Courses Designed to Give Detectives the Cutting Edge

Detective Course Topics and Descriptions

View our full list of Police Detective Training Courses, available as individual classes and part of the subscription.

Click on any class title to be taken to its description. 

"Going from patrol into an Investigative Unit at the Prosecutor’s Office, I felt it was going to be challenging to take statements and also be able to pick up signals that a suspect was lying to me. The Interview and Interrogation course helped me learn how to pick up cues during statements and how to also remain calm during suspect statements bc they can be nerve-wracking when you’re a newbie."

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Crime Scene Police Photography - 2 day

2 Day Police Photography

Crime scene photography remains one of the most important aspects of a criminal investigation. Notes and sketches document only items of evidence and interest that the investigator recognizes and records. However, proper use of a camera can capture everything of significance at a crime scene or accident scene that is contained in the viewfinder. This permanent recording can prove invaluable days, months, and even years after the crime or accident scene has been completed by law enforcement. Surveys of those charged with documenting crime scenes continually reveal the lack of basic skills in operating a digital camera and thus obtaining relevant photographs suitable for presentation in courtroom proceedings.

This is a two-day classroom presentation and hands-on seminar for law enforcement officers who have limited knowledge of utilizing digital photographic equipment and would like to advance their law enforcement photography skills. The program is geared toward patrol officers and detectives with a limited grasp of crime or accident scene photography. Attendees will work through numerous practical exercises and review images produced during classroom exercises, receiving feedback from the instructor on tips to improve the photographic documentation process.

Each participant will learn the following concepts, techniques, and skills:

  • Fundamentals of Photography
  • Basic Camera Techniques
  • Basic Crime Scene Photography
  • How to photograph simple motor vehicle accidents
  • The basic requirements for digital photography in the legal setting

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT: Students must each have a digital camera (the one which will be used in the job setting), an external flash unit (if available), an instructional manual for the camera, extra batteries for the camera and flash, two media cards of 8 megapixels or larger.

Crime Scene Police Photography - 3 day

3 Day Police Photography

Capturing a true and accurate depiction of the scene. Crime scene and traffic accident photography are critical to the investigation. A lack of basic skills in operating a digital camera is common and a hindrance. Proper use of a camera can capture everything of significance at a crime or accident scene and is an invaluable permanent record for years after the incident.

Day 1: Lecture-based training with class exercises on:

  • Fundamentals of Photography
  • Basic camera techniques
  • Basic Crime Scene Photography
  • How to photograph simple motor vehicle accident
  • Basic requirements for digital photography in the legal setting

Day 2: Basic Police Photography-Crime Scene

  • Attendees will work through numerous practical exercises and review images produced during classroom exercises, receiving feedback from the instructor on tips to improve the photographic documentation process.

Day 3: Police Traffic Accident Photography 3pm – 9pm

  • One of the most challenging scenes a police officer has to photograph is a nighttime traffic accident. On this day, students will practice photographing actual scenarios using natural lighting conditions. After learning the proper use of a camera on day one, officers will work on the challenges of low light and difficult lighting conditions. The course will deal with the specific technique of painting with light. Prerequisite is one day basic or 2 day Crime Scene Photography (now or previously attended) conducted by this instructor.

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT: Students must each have a digital camera capable of a manual setting (the one which will be used in the job setting) external flash unit (if available), tripod (mandatory for the Traffic Accident portion), and instructional manual for the camera, extra batteries for camera and flash, two media cards of 8 megapixels or larger.

Criminal Investigation

This course will provide a solid foundation of investigation skills and techniques for the detective or officer conducting investigations. Guidelines and skills needed to investigate a variety of crimes will be taught including burglary, theft, fraud, homicide, suicide and suspicious deaths, vice and narcotic crimes, assaults, sex crimes, and crimes against children and the elderly. Experienced instructors will train in the classroom then students will participate in a mock crime scene with role players to practice new skills. This method provides officers the opportunity to practice techniques with guidance and gain a solid understanding of a thorough and complete investigation.

This 2-day course will cover the following topics:

  • The Investigator’s Responsibilities
  • Goals and Objectives of a
  • Successful Investigation
  • Case Management Strategies &
  • Organization
  • Search and seizure issues
  • Surveillance techniques
  • Informant management
  • How to prepare and document a proper investigative report
  • Key elements of crime scene photography
  • Interview and interrogation techniques
  • Components of and writing Search Warrants
  • Courtroom testimony
  • Crime Scene Processing and Management which is vital to solving criminal offenses (including protecting and recording crime scenes, rules, and methods of collection and preservation of evidence including lifting latent prints, types of evidence, and use of forensic kit elements)

Crisis Intervention and Verbal De-Escalation

In any type of crisis call that your officers respond to, how the first officer on the scene handles it can make a life-saving difference. Our 2-day course combines classroom training led by an experienced FBI trained crisis/hostage negotiator with the use of professional role players to bring the training to life.

Crisis Intervention and Verbal De-escalation Training provides law enforcement professionals with time-tested communication skills proven to help de-escalate volatile situations. These skills when used by police officers significantly enhance the agency’s professional image and relations with the community.

This impactful course gives an overview and the basic elements of critical communication skills and negotiation techniques. Verbal De-escalation is what we use during a potentially dangerous, or threatening, situation in an attempt to prevent a person from causing harm to us, themselves, or others. This 2-day course will teach the verbal de-escalation/communication skills (for crisis and other day-to-day situations) to assist officers in the routine performance of their job in situations such as: assisting someone with a possible mental illness, domestic disturbances, dealing with children, assisting victims, helping traumatized witnesses, and even diffuse and dissuade potentially suicidal/violent subject from reacting to stressors with violence.

Topics covered:

  • Quickly evaluate any interaction to determine whether de-escalation efforts are reasonable to consider, tactically practical, and likely to be successful
  • Strategies for ensuring personal safety
  • Behavior Escalation Stages
  • Using tone, body language, and appropriate words
  • Understanding physiological changes during aggression

Finding Concealed Compartments

Criminals use hidden compartments in vehicles to hide their illegal drugs, guns, and money from the police. Every officer has stopped a vehicle with a hidden compartment but never knew it. This course will teach your officers what to look for to spot these hidden compartments and find illegal items.

The course is taught by New York State Police Detective who is a recognized expert in this field. This course has been taught to police and government agencies around the world in conjunction with the DEA and now this course is now available to every officer in our area.

This course teaches you:

  • What to look for when stopping a vehicle, the tell-tale signs that a vehicle had been altered to create a hidden compartment.
  • To listen for the things the people say to indicate they are operating a vehicle with a hidden compartment.
  • Where to look on the vehicle and in residences to find these hidden compartments.

This course is a must for every officer that works the road and every detective that serves search warrants. The course also highlights the physical indicators and verbal clues used by individuals concealing illicit contraband. The course through the use of lecture, video, and inspection of actually concealed compartments in vehicles allows the student to see the mechanics of these compartments. Designed to familiarize the student with many types of concealment, it covers both commercially available items as well as custom manufactured compartments.

Concealed Compartments was an amazing class, even for our highly experienced narcotics investigators. Everybody can get something out of this course, no matter how skilled you are. No doubt this course has made our entire unit better and more skilled. Our production after having attended Concealed Compartments has increased dramatically. Thanks for an incredible course.” Sgt. Adam Schwartz, Bensalem PA Police Department. The day after having attended Concealed Compartments, their narcotics unit found a hidden compartment in a vehicle and confiscated drugs, weapons and thousands of dollars.

First Responder Interactions With the Special Needs Community

Very little education is available to assist the law enforcement community in interacting with the special needs community. This one-day course is designed for all members of law enforcement and covers identification and successful navigation of the interaction between the first responders and children and young adults with autism or other developmental disabilities.

We offer best practices for:

  • Field contacts
  • Arrest and Restraint
  • Miranda
  • Interview Techniques

Human Trafficking: Understanding the Mindset of the Trafficker and Victims

This course will help the law enforcement officer understand:

  • The crime of human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery
  • Its dynamics and the traumatic effects on the victims
  • The forms of human trafficking exploitation
  • The mindset/ profiles of human traffickers.

This training identifies the challenges and barriers faced by officers in handling human trafficking cases; offers interview techniques for a victim-centered interview and investigation; the need for collaboration between law enforcement agencies; and the support services that are available for victims of human trafficking.

HyperDrive Narcotics Investigation

4-Day “HyperDrive” Narcotics Investigation consists of:

  • Vetting the Informant
  • Surveillance Tactics and Techniques
  • Choosing the Right Type of Investigation (Hand-to-Hand Buys, Control Purchases, Undercover Purchases or Order and Rip)
    Acting Undercover
  • Raid Techniques, Planning and Execution.

This course also includes the segments Drug Identification, Laws and Terminology, Interview Interrogation Techniques, Search Warrant Writing, Report Writing, and Courtroom Testimony. Teaching the techniques of the investigation is only the beginning. To enhance classroom learning, HyperDrive uses professional role players to run a mock case at various off-site locations.


Interview and Interrogation

This 2-day course teaches various techniques to enable the officer to gain information and determine its accuracy of it during interview and interrogation processes.

This course covers the difference between interviews and interrogations, preparing for and conducting professional, structured criminal interviews and interrogations more effectively, and different styles and proven techniques most commonly used. Skills taught will enable the investigator to detect deception by analyzing verbal and non-verbal communication.

Our highly-experienced instructors teach how to:

  • prepare the room for the interview
  • building rapport
  • gathering data
  • interpret body language and gestures
  • defense mechanisms
  • emotional responses
  • using theme development and transitional stories
  • detecting deception
  • giving Miranda application, ensuring the admissibility of statements, and constitutional requirements
  • purpose of videoing and use of visual aids in statement taking

Students will participate in exercises with role players to practice skills taught.

Juvenile Investigations

Proper handling of incidents involving juveniles is essential. Whether involved as suspects, victims, or witnesses, these cases represent a special set of issues and proper police response is critical. This course will teach law enforcement officers the appropriate methods and procedures to implement with juveniles as suspects, victims, or witnesses.

Topics covered:

  • The intricacies of interviewing juveniles
  • Investigating cases of child abuse as well as missing and runaway juveniles
  • The Uniform State Memorandum of Agreement Between Education and Law Enforcement Officials
  • An overview of Title 2A and 2C Statues specific to juveniles
  • Family Court
  • Sex crimes as well as child victims of pornography and sexting
  • Investigating bullying charges
  • Underage drinking
  • Various case studies include investigations of juveniles involved in robberies, sexual assault, and homicide

Segments on objectives of a successful investigation, crime scene management strategies, and interview and interrogation techniques will also be reviewed in the course.

Liquor License Investigations

This course is designed to prevent corruption in the sale or transfer of liquor licenses. The Transfer of a Liquor License is a vital process for any municipality. In many towns and cities, the investigation associated with this process is given little or no attention, which allows for corruption in the sale or transfer.

This program will provide the investigator responsible for this type of investigation with the tools and tactics needed to uncover impropriety including:

  • tracking the source of cash
  • discovering the true hidden partners
  • ensuring that all of the pertinent laws are followed

A solid transfer investigation requires that an officer explore areas that are different than a normal criminal investigation. Learning where to look and what to ask can make the difference in a legitimate transfer and one that can involve organized crime.

Sexual Assault Investigations

Sexual assault is one of the most complicated crimes to investigate. In the investigation and prosecution of most sexual assault cases, the role of the victim is much more important than in other crimes since the victim is usually the sole witness to the crime. Unfortunately, sexual assault victims are sometimes reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement because they fear the perpetrator will return to retaliate. It is therefore imperative that sexual assault investigators understand victim responses and utilize the appropriate interview skills necessary in these cases. Not all victims of sexual assault behave in the same manner, so it is essential the investigator be informed, of mental and physical reactions to sexual assault. Understanding and working with your victim is crucial to successfully prosecute these cases.

Topics also covered:

  • collecting evidence
  • writing reports that effectively present the facts of even the most challenging sexual assault cases
  • using a Sex Assault Nurse Examiner System
  • understanding different types of sex crimes to include the specific statutory differences
  • identifying and overcoming personal feelings and beliefs about sex assault
  • the search for truth with compassion

Street Gang Recognition and Identification

Street Gang Recognition and Identification with an emphasis on MS-13.

Gang history, tattoos, hand signs, colors, codes, graffiti, and criminal activity are presented using PowerPoint, lecture, and video presentation. This is course is designed to give a basic working knowledge of gangs and the basic ability to recognize and properly identify a street gang member. An overview of how to conduct a gang investigation through the exploitation of confidential informants, sources of income, and the targeting of the hierarchy are explained in detail. These investigations concentrate on the interview and interrogation as well as the targeting of “shot callers”, the individuals responsible for committing and authorizing acts of violence in furtherance of the gang.

Working Undercover and the Tools of the Trade

A police officer taking on the role of an undercover operative is an extremely important aspect of police work. Vice, gang, narcotics, and fraud investigations often need officers to work undercover; prior training is imperative for the safety of the officer and for the success of the operation.

Topics covered:

  • Role of the undercover operative
  • Cover stories and identities
  • Recognizing danger signs and safety concerns
  • Carrying weapons and physical threats while undercover
  • Committing crimes while undercover
  • Situations involving alcohol, drugs, and sex
  • Dealing with challenges from criminal targets
  • Controlling emotions during undercover operation
  • Dealing with personal feelings and family concerns
  • Managing personal relationships with persons involved in criminal activity while acting undercover
  • Testifying about your work as an undercover operative

Students will participate in exercises with professional role players to practice skills taught.

The Wounded Officer: The Aftermath of a Shooting

This training discusses the aftermath of a shooting and the physical, emotional and psychological effects on the wounded officer, their loved ones, and police department/colleagues. Also discussed are:

  • The physiology of trauma
  • Law enforcement post-traumatic stress
  • The signs and symptoms of PTSD
  • Mental health wellness strategies for the wounded and responding officers and their police departments
  • Wounded officer peer support groups
  • Officer safety measures


This training includes an award-winning police documentary produced by Captain Donna Roman Hernandez that features three New Jersey police officers emotionally describing what it felt like to be shot, the aftermath of their shootings, how they survived and post-incident lessons learned.