Punta Gorda Police Captain James Nichols has been re-elected to the position of Southwest Regional Vice President of the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) for a second term. The votes from this statewide election were tallied this week.

Captain James Nichols


The United States Police Canine Association became the largest and oldest active organization of its kind in August, 1971 when two existing associations, the Police K-9 Association and the United States K-9 Association merged.

The USPCA meets twice a year; once in the summer, where new ideas and training methods are discussed, and then again for the National Police Dog Trials.  These dog trials bring together the best trained dogs in the world.  Great strides in the standardization of training methods have been made through these dog trials.

Chief Arenal stated “I could not be more proud of Captain Nichols and his important leadership role in helping to enhance the delivery of law enforcement canine services to our community. Captain Nichols was instrumental in bringing the USPCA National Trials to Punta Gorda in 2012. Captain Nichols is one of the most respected canine professionals in his discipline, and we are lucky to have him as a member of police leadership.”

Captain Nichols first became a Police Canine Handler in 1987.  He was awarded the USPCA top detector team for the State of Florida 4 times, and in 1989 he won the USPCA National top detector team.  He joined the USPCA Regional 1 Executive Board of Directors in 1988 and then the USPCA National Executive Board of Directors in 1992.  Aside from serving in many roles as a USPCA trainer, he has and continues to serve as a USPCA Judge both on the regional level and national level. Captain Nichols was elected to serve as the National Secretary of USPCA (1994-1996 and 1996-1998), elected to National President of USPCA (1998-2000, 2000-2002, and 2002-2004), elected to Southwest Regional Vice President of USPCA (2010) and he currently serves on the National Executive Board as Past National President where he has served from 2004 to the present.

Prepared by:Lieutenant Joe King
Administrative Services Supervisor
Punta Gorda Police Department
(941) 575-5525