End of Watch March 26th, 2019
Terry passed as a result of Interstitial Lung Disease, Pulmonary Fibrosis. He was a Deputy Sheriff II, Retired from the Eldorado County Sheriff’s Office in South Lake Tahoe, California, where he worked three-police dogs in his three-decade long law enforcement career. Terry logged more than 15,000 hours of training with his police dogs, which were patrol dogs cross-trained for search and rescue, narcotic detection, evidence recovery, cadaver recovery, avalanche recovery and tracking/trailing. We know he settled for nothing less than excellence.
How does one describe someone who is considered to be the Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T.)? What makes that person the G.O.A.T.?
Throughout his career Terry was recognized as the Outstanding Cadet award, Class 1977-3; the police officer of the year in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1999 by various law enforcement and civic organizations; and the most dedicated employee in 1992 by the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. He received the Bronze Medal of Valor from the Eldorado County Sheriff’s Office in 1993 and 2005 and five-commendations. Terry was awarded a meritorious service award and a certificate of excellence. In 2009, he was awarded for his lifetime achievement from the California Narcotic Canine Association. Terry was described as being a cop first and there is no doubt his passion for being the police shines through this distinguished law enforcement career.
Terry had touched the lives of so many police service and working dog handlers, supervisors, attorneys, risk managers and trainers (probably too many to count) throughout the years as he traveled the United States and Canada teaching seminars and assisting in the defense of his fellow police dog handlers. Terry saved and protected so many agencies and dog handlers by providing his expert opinion in court and crushing the opposing expert’s testimony. He was instrumental in tracking current police dog case law and current industry trends. Terry’s training focused on K9 litigation; but he was also extremely passionate about handler tactics and keeping his brother and sister handlers safe through his education and writing! He authored (or coauthored) more than 57 articles related to the K9 industry, K9 team tactics and K9 legalities; including the book Ethics and Legal Issues in the Court Room: for Search and Rescue Dog Handlers. He was a founding member of the Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal Detector Guidelines (SWGDOG).
Terry was a friend, mentor and hero to many like me. We all have followed Terry by attending his classes, subscribing to his website and seeking his expert advice. Those of us who knew Terry, knew he was never short of answers and always ready for our questions, day or night. He inspired me to focus on my police and K9 career on the legal aspects, but more specifically in the tracking, writing and teaching of current police service and working dog case law.
Terry was described by many as: a positive ambassador to the canine community, a class act, a shining pillar in the canine community, the foremost K9 authority, a leader in the canine community! I believe Terry fits the description of a person considered to be the G.O.A.T. He will be missed tremendously. Rest in peace my brother you are our G.O.A.T!