HIDTA, or The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program provides both strong and broad training for law enforcement that is often staffed by former law enforcement (retired) and other professionals who provide invaluable and specialized training.
In the most recent training semester in Phoenix, Arizona, (Chandler) I had the opportunity to meet some of the professionals and those who attended the training.
It is impressive.
The students, at the end of a two week training program, and within hours of catching flights home, were, nonetheless, eager and active participants in deception detection training, digging intensely into statements to go beyond the simple 'truth or deception' level and into content analysis. They brought valuable real life experiences to the training, and quickly established an encouraging atmosphere of commenting, question and answer. Some new to statement analysis training, still generated insightful commenting, and learned how a formalized system supports both their initial law enforcement training (many with Reid) but also their own instincts developed from experience. It is, in this sense, to put principle into talent and experience, to have a disciplined approach to accuracy.
Intense, but sometimes humorous, the input was both edifying and valuable with natural talent for analysis rising to the surface.
For example, I was referencing the 'Baby Ayla' case where I gave the father's quote as "Contrary to rumors floating around out there, I have been cooperating with Waterville police..." and had not finished writing out the statement on the white board before one young analyst called out, "check water!"
I turned and asked, "Who said that?" impressed at the listening skill just demonstrated. The young analyst was thrilled to have instinctively picked upon 'leakage' within a statement.
This became a pattern as the training progressed.
A detection deception expert, Joelle Sweeney, had shared an excellent sample with me, with permission to use it in the training. Due to its depth, I saved it for the end of the training and although it was challenging, the class pushed forward, digging and digging at it, until both truth and deception were properly identified. Beyond this, they explored the personality of the subject, a 17 year old female, involved in the drug world, and expressed the proper empathy for both analysis ("the expected") and service (caring law enforcement professions not only 'serve'; they protect).
The conclusion was:
Identification of the subject's experiences, childhood, parental relations, and finally, insight to garner enough a personality profile.
HIDTA trainees, by necessity, need to recognize the language of addiction.
The deceptive patterns of addicts is something crucial in identifying more than just deception. This paves the way for the interview and interrogation that awaits the analyst and/or investigator.
The class, in spite of fatigue, worked through the statements marvelously.
The professionals who administrate the trainings spend two intense weeks with the students and the bonding is evident. Sharing similar experiences, the support goes beyond the high level training, but extends to everything from emotional support to providing resources for further training and even letters of reference. Career advice for budding professionals, alone, is invaluable.
The attendees, after 2 weeks of constantly working together, established friendships and bonds that serve both personal and professional needs as they strongly identify with their work, as a calling more than just a profession.
The Phoenix HIDTA training center is a welcoming, high-tech, comfortable training facility conducive to study and advancement.
Below is a short clip from WhiteHouse.org. Interested professionals are strongly encouraged to seek out the training.
One of the most repeated themes is to prepare oneself for future career moves that are unexpected. In meeting the professional men and women at the training, more than a few spoke of receiving training in areas not currently used in anticipation for the unknown future ahead of them.
As one studies areas that are not currently within their own scope of work, the professional prepares for a future that is excitedly open to variables.
As Bob Dylan said, "it is a perfect time for anything to happen."
These men and women are dedicated to the professionals they guide; visit the website here for Training Opportunities. Take advantage of anything offered.
Although we are involved in advanced training, we will continue with the general training of Statement Analysis. Those who have gone through the course and live training find themselves prepared for future possibilities, yet unknown. The initial course is thorough, challenging, and comes with 12 months of e-support. It also is a prerequisite for the live, on going trainings that are held monthly.
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program
The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, provides assistance to Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States.
The purpose of the program is to reduce drug trafficking and production in the United States by:
- Facilitating cooperation among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to share information and implement coordinated enforcement activities;
- Enhancing law enforcement intelligence sharing among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies;
- Providing reliable law enforcement intelligence to law enforcement agencies needed to design effective enforcement strategies and operations; and
- Supporting coordinated law enforcement strategies which maximize use of available resources to reduce the supply of illegal drugs in designated areas and in the United States as a whole.
There are currently 28 HIDTA’s, which include approximately 17.6 percent of all counties in the United States and a little over 63.5 percent of the U.S. population. HIDTA-designated counties are located in 48 states, as well as in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. View a map of the HIDTAs here.
Each HIDTA assesses the drug trafficking threat in its defined area for the upcoming year, develops a strategy to address that threat, designs initiatives to implement the strategy, proposes funding needed to carry out the initiatives, and prepares an annual report describing its performance the previous year. A central feature of the HIDTA program is the discretion granted to the Executive Boards to design and implement initiatives that confront drug trafficking threats in each HIDTA. The program’s 59 Intelligence and Investigative Support Centers help HIDTA’s identify new targets and trends, develop threat assessments, de-conflict targets and events, and manage cases.
The HIDTA program funds 737 initiatives throughout the country, including:
- Enforcement initiatives comprising multi-agency investigative, interdiction, and prosecution activities;
- Intelligence and information-sharing initiatives;
- Support for programs that provide assistance beyond the core enforcement and intelligence and information-sharing initiatives; and
- Drug use prevention and drug treatment initiatives.