Midwest Counterdrug Training Center

Fundamentals of Drug Crime Scene Investigations
Monday, August 22 - Friday, August 26, 2022
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
Directions: 1915 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103

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.

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

Course Description
Crime scenes related to illegal narcotics present unique issues for investigators. Because drug crime scenes could potentially lead to transnational narco-terrorism investigations, specific drug-related crime scene investigation training is essential. Expectations of the public and the courts have risen dramatically over the last several years in the area of physical evidence collection. Working a drug-related crime scene is a process that involves a broad range of skill sets with a heavy emphasis on intelligence analysis, evidence collection, and an understanding of the laboratory analyst's capabilities. Evidence collection and chain of custody are essential to building a case for the successful prosecution of transnational drug trafficking organizations.

The purpose of this course is to train law enforcement personnel, especially counternarcotics officers with the skills needed to locate, identify, document, collect and preserve any crime scene evidence with an emphasis on drug-related evidence. Drug related cases can also lead to other crimes such as thefts, robberies, arson, shootings and even homicides.  Upon completion of this training, the student will possess the fundamental skills necessary to process any crime scene and collect a variety of different types of physical evidence, and in particular,  drug-related crime scenes.

Topics Included

  • Crime scene management, measurement and search methods
  • Evidence recognition, collection, preservation and packaging
  • Fundamentals of digital crime scene photography techniques and a thorough understanding of camera and flash operation
  • Drug-related evidence photography & surveillance photography techniques
  • Processing of drug related evidence and packaging materials
  • Biological evidence
  • Trace evidence including hairs and fibers, clothing, gunshot residue, etc
  • Firearms and related evidence
  • Latent print development & AFIS technology
  • Footwear, tire track, and tool mark impression evidence

Course Length
Fundamentals of Drug Related Crime Scene Investigation is a 5 day (40 hour) course.

There are no prerequisites to attend this course.


1. Students should wear appropriate casual clothing for practical exercises conducted both inside and outdoors.  PLEASE NOTE:  clothing may become soiled or damaged during these exercises due to weather conditions and/or chemicals.

2. Students are asked to bring the following equipment to the first day of class:

  • Digital camera (DSLR preferred) capable of using off camera flash
  • Off camera flash with remote cord (to connect to camera)
  • Instruction manuals for the camera and flash
  • Memory card/digital media camera
  • Batteries for camera and flash
  • Flashlight
  • Tripod (if available)
  • Basic evidence kit (latent processing)

3. Students are asked to bring approximately 12 different items to be processed for fingerprints.  These should include flat, curved, smooth, textured, porous, non-porous, glass, plastic, etc.  Anything that you might encounter as evidence during your investigation.

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