 years as canine handler and worked five police service dogs during his time in the VPD Canine Unit.
For more than a decade Gord held the position of Head Trainer in the Canine Unit where he was responsible for implementing the first single purpose, narcotic and explosive detection dog teams in the history of the Vancouver Police Department. His responsibilities also included the acquisition and training of 21 general duty, and 4 detection dog teams. Throughout his time in the Canine Unit, Gord worked his own general duty and explosive detection dog.
In addition to his policing career, Gord operates a private consulting business in which he trains patrol, narcotic and explosive detection dogs for the private security industry. He has worked closely with Fred Helfers, over the past 19 years and is a co-founder of the Pacific Northwest Police Detection Dog Association.
Vice President | Mike Barclay
Mike Barclay currently works for Elmore County Sheriff’s Office in Mountain Home, Idaho. Mike has 25 years of Law Enforcement experience. He has over 17 years of Narcotic’s K-9 Handling experience and applications and has supervised multiple K9 units over the years between his time with the Mountain Home Police Department and the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office.
Mike started his Law Enforcement career in 1986. He served in the US Air Force from 1986 until 1990 as a Security Policeman. Upon an Honorable discharge from the USAF, Mike joined the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office as a Reserve Deputy. In 1994 he was hired by Mountain Home Police as a Patrol Officer. In 1996 he was selected to be the first Officer with Mountain Home Police to obtain a K-9 for the department. Mike was assigned his first Narcotics / Personal Protection K-9. At the time of implementing the K-9 program, Mike was responsible for drafting and writing the department’s K9 policy and procedures. After 2 years of showing the value and demand for a narcotic’s K9, Mike was able to write and apply for a grant to add a second Dual Purpose K-9 to the department. In 2000 Mike was appointed K-9 supervisor to supervise the MHPD K-9 program until he resigned from Mountain Home Police and went to work with Elmore County Sheriff’s Office in 2002 taking his K9 partner with him to the Sheriff’s Office. Shortly after his arrival at the Sheriff’s Office, he accepted the position of Captain of the Detectives with the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office working Narcotics and Major Crimes while still handling a K9. In December of 2012 he was promoted to Chief Deputy where he was able to implement a strong K9 program with 4 Narcotics K9 teams. In December of 2016, he stepped down as Chief Deputy and took a Patrol Deputy position. He is currently the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics instructor for Concealment Techniques and Drug recognition and has directed and commanded several multi- agency Interdiction Efforts along the corridor of Interstate I-84 in Elmore County, Idaho.
Mike’s training includes but is not limited to several K-9 schools that were directed at concealments techniques to defeat K-9 applications, K-9 selection, K-9 Handler selection, Supervision and Responsibilities of K-9’s programs, Training Applications of K-9’s and K-9 legal updates just to name a few. He has attended the Idaho K-9 Evaluator/ Training class.
Mike competed in the 2008 World Police Games with his previous K9, Maggie. He has been a certifying official for PNWK9 since 2011. He is a firm believer that training and training hard only makes for exceptional K-9 teams. I believe that K-9s are a true asset to any department.
Secretary/Treasurer | Kristi Bridgman
Kristi Bridgman is a Deputy with the King County Sheriff’s Office. She has over 19 years of Law Enforcement experience. She started her career with the City of Snoqualmie as a Patrol Officer in 1996 and lateraled over to the King County Sheriff’s Office in 1999. In 2002 she was assigned as a detective to the Neighborhood Drug Enforcement Team/Special Emphasis Team. While in the position she wrote search warrants, prepared tactical briefings, worked informants, worked federal level wires and OCDEFT cases and worked in an undercover capacity. She’s attended many narcotics/interdiction/K9 trainings and conferences over the years including the PNWK9 seminars.
While in her detective capacity she began shadowing the department’s narcotics K9 handler. She purposely planned operations to include the use of the narcotics K9 to include search warrants of various kinds, school searches, and wall stops. In 2011 she was selected as the narcotics K9 handler for an area task force. In 2012 the Sheriff’s Office brought her and K9 Kuva back under the County’s umbrella until they retired him in 2015. While she was handling K9 Kuva, she organized monthly group training for the K9 teams in her area and she continues to do so. At the 2015 conference, she was selected as a certifying official for PNWK9 and was appointed to be the secretary/treasurer for the Association. Since 2014, the National Association of Canine Scent work, recognizes Deputy Bridgman as a trial Judge for nose work trials.