ARTICLE 1: This Organization shall be known as the National Organization Certifying Search and Rescue.
ARTICLE 2: Objectives:
To unite and assist all Search and Rescue Scent Detection, Tracking / Trailing, Area Search, and Law Enforcement in the fields of detection, patrol and utility along with the continued improvement of Search and Rescue Canine/ Law Enforcement Teams. To establish a working standard for all Search and Rescue Canines, Handlers, and Trainers. To provide educational material through publications, visual aids, and training seminars. To improve the image of Search and Rescue Teams.
ARTICLE 3: Membership:
Section A: The membership of the Organization shall consist of those persons who are hereinafter received in to membership as hereinafter provided. All members must be at least 18 years of age.
Section B: Regular members - Full membership in this organization shall be open to any person actively involved, as a Search and Rescue K9 Team, Law Enforcement K9 Team, Fire Fighter K9 Team, Task Force K9 Team, or Civilian/Volunteer K9 Team, which is defined as, one K9 and one handler, who has been certified through NOCSAR or wishes to become certified in NOCSAR. All regular members will hold voting rights. All regular members must submit a completed Federal Background Check, or equivalent level, or Criminal History Report, at National Level. With the exception of Full Time, Paid Post Police Officers and Full Time Paid Fire Fighters. A current picture ID or official letter head from their agency is to be submitted to the NOCSAR representative at the time of their certification and a copy to be kept on file with NOCSAR. These credentials must be resubmitted every three years. Reserve police officers, part time police officers and part time or volunteer fire fighters do not qualify for this exception, and will be required to submit a completed background check.
Section C: Associate Members: Associate members shall enjoy all privileges except that he/she shall not have any voting privileges, nor shall serve on the Board unless appointed by the president/ vice president as a board member. Associate Members shall be anyone to include observers, helpers, support personal, and persons interested in the support of Search and Rescue.
ARTICLE 4: Duties of Directors:
No Member assigned to the Organization in an Official capacity shall receive any salary or compensation for services rendered to the Organization. However, these members may be reimbursed for their out of pocket expenses incurred reasonably and necessarily in conducting the affairs of the Organization. Those expenses must be submitted in writing stating the reason, use, along with a copy of the receipt. All expenditures must be approved by the Treasurer and President and/or Vice President before reimbursement.
NON-ELECTED BOARD MEMBERS: The Board will consist of four (4) elected NOCSAR Regular Members.
PRESIDENT: It shall be the duty of the President to call and preside at all regular and special meetings. He/she shall see that the Bylaws and Standards are respected and obeyed. He/she shall appoint committees and may designate their Chairperson. He/she shall appoint committee’s as needed for any and all occasion, incidents, and/or issues that may arise needing attention outside the Boards scope or duties. He/she shall perform such other duties as are usual and incidental to the office of the President.
VICE PRESIDENT: The Vice President shall actively assist and support the President in his/her duties. He/ She shall also 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. He/She shall act as a liaison between the President and Chairpersons of committees formed at the direction of the President. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the President during the elective term, he/she shall succeed to that office.
SECRETARY: It shall be the duty of the Secretary to accurately record the proceedings at meetings, read the minutes of previous meetings and all communications. He/she shall call the roll of Board Members and note absentees. He/she shall communicate and correspond with all persons and Organizations both within and outside the Organizations relative to Board business.
TREASURER: It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to collect all monies due to this Organization, giving receipt thereof. He/she shall keep a suitable set of book of records of the same. He/she shall deposit all monies of the Organization in a bank designated by the Board. He/she shall render statements in detail at each meeting of the Organization showing receipts and disbursements in full to date, including monies in the Treasury. The account books as well as all papers in his/her custody shall be open for inspection and examination by the Board. He/she shall not lend or invest any of the funds except when duly authorized by a unanimous vote of the President, Vice President, and Secretary.
K-9 COORDINATOR: The K-9 Coordinator must have been an Evaluator in good standing for a minimum of 3 years. The position will be appointed by a majority vote of the Board. This position may be held by an Officer of the board along with their board position. Any Evaluator wishing to be considered for the position must submit an application to the Secretary of the Board at least 6 months in advanced for review by the Board. The K-9 Coordinators position will be selected every 3 years. Any and all complaints involving certifications and Evaluators will be submitted to the K-9 Coordinator in writing or e-mail which will be investigated with a written response of the findings. The findings and determination of the K-9 Coordinator are final.
Event of tied votes:
In the event the board is unable to resolve a tied vote on any topic (a tie being a 50-50 split between the four board members with all attempts at a majority resolution having failed) then the K9 Coordinator shall cast the tie breaking vote.
EVALUATORS: Will consist of current, prior and/or retired Law Enforcement K-9 trainers/handlers or certified canine trainers that meet the following requirements. Evaluators will not hold regular or associate membership. They will be assigned as evaluators by NOCSAR. Although assigned, all evaluators will adhere to NOCSAR Bylaws and Standards.
To apply for an Evaluator position you must complete an Evaluator packet and provide written proof, with your packet, that you are or were a Certified Law Enforcement K-9 trainer and/ or handler or certified canine trainers in specific fields that meet or exceed NOCSAR standards. Evaluators can only test/certify K9 teams in a field/discipline that they have trained or operated as a K9 handler (such as if you have never handled or trained a narcotic detection canine you may not certify a narcotic detection team). Upon selection by the K-9 Coordinator the Evaluator Select must participate in 2 evaluations with a Senior Evaluators totaling 4 evaluations. The Senior Evaluator must respond, in writing, with a positive recommendation to the K-9 Coordinator for consideration. Upon acceptance from the K-9 Coordinator the new Evaluator Status will become effective immediately. Evaluators must at all times maintain the highest morals, ethics, standards, and dedication to NOCSAR. If at any time any member feels an Evaluator acts and/or acted in an un-professional, or unethical manner they may file a written or e-mail complaint to the K-9 Coordinator. Upon a completed and written investigation, and positive findings of the allegation(s), the K-9 Coordinator WILL either SUSPEND the Evaluator for a length of time determined by him/her or TERMINATE the Evaluator from NOCSAR.
ARTICLE 5: Elections:
Section A: All candidates for the elected board shall be nominated at the annual General Membership meeting. Anyone nominated may be required to answer questions to the presiding Board regarding their qualifications as a Board Member. Within 5 days after a nomination is accepted by the presiding Board, the nominee shall, in writing, forward a letter to the Secretary stating their qualifications, reasons for desiring to be elected to the Board and what they will do for the Organization which shall be posted on the website for all members to review. 15 days after nomination, ballots will be mailed out to regular members on the same calendar day. Voting Regular Members must have their ballots post marked no later than 15 calendar days of the mailing out to members. Counting and tabulation of the ballots will commence 5 day after the date which all ballots were mailed to the membership by the Board.
Section B: Elections shall be held for non-permanent board members occurring in even numbered years, exp. 2010, 2012, etc. Elections shall be held for the K-9 Coordinator will occur in odd numbered years, exp. 2009, 2011, etc. Two Board Members, along with an appointed Regular Member, which is agreed upon by the whole presiding Board, shall count all ballots received within the set time and are sealed with an undisputed agreement of the count. Upon an undisputed ballot count, which must be made within 5 days of the announcement, the incoming Board will be seated 30 days from the announcement. If no nominations are made, the presiding board shall stand.
ARTICLE 6: Meetings:
At least one annual meeting shall be held and occur during a certification. The meeting shall be announced at least 30 days in advanced or the meeting shall not be held. Any quorum must consist of at least 3 of the 4 Board Members being present or the meeting must be cancelled. Any Board Member who commits and is a no-show must submit in writing, to the President, within 5 days, their reason for not attending. Reasons found not to be justified by the President may result in the removal of that Board Member and a Special Election held. A meeting of the Board that has been announced to which the Members, Regular and Associate, plan to attend that meeting it is the Boards duty to be there for the members. Meeting may be done via ZOOM style platform due to distance of board members travel or due to any medical issues.
ARTICLE 7: Bylaws:
Amendments, additions, or deletions: Any request for changes in the Bylaws must be made in writing to the Secretary. Received request will be reviewed by the Board and a written response will be returned to the Member as to their acceptance, change request, or refusal to include an explanation for their decision. Voting for a change in Bylaws will be completed at an annual meeting with all Regular Members eligible to vote.
ARTICLE 8: Dues/Fees:
The yearly dues of the Organization will be $25.00. The membership year is from the date of signing all document thru the following of each year (such as 01/01/2021 – 01/01/2022). Yearly membership fees must be received by the Treasurer. Any Membership dues not received by due date of every year will result in Certification Standards being suspended until the dues are paid putting the Member back in good standing with the Organization. A $35.00 fee WILL BE assessed for any bad check received regardless of the reason. Certification Standards will also be suspended until the Member is back in good standing. Any Certifications will require a $20.00 evaluator fee per K9.
ARTICLE 9: Code of Ethics
In Regards to All evaluations, no form of electronic collars or correction collars (pinch collar) shall be used during evaluation i.e., testing. This includes the flat based correction collars covered by nylon or leather to conceal correction device. E-collar maybe placed on canine but neither the handler or flanker shall have the controller in possession.
The application for membership shall provide that the applicant, if approved, agrees to abide by these Bylaws and all Rules adopted by the Board. He/she further agrees to abide by the Code of Ethics. No member will act in a manner prejudicial to the Organization or its members. No member will knowingly falsify any record or document in connection with the certification of Search and Rescue Teams. NOCSAR members will maintain the highest levels of honesty, integrity and professionalism. Dishonesty, lack of respect for fellow Search and Rescue Operators or unprofessional behavior will not be tolerated in any form. Providing false, inaccurate and/or releasing any confidential information will also not be tolerated. A violation of the Code of Ethics, Bylaws, or Certification Standards set by the Board may result in disciplinary action taken against a member to include suspension of certification, or expulsion from NOCSAR.
Current Officers of NOCSAR Board:
President: Peggy Jo Wilson
Vice President/K9 Coordinator: Jason Klingensmith
Secretary: Georgia Arrington
Treasure: Micah McCreary
Civilian board members:
Morgan Weller Florida Trainer / Evaluator
Jennifer Dickon Florida Evaluator