MCTC Course Catalog
(click here for an alphabetical course listing)

Video Surveillance for Drug and Border Investigations

This course is restricted to US military and sworn law enforcement personnel. 

Tuition and Fees
There is no cost to attend this training.

Course Description
This 3-day course teaches the techniques and skills needed to shoot Surveillance Video with camcorders and other video equipment. Students will be exposed to state-of-the-art covert video surveillance systems and will be offered the opportunity to use them in realistic hands-on scenarios. The course will focus on both long-range camcorder surveillance and covert systems. It will include how to plan a successful video surveillance and the situational awareness necessary for safe operations. This class begins with camcorder basics and is appropriate for those with little or no experience as well as participants with years of video experience. This course combines classroom instruction with numerous hands-on practical, realistic exercises. The instructor reviews each participant’s video after each exercise.

A night session will teach participants how to use night scopes in conjunction with video cameras to observe drug dealing at night under low light and no light conditions.

Covert audio transmitters are an important part of drug work. Participants will learn how to link the audio from those transmitters to their camcorders. Participants will practice using professional microphones with camcorders in order to record confessions, eyewitness accounts, and victim statements.

Topics Included
  • The power of video as a source of evidence
  • Introduction to camcorders, tape/digital media
  • The elements of video continuity
  • How to document surveillance for domestic and foreign terrorism, narcotics trafficking, auto theft operations, murder-for-hire investigations, and monitoring registered sex offenders
  • Automatic and manual focus
  • Optical and digital zoom
  • Safely shooting surveillance video and other forms of uncontrolled action
  • Daylight exterior practical exercises
  • Low-light exterior practical exercises with night vision and IR illumination devices
  • Recording quality audio from covert body receivers and other audio sources
  • Using interchangeable (35mm format) video lenses with compatible video cameras
  • Safely using and recording with covert video systems
  • Using video evidence during pre-operational briefings 

Course Length
Video Surveillance for Narcotics Enforcement is a 3-day (24 hour) course.

There are no prerequisites to attend this course.

Required Equipment
A video camcorder, at least two camcorder batteries, two digital media or videotapes for camcorder, a tripod or monopod (fluid-head preferred, optional), a night scope (optional), covert video systems including cameras and recorders, covert audio transmitter and receiver (optional). 

Participants are encouraged to bring their agency's video equipment to class whether it is a simple camcorder or more sophisticated video systems. A limited number of loaner systems will be available for participants who do not have equipment.

There are no scheduled classes available at this time.

MCTC provides on-site and mobile training of the highest quality at no cost to the student to all those involved in the fight against drug trafficking and substance abuse.

If you are interested in hosting an MCTC course, click here.

Midwest Counterdrug Training Center
7105 NW 70th Bldg 3585  Johnston, IA 50131
1-800-803-6532 (commercial), 431-4756 (DSN), 515-727-3613 (Fax)