appointment as a narcotics
detective can be highly competitive. Many Departments either
don't post openings or don't solicit resumes from members that are
interested in the position. This leads to political
appointments of officers that are either under qualified or not
qualified at all.
advantages to taking a
fresh out of the Academy and putting him into the Narcotics
Unit. Unknown officers can be successfully used as under
covers (UC's) without much fear of being recognized. If the
is young enough he may also be utilized in the High Schools.
From a tactical standpoint, it would be prudent to chose an officer who
has years of street experience, is familiar with the targets and
the escape routes of the area.
In my Department
political and unfortunately I was not one of the chosen ones.
It took many years and a few grievance to achieve my goal of being
assigned to the County's Narcotic Task Force. I was caught in
the Catch 22 of not having the training and of them not being willing
to send me for it.
Look around in
your area, check the
local Academy, DEA,
MAGLOCEN and contact the different agencies to find out when
next classes are and how much they cost. Once you locate a
class you want to attend, put in a written request. If your
request is denied, ask for the reason. Usually it is either
that there is "no
money in the budget" or it will cause a "manpower shortage".
reasoning will dictate your course of action. If there will
be a manpower shortage, make arrangements with a buddy to cover your
shift. If there is no money in the budget, volunteer to pay
for it yourself if they will give you the time off. There are
free classes available, you just have to find them. Seminars
are very informative and make good "mini vacations", besides, its a tax
write off and you are worth the
When you return
from the class, bring
back literature and write a brief outline for the Chief so he can see
what you have learned. Be sure to give a copy of your
certificate to your training officer to receive proper
credit. You may be pleasantly surprised the next time you put
in for a
school, they may approve it .
These courses are
free and include lodging and meals:
numerous ways to gather
experience while in the patrol division, get creative.
are easy to
locate. The neighbors usually report them to the Department
and anyone else who will listen. Frequently the neighbors
willing to collect tags and log the times that vehicles stop at the
residence. Drug activity nearly ceases while the
dealer is waiting for a shipment, so look for the slow down in activity
and then note the next five cars that arrive after it. There
is a good chance that the first one is the delivery and the others are
picking up the large quantities.
Developing a good
rapport in the
neighborhood will allow you to make these contacts. The "leg
work" is very important in cultivating a successful
investigation. You can do the leg work of gathering the tags,
running them, adding dates and times, and assembling them into a
report. You can go a step further and gather arrest
the traffickers which will be helpful in developing potential
informants. You can then turn the information over to the Narcotics
Task Force Commander, with a copy to the Chief. This will not
only prove your abilities, but show that you are a Team player.
used in all areas of
investigations. The difference between an "informant" and a
"witness" is that one comes forward while the other remains
anonymous and needs a little incentive.
It is not
uncommon to have charges
dropped against a potential informant in exchange for his/her
willingness to "cooperate". The patrol officer can also
develop informants through the use of his discretion, prior to bringing
entry is critical in
the execution of search warrants. There are many schools that
offer dynamic entry training. This can be used in the "Daddy
Roundups". It is used for the recovery of stolen
property. You can find these schools across a broad range of
categories. Your Department may also offer them. If
not check with neighboring Departments. This
would be a very good free source of training and when there volunteer
to assist them in the execution of search warrants in their
municipality. Very frequently, Departments share resources.
Writing a Search
Warrant is not
difficult. Ask the Narcotics Task Force Commander for a copy
of one for you to review. Search Warrants can also be
obtained for any investigation which requires the searching of someones
property. They are frequently used to recover stolen
property, this is an easy way to gain the experience you need in this
with the laws
governing obtaining and executing search warrants. (visit our Case
This is a very
important area to the
Narcotics Officer, however, you will be surprised at how few officers
proficient in the identification of illegal narcotics. It is
important to be able to identify the drugs, know which schedule
are on and what the appropriate charge should be.
It is helpful to
talk with a lab
technician at your local hospital who may be able to assist you in this
Now you can
successfully assemble a
"resume" to submit as a "Letter of Interest" the next time an opening
is posted. If your Department does not post openings, submit
it once every six months to all supervisors and don't forget to update
Please accept this letter as my interest in the position of narcotics
detective posted on (date). I feel that I am qualified for
this position and will be a valuable asset to the unit for the
Drug Conference (date
Training - Dynamic Entry (date
List the database that you use for drug identification
List the cases you have
worked that involve the detection
List the investigation that you
conducted the "leg work" on and turned over to the Task Force with a
copy to the Chief.
I have read and
made myself familiar with the applicable statutes (list) and case
law that pertain to this area.
List any Search
which you participated in regardless
of whether it involved narcotics.
I am experienced in
working informants and have developed several informants during the
course of my patrol duties. Same are willing to make control
buys at my direction.
It is for all the above reasons that I respectfully request to be
considered for the narcotics detective position.
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