LA HIDTA Training Courses Offered

Detective School *On-Line*

Detective School Module 1: Introduction and Overview

The Detective School Module 1 is designed to educate patrol personnel, or newly assigned Detectives, on how to prepare for the world of criminal Investigations. There is a transition that occurs moving from a patrol position to being a detective, and this class will greatly assist your transition. Detectives are expected to understand the intricacies of presenting cases to filing District Attorneys, as well as assisting the DDA who will prosecute your case in court. Court is a different environment and you need to learn how to succeed in this new area. As a Detective, you will be expected to track your cases, suspects, victims and witness, from filing through preliminary hearing and trial. This module will assist you with your organization and tracking systems. As a working Detective, time will be your enemy. This class will show you how to manage your time and avoid the traps we all fall into regarding time. Relationships with your co-workers, supervisors, administrators, and other agencies will all be important as you become involved in complicated and high profile criminal cases. You will learn how to build rapport and obtain the assistance of the many people involved with intricate and and convoluted cases. How best to deal with the media, for your purposes that will assist not hurt your investigation will be explained in detail. In the ever changing world of investigations, keeping your skill set up to date is critical to achieve successful prosecutions. This school assists with the critical process of assessig the situation as you create your investigative plan.

Course Topics:

  • Court/DDA
  • Organization
  • Time Management
  • Relationships
  • Media
  • Resources
  • Ethics
  • How to survive
  • Leadership
Detective School Module 2: Search Warrants / Court Orders

The Detective School Module 2 is designed to educate patrol personnel, or newly assigned Detectives, on how write and serve search warrants and court orders regarding criminal investigations. Transitioning to the role of a Detective, you will be expected and required to write search warrants or court order, for you cases, as well as for other Detectives that you are assisting. This class will break down the different portions of search warrants and court orders into easily understandable parts, that when combined, will give you the authority to search and seize evidence related to your investigation. You will learn how to obtain a magistrates signature, which gives you the authority to execute your order by the court. How do you find a judge at zero dark thirty to sign your warrant? We will explain how to accomplish this final part of your Search Warrant. Recent case law which limits the parameters of search warrants will be discussed. Each department has its own requirements with regard to Operation Plans which must be approved by numerous supervisors. This class will review how to complete an Ops plan and get it approved quickly. If you are writing and serving a multi-location the warrant and Ops Plan become longer, but the principles behind the documents remain the same. We will show you how to write and plan for the simple and larger operations. This class will provide exemplars of numerous Search Warrants, Court Orders and Operation Plans. The legal advantages of “writing paper" will be discussed at length. At the conclusion of this class, you should be able to write your own search warrant with confidence.

You will learn how to write and serve:

  • Simple Search Warrants
  • Complex or multiple location Search Warrants
  • Court Orders
  • Court Orders with conditions on collect of the evidence
  • Operation Plans
  • Tactical Operations
  • Mincey Search Warrants
  • Steagal Search Warrants
  • Ramey Arrest Warrants
Detective School Module 3: Crime Scene Management, OIS & High Profile Cases

The Detective School Module 3 is designed to educate patrol personnel, or newly assigned Detectives, how to document a Crime Scene, how to handle a No Hit Officer Involved Shooting, and how to investigate a High Profile case. We will discuss the most common mistakes at crime scenes and how to avoid them. Transitioning to the role of a Detective, you will be expected and required to know the legality of searching the crime scene, securing the scene, what perishable evidence is involved at the scene(s). You will learn how to handle small crime scenes as well as multi-location crime scenes with hundreds of evidence items. You will learn how to develop an investigative plan, often while the case is evolving. You will learn how to plan for the logistics involved with your specific crime scene to allow your scene to processed correctly and effectively

No Hit Shootings are by nature complicated investigations that require objectivity,tenacity, and knowledge of the law. It should be investigated in the same manner as every other criminal investigation, with all of the resources of your department. As there are undoubtedly several people/units within your department (i.e. your Chief, Internal Affairs, Force Review, Civil Litigation, etc.) that will be reviewing your investigation, you should know your department's policies on No Hit Shootings. You may be tasked with conducting the investigation, but you need to know who is in charge of the investigation, who is allowed to sit in on the interviews of the Officers who discharged their weapons, sworn witnesses and civilian witnesses.

High Profile Cases should be handled with clarity and the understanding that yourrole will change dramatically the moment you are assigned to the case. Your job may be one of a leader, delegating assisting Detectives to assignments which you have decided on a priority basis, within your investigative plan. Your responsibilities will include dealing with the media, your administration, the District Attorney Office, and the hundreds of other people who will want your time regarding this case.

At the conclusion of this class, you should be able to handle any of the following with confidence and clarity of purpose:

  • No Hit Officer Involved Shootings Crime Scenes
  • The political aspect of No Hit Shootings
  • High Profile Cases
  • How to be a Leader during a Criminal Investigation
  • How to Create an Investigative Plan
  • How to properly Document a Crime Scene
  • Why your Crime Scene is important is in Court
  • Successful and Less than Successful cases will be debriefed
Detective School Module 4: The Crime Lab

The Detective School Module 4 will explain the basic functions of the Crime Lab and how the lab can assist your investigation. You will learn the different sections of the crime lab including: Biology, Firearms Section, Trace Evidence, Blood Alcohol, Chemical Processing, Questioned Documents, Toxicology, Photo Lab, and Latent Prints. Knowing the different sciences of the lab will assist you to find the truth and solve your case. The instructor will explain how the different lab sections function separately and as well as how they work together when examining evidence items.

You will learn the latest concepts on DNA, how to properly collect DNA and avoid contamination. Where to look for DNA at the different types of crime scenes and how to find the different types of bodily secretions will be discussed. When to obtain Elimination Samples and Chain of Custody will be explored. Trace Evidence such as Fibers, Paint, Glass, G.S.R., other Residues, Impression and Physical Pattern Evidence will be explained. How to methodically process a scene, person or vehicle will be explained from different crime perspectives.

The science of viewing a crime scene from a scientist's perspective will be explored and explained so the student will understand how to manage and deploy criminalists at any crime scene.

You will learn how the Crime Lab can assist with:

  • Collection of Fingerprints
  • Trace Evidence
  • Analysis of Firearms and Ballistic Evidence
  • Crime Scene Diagrams
  • Photographs: Overall, Relational, Close up
  • DNA Collection and Examination
  • Evidence Contamination
  • Creating a team approach to evidence
  • Debriefing with Crime Lab personnel after the Scene has been processed
Detective School Module 5: Introduction to Cell Phones, Surveillance and Trackers

The Detective School Module 5 is designed to educate personnel how to track and locate suspects using cell phone technology, legally and lawfully. You will learn how to successfully negotiate the legal issues you may be confronted with during investigations involving cell phones and surveillance. The instructor will discuss the laws regarding cell phone data and how the different cell phone companies vary with regard to what type of Order from the Court (Court Order or Search Warrant), and specific wording required before they will release the data. You will learn how to obtain the data regarding Exigent Circumstances, and the pitfalls of not understanding the legal basis for your requests.

The art and skill of successful surveillance of targets will be explored in depth. Topics will include how to prepare the logistics for surveillance, including vehicle and on foot surveillance. How to co-ordinate your team, Air support, communications, and other involved personnel will be explained using successful and less than successful case studies. Specifics of 'How to blend in' on foot, in a vehicle, or at a stationary post will be clarified.

Vehicle Trackers (GPS Trackers) are incredibly useful tool for tracking the movements of a suspect. The proper use and deployment of this tool will be discussed. Areas of interest will include: familiarity with the vehicle (re: placement of the GPS); how and when the tracker will be installed and removed; what type of Court Order will be needed to lawfully and legally complete the operation.

You will learn to complete and/or interpret the following:

  • Tracking a cell phone (Ping)
  • Tower Hits
  • Latitude and Longitude coordinates
  • Technology utilized to 'Dump Data' from a cell phone
  • How to manage a successful surveillance
  • Personality traits of a surveillance team member
  • Logistical requirements for a complicated surveillance
  • How to write a Court Order to install/remove a GPS tracker
  • Recent Case Law
Detective School Module 6: Search & Seizure Review

The Detective School Module 6 is designed to educate patrol personnel, or newly assigned Detectives, how to successfully negotiate the legal issues they are confronted with during investigations. We will discuss how interviews with witnesses, victims, and suspects can be successfully utilized during the criminal trial, and why recording interviews electronically is critical. Questions that will be explored include: What constitutes an Interrogation; when a statement is considered involuntary; can a wavier be implied; can you re-initiate questioning of a suspect; and what is custody.

Discovery issues for court, including recordings of interviews, any handwritten notes, photos, or photo arrays (six pacs) used to identify people involved in this crime will be discussed in depth. The analysis of scientific evidence such as fingerprints, firearms, cell phones, GSR and DNA will be reviewed to explain the use of such evidence items during court.

One of the most important tasks for any investigator is understanding how to get your case filed by the District Attorney's Office. This topic will be explained in depth and will include: how and when to provide advance notice to the filing D.A. that you are bringing a case to their office for filing; how stolen vehicle and domestic violence cases are filed; how and when to file for an arrest warrant; joint and constructive cases; what to bring for a filing; why in depth investigations assist with the filing procedures; and why the victim and suspect interviews are so important.

You will learn the following:

  • Miranda
  • Search and Seizure
  • Probation and Parole Searches
  • How to file a case
  • Beheler and Fields admonitions
  • Reasonable Suspicion vs. Probable Cause
  • 6th Amendment vs 5th Amendment
  • Redact your Reports
  • Recent Legal Case Law
  • Mincey Warrants
Detective School Module 7: Interview and Interrogation

The Detective School Module 7 is designed to educate patrol personnel, or newly assigned Detectives, how to utilize the lost art of interviewing and interrogation. We will discuss how to be a better listener while gathering information from witnesses, victims, and suspects. We will discuss the most common mistakes that occur during interviews and how to avoid them. Transitioning to the role of a Detective, you will be expected, and required, to know the legalities involved when speaking to victims, witnesses, and suspects; we will teach you how. You will learn how to obtain more information from co-operative interviewees using Cognitive Interviewing. Rapport building is a key element to creating relationships with victims and witnesses, and on occasion, suspects. You will also learn how to build rapport with almost anyone, and why first impressions are important.

We will review the three basic methods that people use when they lie, and how to defeat those lies. Detecting deception via facial expressions, use of emblems, and verbal indications will be discussed and explained. Emotions experienced when lying and how they impact your observations during interviews will be explored. Legal and lawful methods to motivate people to be more truthful will be explained.

Interviews and interrogations are by nature often a complicated portion of your investigation that requires knowledge of the facts of the case, tenacity, and knowledge of the law. What you say, how you say it, where the interview is conducted, and any legal ramifications may make the difference between having your interview inadmissible in court, or being successfully presented to the jury.

You will learn how to:

  • Interview anyone about anything
  • Avoid the pitfalls of a rushed interview
  • Cognitive Interviewing
  • The Art of Active Listening
  • Plan for an interview: What is important
  • What to expect from a suspect and how to use those statements
  • Detecting Deception Basics
  • Build Rapport
  • Motivation
  • Polygraph: when and how to use
Detective School Module 8: Undercover Jail OPS and Building Your Case

The Detective School Module 8 will teach you how to build your case and how to successfully complete an “In Custody Undercover Operation", (Perkins Operation). Building your case will sometimes require you to go beyond interviewing the people directly involved in your case but also stimulating people within the suspect's social circle, and possibly victims, or associates, to obtain communications that will assist your case. Your knowledge of the law and ability to deploy different agencies, i.e. Parole, Probation, Department of Children and Family Services, etc., will determine your success rate. Cases that become complicated often need to be viewed as a marathon more than a sprint.

You will learn the Legal authority for conducting a UC Operation, Perkins v. Illinois. This case will be explained and examined for practicality in today's legal environment. Recent high profile cases that have utilized Perkins Operations will be discussed as well as why the results of those operations were not allowed into court.

You will learn how to plan, and execute a Perkins Operation from planning the operation, arranging the logistics, deciding on the right Undercover Operator with the correct personality, appearance, background, and speech patterns.

You will learn:

  • The Importance of Perkins v. Illinois
  • The Legal threshold for Perkins Operations
  • How to brief all involved person prior to the Operation
  • Logistical Issues will be examined
  • The difference between a listening post and asking questions
  • How to conduct a Perkins Operation in any custody environment
  • Picking the correct Undercover Operative to match the target
  • How to stimulate the target
  • The correct methods to provide safety for the UC in custody
  • How to conduct a post op de-briefing