Airport Security, Customs and Contraband Detection Course

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
U.S. Embassy, Paraguay

Airport Security, Customs and Contraband Detection Course Overview

This course is meant to provide you with a detailed understanding of the key areas of expertise required of law, customs and drug enforcement officers to target, detect, identify and apprehend contraband in an airport setting using various types of screening equipment and behavioral analysis

Course Curriculum

Day 1: Customs and Airport Operations and Smuggling Techniques

  • Welcome; Course Overview and Objectives; Student/Teacher Introductions; Opening Remarks
    Introduction to Airport Customs Course and Why: Q&A
  • Airport Environment Specific Tasks and Challenges
  • Review and “Risk Analysis” Using 3D Animated Airport Model
  • Relevant U.S. Government Agencies
  • Operational Basis for U.S. Customs Authority
  • Definitions
  • Coordination with Intelligence Agencies
  • Overview of Areas of Operation and Duties (Passenger, Vehicles, Aircraft and Cargo)
  • Legal Standards Related to Searching Individuals and Items
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Smuggling Tactics and Techniques (Both Drugs and Currency) – Internal vs. External
  • Review and Q&A
  • Quiz #1

Day 2: Passenger and Passenger Baggage Screening

  • Behavioral Observation and Analysis
  • Coordinating with Other Agencies
  • Surveillance and Detection
  • Using Two-Way Glass
  • Passenger Analysis: Prior Arrival Passenger Manifests and Computerized Record Checks
  • Developing a Database to Track Encounters
  • Intelligence Collection and Analysis
  • Interview and Interrogation/Statement Analysis
  • Enforcement Tools, Techniques and Reasons for Use (Non-Invasive, Invasive and Destructive)
  • Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Guidance on Performing Customs Operations
  • Baggage Exam and Discussion
  • Pat Down Search vs. Strip Search Techniques
  • Hands-On Training/Practical Exercises with Hand Tools, Drill, Probes, Fiber Optic Video, X-Ray, etc.
  • Review and Q&A
  • Quiz #2
  • Homework Assignment: Security Assessment and Risk Mitigation Plan

Day 3: Vehicle, Cargo and Aircraft Searches

  • Vehicle Searches and Vehicle screening
  • Common Hiding Locations
  • Cargo Examination and Inspection (Express Consignment, Transport Containers, Crates, Pallets)
  • Aircraft Inspection (Non-Invasive/Non-Destructive)
  • Points of Consideration (Not Probing Airframes)
  • VACIS System
  • Use of Canine (K-9) Teams to Detect Contraband
  • Airport Tour and Practical Exercises/Demonstration
  • Use of Flashlight, Fiber Optic Video Scope (Buster or X-Ray if Available)
  • Personal Radiation Detector (PRD) and RIID Application and Strategies – Practical
  • Exercise/Activity
  • Review and Q&A
  • Quiz #3

Day 4: Narcotics, Explosives and Contraband Detection, Analysis and Documentation

  • Narcotics Smuggling and Discovery
  • Narcotics Identification, Sampling, Testing and Safety
  • NIK Kits and the Itemizer
  • Discovery of Explosives
  • Explosives Identification, Sampling, Testing and Safety
  • Non-Narcotic Contraband (Prohibited Items, Gun Parts, etc.)
  • Radiation Alerts on People/Best Practices
  • National Security Concerns Involving Radioactive Materials/Components
  • Seizure of Contraband, Evidence and Chain of Custody; Record-Keeping and Storage
  • Documenting Results of Inspections and Searches
  • Group Presentations on Individual Security Assessments (Homework from Day 2)

Day 5: Special Training Segments, Final Exams, Evaluations and Graduation

  • Corruption, Integrity and Ethics in Law Enforcement
  • Human Rights in Law Enforcement
  • Discussion and Course Review
  • Final Written Exam
  • Final Performance Exam – Practical Exercises at Airport
  • Closeout and Final Q&A
  • Student/Course Evaluations
  • Graduation and Certificate Presentation

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