Use 'outside-of-the-box' thinking in contraband searches

July 06, 2011

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Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief Be Advised...
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

Tip: Use 'outside-of-the-box' thinking in contraband searches

A recent PoliceOne news report told of a woman being busted for trying to smuggle her common-law-husband out of a Mexican prison in a large, wheeled suitcase following a conjugal visit. The story is admittedly humorous — but it also serves as a serious reminder about the importance of outside-of-the-box thinking when it comes to spotting contraband and locating people trying to hide from you. The key is to remain curious, alert, and somewhat skeptical. You must resist the temptation to make immediate assumptions based on what appears obvious:

“Oh, that’s a suitcase. Obviously, there must be clothes in there.”

“It’s December 24th and there finely-wrapped boxes in that trunk, so of course they must be Christmas presents.”

Officers have found contraband and suspects hidden virtually everywhere and anywhere. That includes full septic tanks in mobile homes, behind false walls in homes, in ceilings, in gas tanks... even curled up in suitcases! While keeping an eye out for contraband or hidden suspects, remember to look up, in, under, over, through and around.


About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 800 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA). Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

Read more articles by PoliceOne Editor in Chief Doug Wyllie by clicking here.

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