Q. How do I become a Member of APTG?
A. APTG reviews more than just an individual’s tracking skill when considering an individual for membership. Each application is considered on a case by case basis. Team dynamics and cohesion are a major considering factor. We want to ensure the individual is right for us and that we are right for them. We do not simply accept applications for membership.
Q. What is your process for membership?
A. An individual who is interested in membership should complete an application and email it to ProfessionalTrackers@Verizon.net. A member of the APTG Advisory Panel will then be in contact to let the person know that his/her application has been received and that it is under review. The process generally begins when the applicant attends a training session. The individual should then endeavor to attend as much training as possible to allow APTG Advisory Panel members sufficient opportunity to make an informed decision. (It is highly recommended that the individual follow up to ensure that their application was initially received.)
Q. Do I have to be certified to be a member?
A. You do not have to be certified to be a member of APTG. However, you do have to achieve and maintain certification to be an Operational team member.
Q. If I am not certified can I go on missions?
A. Some Probationary Members are placed on the dispatch list and are allowed to accompany certified members on missions. These members are specifically chosen by the Advisory Panel based upon aptitude and tracking ability consistently demonstrated over a period of time.
Q. What if I have a criminal history?
A. APTG works solely with law enforcement agencies supporting missing persons and criminal investigations. Due to the sensitive nature of those investigations, and the potential for testifying in court, APTG recommends those with prior felony convictions do not submit applications for membership. Misdemeanor convictions have to be considered on a case by case basis depending on the nature of the crime, frequency and elapsed time since the conviction.
Q. How much are membership dues?
A. APTG membership dues are $20.00 per year. These are only payable once your membership has been accepted. APTG is a 501C3 therefore dues may be tax deductible. (Consult your tax professional)
Q. How often and where are your trainings?
A. APTG trains quarterly at a minimum. The locations vary but are typically in the Northern part of the state.
Q. Do I have to be a member to attend your training sessions?
A. Generally speaking, no. Anyone associated with law enforcement or a SAR group can attend an APTG training session. We do reserve the right to refuse attendance but this would be rare and based on some extremely negative past experience with the individual or some knowledge of exorbitant circumstance. We assess an administrative fee to non-members who attend our training.
Q. Are all your services free to the public?
A. The tracking services of APTG are free to the public on a volunteer basis. However, APTG does charge a nominal administrative fee for training. Please contact us for more information.
Q. Why does APTG charge a fee for non-members to attend training?
A. APTG is rare in that we generally open our training sessions to persons who are not members of APTG. However, we still have costs associated with these folks just like we do with our members. We ensure we have adequate staff to maintain the student/instructor ratio, we have to make copies of training material, sometimes we have to provide training supplies, etc. These out of pocket costs were exceeding hundreds of dollars a year and were becoming cost prohibitive. We decided it was better to assess a nominal administrative fee than to close our training opportunities to non-members.
Q. What is the structure of APTG?
A. APTG is a Virginia corporation. Randall Burleson is the President and Jessica Burleson is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Randall and Jessica set up an Advisory Panel of senior members who assisted in founding APTG. The Advisory Panel provides input and suggestions regarding decisions which impact APTG. However, the final decision rests with the principles. (In other words – the membership does not vote on Group decisions.) All the charter members were in agreement with this philosophy.
Q. How old do I have to be to attend training?
A. You must be at least 18 years of age or be
accompanied by an adult or legal guardian.
Q. Does APTG provide training to Law Enforcement Departments or other SAR Groups?
A. Yes, we do provide training. Please contact us to discuss this in more detail.