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NCJ Number: 201166 Find in a Library
Title: Narcotic Field-Testing
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:51  Issue:6  Dated:June 2003  Pages:131-132
Author(s): Matt Johnson
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 2
Type: Instructional Material; Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the features, uses, and training for narcotic field-testing.
Abstract: Currently, several companies offer field-testing chemistry in various methods for identifying specific illicit drugs. The field-testing methods range from the earliest of single-ampoule test to the single and multiple-ampoule test pouches. There are even "aerosols" for narcotic identification, such as those offered by Mistral Security, Inc. All of these field-testing kits are proving to be useful tools in narcotics law enforcement. In determining when to use field-testing, officers must not initiate field-testing without prior indications to establish probable cause that drug laws have been violated. A field test of a suspicious substance can then be tested to "confirm" (not establish) probable cause for a narcotics violation. Substance-specific field-testing requires a basic knowledge of various illicit drugs, including their appearance and common packaging methods. Good training and experience will enable the officer to use a substance-specific test to confirm the probable cause. Officers must be trained in the use of specific field tests, since a number of legal substances may yield the same test results as an illegal substance. If there is any doubt after a field test, the sample should be sent to the crime lab for more thorough testing.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Drug law enforcement; Drug law enforcement training; Field drug analysis; Investigative techniques; Police field training
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