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Cadaver Dog Instructors

NOTE: Not all instructors may participate in all offerings. Other instructors may participate.

Lead Human Remains Detection K9 Coach: Dr. Lisa Briggs M.P.A.; M.S.; Ph.D.

Dr. Briggs has been criminologist for over twenty years, and for almost the past decade she has been specializing in forensic based criminology with a focus on missing persons, as well as the use of scent detection K9s and human decomposition.  

Dr. Briggs is a full, tenured professor of criminology and criminal justice at Western Carolina University, she is the Director of Emergency and Disaster Management Program, as well as the WCU Cadaver Dog Training Program Director.

Briggs is past President of the State of North Carolina Criminal Justice Association (NCCJA), as well as the past Secretary of the North Carolina Search and Rescue Dog Association, she is also on the board, and an instructor, for the DuPont Rescue Challenge.

She holds a Ph.D. in Crime and Deviance, a Master of Public Affairs, as well as a Master of Science. She has field experience in law enforcement and criminal justice and has taught at several major universities including University of Connecticut, North Carolina State University, East Tennessee State University, and Western Carolina University.  She has been recognized as being one of the top educators in the state of North Carolina by the Governor. 

She is a committed educator and has been recognized by receiving several teaching awards as well as service engagement awards at different universities particularly because of her dedication to serving the community and the field of criminal justice.  While as an educator she is committed to “boots on the ground” involvement, her current research focus is on presenting conference papers, conducting experiments and research studies, and writing publications on the science of human decomposition and the use of scent detection canines. 

She is the author of over 30 academic publications including text books, peer-reviewed articles, and book chapters. Importantly, she merges her commitment to education with her passion of being a successful human recovery canine handler and trainer.  Briggs actively serves on criminal cases at either the federal, state, or local level, and has been specifically involved in many high-profile cases. She is a TAC for The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and she “vets” K9 teams to be utilized by NCMEC.  Dr. Briggs deploys often across the country on missing person’s and missing children cases and combined work from one of her four own personal HRD K9s has recovered 29 victims as of early 2022.  She is a member of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations Human Remains Task Force.  As well as credentialed with the Department of Homeland Security Reunification Team.

Lead Instructor: Edwin Grant

Edwin Grant has 29 years of law-enforcement and K9 search experience. Edwin has been involved in over a thousand searches, and has instructed, coordinated, and trained K9s all over the United States and around the world. He has over 10,000 hours as trainer/ instructor for sheriff’s departments, police departments, federal and state agencies, search and rescue units and K9 missions in the United States and abroad.  He has worked all disciplines of scent-detection dogs with specific focus on trailing and cadaver dogs for 27 years, narcotics dog training for 12 years, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) arson, accelerant, and explosive dogs for 10 years.   Mr. Grant has been a State of North Carolina general instructor and specialized instructor for over 25 years through the NC Training and Standards Division.  He has written lesson plans for State of North Carolina for death by drowning and underwater forensics and the use of dogs.  He is a founder in the state for initiating cadaver and bloodhound programs, developing state standards and evaluations for North Carolina.  He is an expert witness in grave detection and analysis as well as water search and recovery. Edwin has been credited with over 100 cadaver water finds and recoveries.  Specifically, he has been involved in many high-profile cases for the FBI, SBI, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  He was assigned to the largest manhunt in the U.S. for 3 years working with all federal, state, and local agencies on the Eric Rudolph Olympic and serial bomber case. Edwin has also worked K9 search and recovery for 9/11 and major hurricanes throughout the country.

Mr. Grant is a retired Wildlife Enforcement Officer for the State of North Carolina. He is U.S. Department of State Certified and Authorized for executive protection in the United States and abroad.  In addition, he is a U.S.  Forest Service Deputy and Search coordinator, as well he currently serves as a police K9 handler and trainer for county law enforcement.  In addition, he is currently one of three search specialist coordinators for The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He also “vets” K9 teams to be utilized by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  He has been awarded the North Carolina Governor Award for Officer of the Year, The Southeast Officer of the Year Award, The Shikar Safari Award, The Sophia Silva Award for the Saving of Human Lives, and the FBI award for Exceptional Service in the Public Interest.

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