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Our Staff

President - Maria Cabrera

Maria is the administrative brain of Police Service Dogs, Inc. She retired after 20 years of service in the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida in Miami where she served in the Administrative Office of the Courts as a supervisor over the IT helpdesk. As supervisor, Maria maintained a staff of 10 employees catering to the IT needs of the Judicial Staff, in addition to training law enforcement officers on how to access the local and State/National systems (CJIS, FCIC/NCIC, DAVID, JIS). She currently handles the administrative workflow and marketing for Police Service Dogs, Inc..

Training Director - Lazaro "Laz" Cabrera

Laz has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and 15 years of service as a law enforcement officer. He is also a certified law enforcement K-9 handler, FDLE instructor and USPCA National Judge. He travels to Europe several times a year to personally test and purchase each dog that comes through the Police Service Dog program. His knowledge reflects his unique ability to honor and interpret his client’s needs. Laz has completed advanced training in various aspects of law enforcement that he has been able to apply to years of practical service as a law enforcement officer and K-9 handler. He has earned a reputation as a highly skilled, personable trainer with a keen understanding of the working dog industry. His innovative methods have helped him to incorporate his own creative style and he has dedicated himself in developing a legacy of excellent working dogs.

Head Trainer - Mario Garcia

Mario has been working with Police Service Dogs, Inc. for 15 years under the direction of Laz. As head trainer, he supervises day-to-day operations of the operational area of the training facility. He travels to Europe several times throughout the year to assist Laz in personally testing and selecting each service dog. Mario has attended various Bart Bellon seminars and workshops, and participated as a decoy in multiple Dick Van Leenen and Greg Thomas seminars. He trains Law Enforcement officers, assisting agencies with the transition of their working dogs when they are purchased and conducts detection training. He remains available for follow up questions and to troubleshoot issues that a handler might encounter once they are away from the training facility. Mario has been a vast influence in the training of Laz's two National Champion police dogs (Mischka & Tarek) in addition to numerous dogs that have been recognized at a national level.

Instructor/Assistant Trainer - Ben Shaffer

The newest member of the PSD team, Ben Shaffer, has traveled the world training and consulting K9 handlers in various capacities for the United States military and as a private civilian.  As a Marine Sgt., Ben has had extensive experience as an instructor, trainer, operator, advisor, outfitter and operational planner for high stress and high threat level scenarios. His distinguished career has earned him recognition as an expert in K9 behavior and corrective action diagnosis for all working dog disciplines with various reward types, on- and off-leash, and with and without the use of electronics. He’s considered an expert in ATF canine training methodologies, NORT/ORT, DSORT procedures and preparedness training and has often been called upon to instruct law enforcement officers across the nation on terrorism awareness and anti-terrorism education with the U.S.P.C.A. Ben is considered an expert in capability development, sustainment and maintenance of working dog programs on all levels. He achieved “Train-the-Trainer” status after embedding with the Israeli Special Forces K9 Unit for 1 year, during which time he learned all aspects of canine manipulation and behavior. He has developed and introduced ground up capabilities and current TTP’s for national and international units. He’s considered an expert in Personal Security Detail (PSD) and Close Quarters Combat (CQC) tactics incorporating the use of patrol/bite and detection certified dogs. Throughout his career, Ben participated in developing canine technologies as an advisor in various programs employed by Special Operation Forces (SOF)/Conventional Operation Forces (COF). He served as senior team leader and deployment advisor during multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan with Marine Reconnaissance Units. He has continued to support many additional unnamed government agencies and other working dog professionals.