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Drug Identification

Course length


About the course

All registrations are through the NorthEast CounterDrug Training Center (NCTC) at the following link:

Drug Identification is a critical tool that every law enforcement officer should know. Unfortunately, almost no police department in the nation provides a course-specific training in their academies for this pertinent investigative tool. This information is not just for the seasoned Detective or senior officer, but also for the new officer who has just begun their career. The ability to immediately recognize narcotics, their paraphernalia, cutting agents, and physiological effects in any situation allows the officer to conduct a thorough investigation and have success in arresting drug violators and seizing large quantities of drugs, firearms, and U.S. currency.

This two-day training course will provide an in-depth look at the most common narcotics currently found on the street, the contraband associated with them, and the physiological and psychological effects. Numerous sample pictures of the narcotics, videos of physiological effects, and procedures on how to properly conduct presumptive field tests will be presented to officers. Officers will participate in case studies where officers were fired and/or arrested for narcotics based scandals due to a lack of policies and procedures regarding presumptive field-testing or evidence handling.

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
1) Identify the most common narcotics
2) Identify the paraphernalia and contraband associated with each narcotic

Your Instructor:
Paul Gifford retired from full-time law enforcement in July 2021. Paul worked as a law enforcement officer specializing in narcotic-related investigations. He has received many accolades during his time as a drug interdiction officer to include the prestigious "Looking Beyond the Traffic Stop" award issued by the New Hampshire Police State Academy for his successful drug seizures. Paul's work as an interdiction officer has also led to favorable New Hampshire Supreme Court rulings recognizing his techniques.
In January of 2007, Paul began working with the Hanover, NH Police Department. In 2008 Paul transferred to the City of Lebanon NH Police Department, where he continued his work in narcotics by assisting with the NH Drug Task Force.
In 2015 Paul was selected to the New Hampshire Attorney General's Drug Task Force, where he worked in an undercover capacity. The New England area, specifically New Hampshire, has been the epicenter of the opioid drug crisis.
New Hampshire rates 2nd in the nation, behind West Virginia, for the number of opioid-related deaths relative to its population. It rates number one, though, for fentanyl-related deaths per capita. Paul's Drug Task Force has investigated dozens of fentanyl-related overdoses and continues to combat the deadly drug by educating the public and conducting undercover operations targeting the sources.
In addition to fentanyl-related investigations, Paul has also conducted undercover operations targeting methamphetamine dealers in the New England region. As a result of his meth investigations, Paul's efforts resulted in the largest methamphetamine seizure in the New England region.
Paul has also been the Tactical Team Leader for the past 10 years for the City of Lebanon. He retired from the Vermont Army National Guard's Sniper Section in Jericho, Vermont in July 2020. Paul had been a law enforcement instructor since 2008 and has a strong passion for teaching and mentoring.
After retiring from fulltime Law Enforcement Paul consulted with one of the countries top wiretapping software companies.
Currently Paul consults with several Law Enforcement agencies and travels the country teaching and public speaking.

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