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Midwest Counterdrug Training Center

Video Surveillance for Drug and Border Investigations
Monday, December 19 - Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Course Start: 9:30 AM CST

Course Start Times are listed below for each Time Zone:

Pacific: 0730 AM
Mountain: 0830 AM
Central: 0930 AM
Eastern: 1030 AM

MCTC Distance Learning Requirements

 1. An internet enabled device: Macbook, PC, Desktop, Chromebook, or Mobile Device
 2. A valid physical (no P.O. boxes) mailing address to ship course materials
Additional Notes about MCTC Distance Learning Courses
 1. All personal identifying information will be deleted after course completion
 2. Due to the sensitive information in the course, all registrations will be labeled "APPLY FOR TRAINING" until positive identification can be confirmed
 3. Please attach a copy of your department issued photo ID in the registration form
 4. Once identification is confirmed, a confirmation email will verify your placement in the course
 5. Physical course materials and Distance Learning information will be sent out prior to the start of the course

This course is restricted to US military law enforcement personnel along with other local, state, and federal civilian law enforcement employees to include criminal analysts, and corrections officers. 

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. Please note that Day 2 of this course typically runs 1:00 PM to 10:00 PM to accommodate night surveillance exercises.

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, covert cameras, pole cameras, and digital video formats
-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.

Instructor Provided Equipment
The instructor carries enough video camcorders, covert video cameras, infrared beacons, and covert video cameras for the entire class to complete all required surveillance exercises. Students will get hands-on time with a variety of modern cameras and recording devices. 

Optional Student Provided Equipment
While not required, students are encouraged to bring agency-provided video cameras, night scopes or night recording devices, and covert audio and video recorders. The instructor will help students maximize their current equipment's recording capabilities. 

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