United Police Work Dog Association


These Bylaws were last updated on the 24th of April, 2017.

SECTION 1 – The United Police Work Dog Association, is not- for profit, corporation 


This Association shall be known as the United Police Work Dog Association  (U.P.W.D.A.)


A. The United Police Work Dog Association (U.P.W.D.A.) will be incorporated as a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.


B. In the event the United Police Work Dog Association dissolved by a majority vote of the Executive Board, the assets of the United Police Work Dog Association (U.P.W.D.A.) will be donated to an approved 501(c) 3 non-profit association. A majority vote by the United Police Work Dog Association (U.P.W.D.A.) general membership will determine the 501(c) 3 non-profit association, to receive the assets of the United Police Work Dog Associations.                                          



 SECTION 2 - Organizational Purpose 


A. To strive to enhance the knowledge of all members of the Association through training seminars, website and written publications.


B. To establish and maintain a minimum working standard, and certification program for the police service dog teams.


 Note: It is established that since 9/11 there have been many changes to how Government and law Enforcement Agencies are currently employing the assistance of Civilians to include the protection of US Citizens both here and abroad.  The United Police Work Dog Association hereby includes in its by-laws and certifications that certain changes in our By-laws are necessary to keep up with the changing times.  By-Law changes are hereby added to our standards to include certain Civilian positions and certifications.



C.  To establish and maintain a minimum certification standard for Law Enforcement and Civilian Kennel Master. 


D. To establish and maintain an accreditation program for all Master Trainers, Trainers, Kennel Masters and Applicants.


E. To strive to enhance public awareness as to the positive roles in which the police service dog provides in protecting and serving society.



 SECTION 3 - Membership 


A. Incorporators. The membership of the association shall consist of those persons who have signed the certificate of incorporation as incorporators, together with all persons who are hereinafter received under the articles of incorporation.

B. Regular Members. This Association defines a regular member and recognizes as such; any active or retired law enforcement officer, military police or corrections officer of either federal, state, county or municipal, who is, or was a canine handler, canine trainer, or canine administrator.   Membership shall also be open to any retired law enforcement officer, military police, federal, state, county, municipal or correction officers who was a canine a canine handler, trainer, or canine administrator at the time of their retirement.  The United Police Work Dog Association (U.P.W.D.A.) members who are current in their duties at the time they leave their canine unit and remain a law enforcement officer are still eligible to be a regular member so long as they remain active in the association (U.P.W.D.A.) and remain current in their dues.  Regular members of this Association shall have no crimes against his/her country, or conduct that may discredit to themselves or to the United Police Work Dog Association.

Civilian Trainer and Master Trainer.  The United Police Work Dog Association (U.P.W.D.A.) maintains 5 Civilian Trainers and 5 Civilian Master Trainer positions.  The Accreditation of the Civilian Trainer and Master Trainers and will proceed following the same steps as the Police Trainer and Master Trainer accreditation.  The Civilian Trainer and Master Trainer will not have a vote within the Association, nor will they hold a position on the Executive Board.  The civilian Master Trainer will have the authority to certify Police Service dog Teams and Kennel Masters provided he/she has received the accreditation to do so in that Field of proficiency by the Accreditation Committee of the United Police Work Dog Association (U.P.W.D.A.).


C.  Associate Members - An Associate member shall enjoy all privileges except that he/she shall not have any voting privileges, nor shall serve on the Executive Committee Board. All Associate members must provide a current Criminal History Records Check at the time they initially join and upon renewing yearly.  This record check must be obtained from a Clerk of Court from their County. A National records check will be required to verify a clean criminal background.  Any criminal convictions for crimes are grounds for review by the Accreditation Committee and can result in denial or revocation of or from Associate membership.

Associate members are:


(1.)   Any person who trains canines for an established law enforcement agency.

(2)   Certification of Associate member’s dogs will be determined by the Master Trainer.  Associate members dogs can only be certified in:  Explosive Detection, Cadaver dogs. 


E.  Honorary Members. Persons nominated for this membership title must be made in their behalf by a regular member and approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board. This membership title will remain enforce unless revoked for just cause by the Executive Board. Honorary members shall not be allowed to vote or hold any office. Approved honorary members are exempt from paying annual membership dues.


F.   Retired Members.

To qualify as a retired member:

●   must have been a regular paid member.


●   must provide proof of retirement from his/her former law enforcement, military, and or Department of Corrections, employer.  Retired members having paid membership dues for at least 1 year are not required to pay dues, and will retain all privileges of regular members. In addition, the member shall retain his/her title of Master Trainer or Trainer, so long as the member remains in good standing as a proper person. Retired members will not be required to pay dues as long as their membership status is valid.  In addition, the member shall retain his/her title of Master Trainer or Trainer, so long as the member remains in good standing as a proper person.


 SECTION 4 - Duties of Board Officers and Members 


No officer or member serving on the Association's boards or committees as such shall receive any salary or compensation for services rendered to the United Police Work Dog Association (U.P.W.D.A.).  Officers or members may however, be reimbursed for their out of pocket expenses incurred reasonably and necessarily in conducting the affairs of the Association. No elected member may hold an elected office with another national or international police canine organization.


A. President. It shall be the duty of the President:


● To call and preside at all regular and special meetings.


● The President shall see that the Association's bylaws, rules and regulations are and obeyed respected.


● The President shall cast the deciding vote in the event of a tie.


● The President shall have the authority to appoint committees and may designate their chairperson.


● The President shall appoint the following committees: Accreditation, Bylaws, Grievance, Election, Awards and any committees necessary to conduct the affairs of the Association.


● The President shall appoint Pro Tempore officers in the event of absences.


● The President shall perform such other duties as are usual and incidental to the office of President.


● The President is a member ex-officio of all committees except the Election Committee.


B. Vice President. It shall be the duty of the Vice President:


● The Vice President shall assist and support the President in the duties of this position and shall be the President Pro Tempore in the absence of the President, during which time the Vice President shall assume all the duties and responsibilities of that office.


● The Vice President shall be required to attend, with the President, conferences, etc., to which the President is required or expected to attend, in the interest of and/or on behalf of the membership of this association in order that the Vice President may be as informed of all matters concerning the association as is the President.


● In the event of a vacancy in the office of President during the elective term, he/she shall succeed to that office for the remainder of the unexpired term.


C. Secretary. It shall be the duty of the Secretary:


● The Secretary shall accurately record the proceedings at all meetings.


● The Secretary will read the minutes of previous meetings and all communications.


● The Secretary shall conduct a roll call of officers and shall note absentees.


● The Secretary shall communicate and correspond, per the direction of the President, with persons and organizations both within and outside the association relative to Executive Boards business.


● The Secretary shall receive all monies in the absence of the Treasurer.



D. Treasurer. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer:


● The Treasurer shall collect all monies, including the payments of all benefits.


● The account books as well as all papers in the Treasurer's custody shall be open for inspection and examination by the Board of Trustees.


● The Treasurer shall have the authority to designate the bank(s) and or other financial institutions in which the association shall deposit monies.


● The Treasurer shall not lend or invest any of the funds except when duly authorized by the Executive Board.


● The Treasurer will be responsible for issuing payments for all debts incurred by the association, which are required to conduct the association's business.


● It will be the responsibility of the Treasurer to perform an annual audit of the books of the association.



E. Membership Chairman. It shall be the duty of the membership Chairman:


● The Membership Chairman shall keep a record of all members, the standing of each and their date of admission or termination.


● The Membership Chairman shall be responsible for the mailing of membership cards, membership certificates, dues notices, and election ballots.


● The Membership Chairman shall also be responsible in the receipt and documentation of all membership dues monies and the forwarding of all dues monies to the Treasurer for deposit.



F. Board of Trustees. It shall be the duty of the Board of Trustees:


● The Board of Trustees shall act as agents of the Executive Board in all financial transactions between the Board and all other institutions and individuals.


● The Board of Trustees shall consist of three (3) Regular members; all members to be elected every three (3) years at the General Membership meeting.


● Each Member of the three (3) Regular members of the Board of Trustees shall have one vote to cast on all motions made requiring an Executive Board vote during the convening of all Executive Board Meetings.



 ● They shall cause to be made an audit of all books, accounts, funds, etc., of any and all officers, committees, or members who collect and or disburse funds of the association, not less than once each year or at any time said Board has given just cause to believe such audit should be made.



G.  Grievance Chairman.  It shall be the duty of the Grievance Chairman:


● The Grievance Chairman shall accept written grievances from regular members.


● The Grievance Chairman shall investigate and convene the Grievance Committee.


● The Grievance Chairman will follow the process outlined in Section 11 and make a recommendation to the Executive Board for disposition of the complaint.


● In the event the grievance pertains to a Master Trainer and or Trainer the Grievance Chairman will forward the grievance complaint to the Accreditation Board Chairman in which time the Accreditation Board shall convene to address the grievance complaint and upon gathering all findings surrounding the complaint shall issue their decision.



H. Accreditation Chairman. It shall be the duty of the Accreditation Chairman:


● The Accreditation Chairman shall accept applications for Trainers and Master Trainers.


● The Accreditation Chairman will convene the appropriate committees to, evaluate, and interview the applicants.


● The Accreditation Committee will act as Committee chair, with three (3) additional regular members assigned by the President as Committee members.


● The Accreditation Chairman is also responsible for recommending any disciplinary action against Trainers and Master Trainers for violations of The United Police Work Dog Association (U.P.W.D.A.) certification standards.



I. The Executive Board. It shall be the duty of the Executive Board:


The U.P.W.D. A.   Executive Board:


● President


● Vice President


● Secretary


● Treasurer


● Membership Chairman


● Accreditation Chairman


● Grievance Chairman


● Three (3) member Board of Trustees


This Board shall recommend such rules, regulations, amendments, or deletions as may be deemed necessary for the government of the United Police Work Dog Association.  In an emergency situation, the Executive Board by quorum of five (5) or more Executive Board Members vote may act for the entire Executive Board.  Vacancies which occur in any of the Association's offices, through resignation, death, impeachment, or other reasons (with the exception of the President) shall be filled by appointment made by the President and approved by the Executive Board. The approved appointment shall expire at the next elective term.


Executive Board Members shall be required to attend one Executive Board Meeting per calendar year or provide just cause.


 SECTION 5 - Election of Officers 


All candidates for elected office shall be present and nominated at the first general membership meeting in the year of the election.


● Nominated candidates for offices during the general membership meeting which are uncontested by any other nominated candidates are voted on by the general membership and sworn into the office by the President during the general membership meeting. Officers elect then assume the duties of the office at that time.


● In the event of an elected office receiving two or more nominated candidates from the floor, a membership vote by "Official Mail Ballot" will be conducted by the Membership Chairman.


● The Membership Chairman will mail an "Official Ballot" to every regular member eligible to vote.


● A lined security envelope that is properly marked "Official Ballot" will be I included in the mailing and used by the regular member to return the ballot to the Elections Committee Chairman.


● Only ballots returned in the issued lined security envelope will be counted.


● Any signature or written notation on the ballot that would identify the voter will cause that ballot to be considered invalid.


● Any envelope that is opened before being received by the Elections Committee will be declared invalid.


● Official ballot envelopes will contain a serial number, starting at #001 through the total number of regular members eligible to vote as determined by the Membership Chairman's list at the time of the mailing.


● Each serial number will be placed on the ballot being returned and affixed to the outside of the return security envelope.


● Both serial numbers must match in order for the returned ballot to be declared valid.


● The names of nominees on the election ballots shall be placed in alphabetical order for each office.


● The "Official Ballot" in the return security envelope will be mailed back to the Election Committee Chairman postmarked no later than thirty (30) days after the nominations for offices are made.


● The "Official Ballot" will state the date in which all ballots must be postmarked returned by to be counted as a valid election ballot.


● Any ballots postmarked after this stated date will be ineligible to be counted and declared invalid.


● The Election Committee will consist of three (3) regular members.


● The President will appoint the three-member election committee.


● He will also appoint one (1) of these members as the Election Committee Chairman.


● No person of these three (3) appointed members shall be a nominee running for elected office in the given election.


● The Election Committee will hold all "Official Ballot" envelopes unopened until the next meeting of the Election Committee, which will be held at the next Association Executive Board meeting.


● The Election Committee will open the envelopes. The Election Committee Chairman shall check the serial number on the ballot and envelope to ensure they match. The Election Committee Chairman shall also ensure that only one (1) envelope and one (1) ballot with the same number are received.


● The envelopes will be discarded and the ballots will then be counted, the committee will attest to the correct total. Upon counting the ballots, they will be kept by the Election Chairman for a period of ninety (90) days at which time they shall be destroyed.


● A majority of votes cast shall elect.


● Association members are to be notified as soon as possible regarding the outcome of the election. If present, newly elected officers shall take office at this Association meeting following the counting of the ballots. If not present, elected officers shall take office at the next Association meeting. The newly elected officer must be present to take the oath of office either at the conclusion of the counting of the ballots or at the next Association meeting.

● If any office is unopposed the presiding officer shall retain his/her office for an additional term.

The President may not serve more than two consecutive terms in that Office, The President upon the completion of his second term must vacate the Office for one term.  The President after that one term may be elected back into the Office for another two terms and the process will continue as such.

● Election of officers will be held every three (3) years for President, Vice President, Secretary and Membership Chairman. 




 SECTION 6 - The Oath of Office 

"I, (Officer Elect), __________ __________, do hereby promise and affirm, that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties of the office on which I am about to enter to the best of my abilities.


 SECTION 7 - Association Meetings 

Two (2) meetings will be held during each calendar year so as to conduct the official business of the United Police Work Dog Association.  The two (2) meetings assembled will be for the purposes of the Spring Executive Board and the Fall Executive Board.   The President shall also call special meetings of the Executive Board when necessary for association business.


The President shall set the dates for these meetings with the approval of a majority vote by the Executive Board. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Executive Board being physically present for the purposes of conducting an Official Association Meeting.


The Association's meetings shall be conducted according to Parliamentary Law, Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, which shall be the guide for conducting all meetings.


 SECTION 8 - Association Bylaws Committee


● The Bylaws Committee shall consist of five (5) members, appointed by the President.

● The Bylaws Committee shall be charged with the responsibility of overseeing and codifying all amendments, and all proposed changes to amendments pertaining to any additions, or deletions to the Association's Bylaws.


● The Bylaws Committee must submit in writing all proposed changes in their final form to the Executive Board with the Committees recommendations.


● The General Membership shall vote on any bylaw rule changes at a General Membership meeting.


● Any amendment in direct conflict with the Sections of incorporation shall be null and void.


 SECTION 9 - Association Membership Dues 


● The annual dues of Association shall be $50.00 per member.


● The Membership Chairman shall forward annual dues notices no later than December 31st of each calendar year.


● Dues will be collected by January 31st of each calendar year.


● Memberships and or accreditation's held will be invalid for those members’ dues not received by March 1st of any calendar year.


● Accreditation's to include Master Trainer, Trainer and Certifications held by any K-9 Team, will remain invalid until such time as these members’ dues are paid and current to date.


● There will be a $25.00 Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) Charge by the Association for any returned check in addition to reimbursement of any fees incurred by the American Police Canine Association by the financial institution.



 SECTION 10 - Meeting Rules of Order 


(1)  Any member wishing to be recognized for privilege of the floor shall rise, identify him or herself, and address the chair.


(2)  No member shall have privilege of the floor until properly moved, recorded, and declared upon for discussion by the chair.


(3)  No question can come before the meeting unless properly moved, recorded, and declared upon for discussion by the chair.


(4)  Any member may call for a vote on any question, which each member present shall be required to answer his or her name on the roll unless excused by the chair.


(5)  A motion to reconsider must come from a member voting with the majority when the motion to consider was taken.


(6)  When a point of order is raised by any member, a person having the floor shall take his or her seat until the point is decided by the chair. If proper, he or she may resume his or her remarks.


(7)  No subject discussed shall be readdressed during the same meeting unless it was so understood when disposed of.


(8)  Any member may appeal to the Association from the decision of the chair.  The question shall be stated as: "Shall the decision of the chair be sustained?" It shall be decided by a majority vote of the votes cast.



 SECTION 11 - Impeachment 


● Any elected officer and or member of the Association may be removed from office and or expelled from the Association as a member for any violation of the Bylaws provisions or personal conduct which through an impartial investigation, is determined as bringing or may bring discredit upon the United Police Work Dog Association.


● Impeachment charges may be initiated against an elected officer and or member by two (2) members in good standing with the association or the Grievance Committee itself.


● Impeachment charges against those alleged member(s) must be submitted in writing to the Grievance Committee Chairman.


● The Grievance Committee Chairman will provide the accused member(s) a written copy of the charges against him or her. Upon completion of a thorough investigation, the Grievance Committee believes there is sufficient evidence to warrant a hearing, a hearing date will be established.


● The accused member(s) will then be notified in writing by certified registered mail and not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the hearing.


● The accused member shall be given the right to present evidence in his or her behalf at the hearing. Upon the conclusion of the hearing, the Grievance Committee will determine if the accused member is innocent or guilty of the charges and present its recommendation to the Executive Board.


● In the event, the accused member is found guilty of the charge(s) against them, the Executive Board will decide disciplinary action to be taken, which may include, temporary suspension of privileges, expulsion or any other appropriate action.


● An impeached Association officer and or member shall never hold any future office in this Association.


● Members found by the Executive Board to have initiated baseless charges against another member(s), with other underlying and or vindictive motives in doing so, may have appropriate disciplinary action initiated against them by the Executive Board.


● No disciplinary action shall be taken against an accused member or the complainant member unless having been afforded the opportunity of a hearing before the Grievance Committee, with the right of appeal to the Executive Board.


● All members are presumed innocent of misconduct unless otherwise found guilty by presented and supported evidence which is irrefutable and convincing.

© 2020 United Police Work Dog Association (U.P.W.D.A.)