Investigating and Prosecuting Drug Cases

The Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania District Attorney's Association, Pennsylvania Narcotic Officers Association, Philadelphia Police Department, and the Pittsburgh Police Department will co-sponsor a seven (7) day Top Gun training program. Top Gun is a drug enforcement training program designed for the investigator and prosecutor with 0-5 years experience. The course highlights various stages of a typical drug investigation from the time the initial information is received through the resulting search warrants.

Municipal Police Officers must be a member of PNOA to register for TOP GUN
How Does it Work?

Top Gun combines many mediums to enhance learning. The course is built around a straight forward fact scenario. You will hear lectures and mini-lectures from recognized experts in the area of both legal and practical aspects of conducting drug investigations. Following each classroom session, a practical workshop is conducted where you will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge you have just acquired.

The Classroom - Workshop Format

Participants are assigned to a squad at registration and interact within that group throughout the course of the investigation. Each squad is guided by a faculty coordinator who assists the squad during their skill-building workshops. Each squad is a diverse mixture of experience levels and includes both prosecutors and investigators.

Course Content

    You will pair up with one of your squad members and debrief a confidential informant. Faculty members will assist you in developing strategies for convincing the CI to 'come clean' and then for legally and ethically controlling the informant.
    You will learn both traditional and innovative techniques for safely and effectively operating undercover.
    You will learn the value of intelligence as strategic and tactical resource while you develop investigative and warrant execution of plans.
    You will learn the innovative methods of interviewing and interrogating to assist you in developing informants and interviewing suspects.
    You will learn to devise an investigative plan to penetrate a local drug dealers organization described in the fact scenario. A methodical investigative concept will be established giving the investigator a realistic framework from which to conduct drug investigations.
    You will work as a group in preparing a search warrant based on the factual information developed in the investigation and learn ways of countering attacks on searches with motions to suppress evidence.
    You will learn to utilize intelligence information and investigative leads to develop a safe, effective operation. The squads will execute a series of raids during this program.
    You will learn safe, effective methods to use when executing search and arrest warrants. Ruse, dynamic and distraction techniques will be discussed.
    You will be able to recognize and identify circumstances where criminal conduct may give rise to asset forfeiture litigation.