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.

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