Crime Scene Processing, Battlefield Forensics, Tracking Operations and TTOS
Many people have probably seen our recent training announcement for a Crime Scene Management / Battlefield Forensics course in Washington State. We’d like to take the opportunity to give some additional information regarding the course(s), why the subject of instruction, why the “where”, how it came to be and how “Joint Training 2017” is designed.
Anyone that knows us knows that we are a cadre and a team. As a team we bring a wide breadth of expertise as a group of subject matter experts (SME). This is why we are Tactical Tracking Operations School and not the “Smith Davidson Tracking School” of the singular expertise of one person and one apprentice. “The Rule of Two” (some people will get the reference) is almost a fitting analogy to use in such an instance, but I digress.
The instructors that facilitate these courses (both Crime Scene and Battlefield Forensics), are well-seasoned and experienced former law enforcement (investigators, major crimes detectives, investigation bureau commanders), military (special operations and intelligence), homeland security, natural resources, fish and wildlife or intelligence officers. They have also been teaching the subject matter for more than ten years for state, local, federal and international audiences; and practitioners of the skills for decades. This is part of the reason TTOS was contracted by the Army for Battlefield Forensics Training.
“The BFT course we are offering is a hybrid version of the US Army BFT program we developed under contract with the US Army Intelligence Center of Excellence (USAICoE) from 2010 – 2014. Our BFT program integrates three key systems/skill sets into a single POI. The three (3) systems/skill sets are; visual search and tracking; forensic collation; and SSE/TSE.” – www.ttoscorp.com Battlefield Forensics page, 2o16
We could sum it up fairly succinctly by stating what we know as the reality of what we do. The reality of military Combat Tracking and law Enforcement Tactical Tracking is that a tracking operation is nothing more than a crime scene being actively managed and investigated over time and distance in a tactical environment. That is one way to look at it. Tracking is used as a means to advance the hunt – the hunt for evidence, information, intelligence and people of interest; and to narrow and focus the search effectively.
While on operations, teams are tasked with exploiting and processing scenes along the way. Identifying, fixing, photographing, sketching and collecting evidence is part of this process. The persons responsible for the act must be logically linked to the scene, even if apprehended or interdicted a week later, 45 clicks away. Visual acuity, scene exploitation (SSE/TSE), evidence recovery/processing and the rules of evidence apply. Beyond that, one must also logically express and articulate how they know what they know and how they arrived at their conclusions.
Not all tracking operations are the same, as the context and outcomes vary; however they are exactly the same at their foundation. That foundation (tracking), is process-driven and uses observation and deductive and inductive reasoning as the means to the logical end. All that said, for those that do not understand how TTOS, Inc. is capable of bringing courses such as the topic of conversation to the table to law enforcement, homeland security and the military all at the same time, should have a clearer view now. We have an entire training library of courses like this one, including but not limited to: Crime Scene, Criminal Investigation, Interview and Interrogation, Financial Investigations, etc. We have just never really offered them, except on request.
All of the courses listed all have commonality in that they are about reading and interpreting the physical terrain and human terrain in front of us, measuring motivation and exposing networks toward their defeat. This thought process is common to both law enforcement and the military. This is part of the reason we have decided to open attendance to our law enforcement courses, like this one, to the military and homeland security. The processes are built around the same tasks and same desired outcomes – public safety and national security.
The same “Go – No Go” tasks for scene management and evidence handling/processing used in our BFT course are common to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and each state and local law enforcement agency in the nation. For example, if you compare our procedures and instruction for evidence collection and processing with the Washington State Patrol Officer’s Evidence Handbook, you’ll find them virtually identical. Why? Because they are all based on a common criminal process and common rules of evidence, from the scene and point of collection to the forensic scientist that receives the item for analysis and later returns it to the submitting agency – it’s all the same standards being applied.
The reason for the location for the January 2017 course is of facilities and convenience. We have several instructors that reside in Washington State. The hosting agency has an outstanding training room that will hold more than 20, and the town is very accommodating to visitors. With several naval installations, JBLM, Coast Guard stations and Customs and Border Patrol in the immediate vicinity, it makes perfect sense.
“Joint Training 2017” works toward bringing people together that are bound by task, process and purpose together in a learning environment. The synergy created cannot be replicated in an attendance-diversity vacuum. Lastly, training in this manner makes it more affordable for all who attend, their respective agencies and the tax payers/country as a whole.
So there it is. With the exception of gathering up some photos for this short article and uploading it all to our website, that’s all for today. Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for your support.
If you go to this link it will take you to the training announcement. There is more information available there, and if you’d like to attend the course, just follow the directions in the flyer. This link will take you to the Battlefield Forensics page of our website.