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Tracking can be an effective Law Enforcement Tool in situations where an escaped inmate may be on foot, or during the investigation of offenses such murder, buglary or rape, terrorism and more.

Often, we in our profession may be called to look for lost persons, such as hunters or children who have wandered off. The basic techniques are the same. For this reason the primary focus of this text will concentrate on search and rescue.

We can not teach tracking in the time frame set aside for this training. We can only teach the basic techniques which must be applied. For one to become an experienced tracker, will take years of experience and dilligent application of these techniques.

Definition of Tracking

Tracking by simple definition is following the signs of a track left by someone or something. Tracking is both the application of investigative strategy and operational tactics.

It is virtually impossible for a person to pass through an area without leaving evidence of his or her passing. The key is to be able to recognize these signs and apply their meaning. Tracking is an acquired skill.

One of the main problems often faced by trackers is that by the time they are called and arrive on the scene, many well meaning parties have already destroyed "sign", or those important indicators which may be critical to the search operation.

Once on the scene the tracker must determine what evidence is present and may be of value. They must go beyond the last point which has been contaminated by those well meaning parties in order to begin their work.

An untrained person stepping on a good sign or track is unfortunate.

A tracker doing the same is inexcuseable.


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