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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202309 Find in a Library
Title: Catching Criminals on the Highway
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:51  Issue:9  Dated:September 2003  Pages:113-117
Author(s): Chuck Hustmyre
Date Published: September 2003
Page Count: 5
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the selection, training, and operations of the Criminal Patrols Unit (CPU) of the Louisiana State Police, which is considered a national model for highway interdiction.
Abstract: The creation of the CPU in 1985 was occasioned by the huge volume of drug trafficking on Interstate 10, which was used by drug runners to carry their merchandise from the Mexican border to major markets along the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard and then return with carloads of cash. Troopers must spend 2 to 3 years on road patrol prior to being considered for assignment to the CPU. To qualify for the CPU, they must have demonstrated superior interviewing skills and achieved a thorough understanding of current search-and-seizure law. Troopers selected for the CPU attend a variety of specialized training classes, starting with a POST certification course taught by the Louisiana District Attorney's Association. The course covers topics such as ethics, search and seizure, asset forfeiture, intelligence gathering, and current drug trends. Troopers also study criminal-behavior indicators; since September 11, the training includes topics related to terrorism and counterterrorism. CPU members are also trained extensively in conducting field interviews, which is at the core of the unit's effectiveness in detecting deceptive behavior. As part of their continuing education, CPU troopers are sometimes detailed to the Mexican border, where they work with U.S. Border Patrol agents in counter-drug investigations and conduct search-and-seizure operations. The mission of the CPU remains the same today as at its beginning, i.e., to keep the motoring public safe by catching criminals who use the highways. CPU troopers work outside the normal shift rotation of other troopers and with minimal direct supervision. Their schedule is determined by the needs of the unit. They are not required to handle traffic accidents or perform some of the other duties that occupy so much of a regular trooper's time. Statewide, there are approximately 30 troopers assigned to the CPU; however, they pass on their specialized training, knowledge, and leadership to every trooper on the road. This article describes the details of steps in a CPU stop, all of which begin with a traffic violation (there is no profiling).
Main Term(s): Specialized police operations
Index Term(s): Drug law enforcement; Louisiana; Police interviewing training; Police specialized training; State police; Traffic law enforcement; Vehicle searches; Vehicle stops
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