Pinnacle Staff

The staff at Pinnacle are comprised of highly trained, dedicated personnel who have been involved in law enforcement and/or security operations for years.  We have staff members who are subject experts in Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) training, canine training, less lethal weaponry, polygraph and more.  The Pinnacle staff can exceed all of your organization's needs.

Pam Rogers

In Pam's 29 years experience in the field of law enforcement and canine training, she has continued development of knowledge, skills in research, development and implementation of canine programs both domestically and internationally.  This continual development of canine operations includes high permissible environments such as Mexico.  Implementing canine teams into high risk areas with terrorist threat levels such as Jordan, Philippines, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Columbia has provided Pam with the knowledge and ability to continue to develop and evaluate canine operations both domestic and internationally.

Gary Sams

Gary Sams, co-founder and primary handgun instructor of Spartan Defense Inc., is a eighteen year veteran law enforcement officer and certified firearms instructor currently assigned as an investigative supervisor.  His firearms training began in the U.S. Army where he was assigned to a Long Range Surveillance Unit at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky as a Team Sergeant. As a peace officer, he has been assigned to work Patrol Operations, Controlled Substance Investigations, and is a former Special Response Team member and Team Leader, where he instructed the Advanced Handgun.  Gary has trained well over two hundred law enforcement officers and civilians in the use of handguns, shotguns and patrol rifles in the twelve years spent as a law enforcement firearms trainer. Gary is a certified NRA Pistol Instructor, a Surefire Low-Light Tactics Instructor, and an H&K Shotgun Instructor. Of his more than 3,000 hours of Wyoming P.O.S.T certified training, over 750 hours has been dedicated to firearms and tactical training.  His experience also includes participation in “3-Gun”, Pistol and Long Range Rifle competitions. He has and continues to train with some of the nation’s premier firearms trainers, with an emphasis on the use of defensive handguns from the smallest revolvers and semi-autos for concealed carry to full sized “Duty” side-arms

Pete Gonzalez

Pete has served with the Brownsville, Texas Police Department for over 24 years.  Pete also holds a teaching certification through TCLEOSE.  Pete is an accredited instructor through the Texas Tactical Police Officers Association (TTPOA) and Pete is a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) instructor and has certifications in a variety of SWAT disciplines.  Pete has instructed and trained with various SWAT teams, including teams with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Marines, the U.S. Navy Seals, German Elites, the Mexican Government and the United States Custom and Border Patrol.  Pete also holds current certifications in close quarters combat, room clearing and entry, less lethal, chemical munitions, vehicle assault, bus assault, and tactical driving.  Pete is an adjunct instructor for the University of Texas - Brownsville.  Pete is also a precision shooter for the Brownsville Police Department SWAT unit.


Phil Yarnell

Phil Yarnell has served with the Springfield, Missouri Police Department since 1994.  Phil has been the head trainer for the Police Service Dog Unit, consisting of 7 dog teams, since 1995.  For nearly 6 years, Phil was assigned to the department’s full-time SRT (SWAT) team as a tactical dog team operator and he is trained in entry breaching and all less lethal options.  Phil attended the US Army Dignitary Protection School at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri,  and he has assisted with VIP and Presidential protection details. Prior to Springfield, Phil was in the United States Air Force from 1986-1991 where he was assigned to the Military Working Dogs and the Emergency Services Team at his respective assignments. Phil trained and worked with the Elite Tactical Operators from the US Army (Rangers and Special Forces), British SAS, and with the USAF Para Rescue Detachment in Korea. He was trained as an EST sniper/observer and served as a Breacher and entry operator. While handling an explosive detection dog, Phil was assigned to VIP/Presidential protection details working several deployments with the US Secret Service. With an Honorable Discharge from the USAF, Phil spent a short time at the Sedalia Missouri Police Department until coming to Springfield.  Once Phil was assigned to head up the PSD unit, Phil attended extensive PSD training and now holds 1 of 5 positions in the US as a Teaching Judge for the International Congress of Police Service Dogs, PSP. He specializes in tactics with and without dogs while assisting SWAT teams. In 2002 Phil was invited to teach and train at the International School for Police Service Dog Handlers in Stukenbrock Germany. For three weeks he worked and trained with the elite German SEK teams and their dogs. He has been an instructor in Taser, LVNR, Defensive Tactics, Less Lethal Projectiles, and OC spray for several years. Phil holds a Generalist Instructor certification from Missouri POST and is adjunct Instructor in Utah POST and Nebraska. Phil is a firearms instructor, range master and an armorer for Glock and M-16/AR-15 weapons.

Angie Brotherton

Angie Brotherton is an invaluable asset to the operation of Kasseburg Canine Training Center, LLC.  She is the Director of the Detector K-9 Program and has been a certified Detector K-9 Instructor for 12 years.  Her duties also include training of all law enforcement officers who attend KCTC for detector K-9 handling courses.  In her 14 years experience she has handled KCTC explosive canines for corporate contracts to include ExxonMobil for 12 years.  In addition, her experience includes supervising two KCTC explosive detector teams in Los Angeles and handling her explosive canine in St. Thomas.  Angie often travels to Europe to selects detector canines for the Department of Homeland Security CBP and other law enforcement agencies that purchase their canines from Kasseburg Canine Training Center.



Barry Pendergraft

Barry spent 25 years as a police officer with the Huntsville, Alabama Police Department before retiring as a Lieutenant.  When Barry retired, he was a shift commander responsible for management, response and support of law enforcement resources.  Barry has worked in the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, and is certified as a firearms instructor, range safety officer, Glock armor, specialty weapons instructor, mobile field force instructor and chemical weapons instructor.  Barry left the Huntsville Police Department after accepting a position as a program manager for Northrop Grumman Corporation.  After working for Northrop Grumman, Barry became a security and logistics specialist for Strategic Defense Solutions - his current employer.  Barry has an extensive resume in Homeland Security, Counter-Terrorism and Physical Security Operations.  Barry is also an Adjunct instructor at Calhoun College.



Doctor W. David Huff, M.D.

Dr. Huff is a Tactical Medicine Instructor.  Dr. Huff is a retired Colonel with the United States Army National Guard, with more than 21 years of service.  Dr. Huff is currently a private practice physician and has worked in this capacity for the past 29 years.  Dr. Huff also is a veteran of Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom III, and Dr. Huff is a  front line Squadron Surgeon for 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment and Operation Enduring Freedom.  In addition, Dr. Huff serves as a Tactical Physician for Huntsville Police Department SWAT Team, Huntsville, Alabama.


Richard E. Colvin

Richard spent four years in the United States Navy and two years as a hospital corpsman for the 1st Marine Division.  In addition, Richard served in the United States Army for 22 years as a Medical Officer in the Artillery Brigade.  Richard is a Combat Lifesaver Instructor through the Army and has seven years experience as a Tactical Medic with the Huntsville, Alabama SWAT Team.  Richard is also a Licensed Registered Nurse through the State of Alabama.




Christopher D. Vaughn

Chris currently is employed as a K9 and SWAT officer for the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where he has been employed for more than 16 years.  Chris has more than 20 years experience as a police canine trainer.  Chris also is a certified NASA SWAT operator, certified Department of Energy Convoy and Air Assault operator and he is a certified FBI SWAT operator.  Chris was responsible for reorganization of the NASA K9 program, and he supervises all of the K9 teams for the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.  Chris is a national certifying official and trainer for the National Narcotic Detector Dog Association (NNDDA) and the American Working Dog Association.



James Thornton

James has more than 35 years of law enforcement experience, of which over 30 years are in the police canine field.  James' experience has allowed him to develop knowledge and skills in the training of canines, canine teams, and canine instructors in all areas of canine law enforcement.  James also has experience in the implementation and supervision of canine units, evaluation of canine team and unit performance, development of curriculums for canine training, and working with domestic and foreign personnel.  James' experience as a street officer, canine handler and tactical team operator has enhanced his ability to perform in high stress situations. 



Kathy Pierce

Kathy also retired from the Huntsville, Alabama Police Department as an Investigator following more than 28 years.  Kathy currently owns her own private Polygraph company - Polygraphs, Inc.  Kathy currently conducts private, criminal and pre-employment Polygraphs.  Kathy also has an extensive resume including work in the Child Assault Unit, the Major Crimes Unit, tracking sex offenders and the national Children’s Advocacy Center Multidisciplinary Team.