Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy
A Nationally Accredited Law Enforcement Training Academy
Undercover Officer Survival
About the course
Undercover Officer Survival Techniques: 4 Day Training Course
Undercover operations are a necessary tool to effectively target criminals operating in North America. Successful undercover operations allow law enforcement officers to covertly gather evidence of a crime, or interrupt the planning of criminal activities before the suspects have an opportunity to commit the crime. The most common type of undercover operations utilized by police agencies involves narcotic enforcement.
All too often, police departments fail to provide adequate training to law enforcement officers assigned to conduct undercover operations. While this practice was common in the 70's, 80's, and early 90's, it can lead to serious mistakes that can cost an officer their job, their freedom, or their life.
For police officers, working in an undercover capacity can be extremely challenging with an inherent risk of danger. Suspected criminal violators are involved in activities that violate federal, state, and international laws. Undercover officers are tasked with convincing the violator to allow them to participate in these activities. While working undercover, officers interact with criminal violators who operate in a manner that exposes and enhances the officer to potential volatile situations. The risk is present that subjects of criminal activity will attempt to challenge the officer’s identity, encourage the officer to commit a crime, divulge information of an intended upcoming violent offense, and seek an opportunity to assault and/or steal from the officer. In many undercover operations the officer acts alone with suspected violators. Even though close cover officers are present, the violators are not aware of that fact. This course will emphasize the importance of being mentally prepared for an undercover assignment. During all operations, a good undercover officer mentally prepares for the worse- case scenario and has an action plan.
This four day training course was designed to provide undercover officers with current methods and techniques to safely initiate undercover operations. Officers will be exposed to up-to-date undercover audio/video recordings that will demonstrate various teaching points. Officers will participate in case studies and see videos where gunfire erupted during an undercover operation.
Case studies will be presented of all undercover officers killed in the line of duty in the United States within the past thirty years. Exposure to these incidents can aid the course attendees by preventing history from repeating itself. Several seasoned narcotic officers, who are all still active in undercover operations, will participate in instructing this course. All officers are from one of the largest police departments in the United States. The use of multiple instructors will expose officers to various ways of working undercover.
- Undercover Role Preparation (Mental mindset, choice of gun, alternate weapon,
identification, cover story, ...etc)
- Common Street Drugs
Street-level Drug Buys (Violent encounters, open air drug sales, cold knock
considerations, informant introductions, etc.)
Long-term Undercover Operations (Infiltrating Organizations)
Covert Surveillance Techniques
Undercover Rescue Considerations (Residential/Vehicle)
Violent Encounters During Undercover Operations
Psychological Challenges for Undercover Officers
Case Studies of Downed UC Officers
Byron Boston is a twenty (20) year veteran of the Dallas Police Department who has sent over (14) years assigned to the Narcotics Division as an undercover officer. For five (5) years, Byron was assigned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a Task Force Officer (TFO) to investigate Transnational Criminal Organizations impacting the Southwest Border of the United States.
Byron began his law enforcement career with the Dallas Police Department in May 1996. In January of 1998, he was selected to join a Uniformed Drug Task Force. While on this task force, Byron participated in numerous Knock & Talk operations, conducted surveillance on chronic drug house complaints, and made hundreds of felony drug arrests.
In September of 2003, Byron was selected to work on a violent crime task force with ATF. While assigned to the task force, he was the lead undercover officer on numerous long-term narcotic & firearm investigations, one of which lasted nearly a year in duration. During that investigation, Byron rented an undercover apartment where he was taught by drug dealers how to cook, cut, and package crack cocaine. He was also trained in both "trap" and "stash" houses on the inside structure of how crack cocaine dealers truly operate. In addition to making undercover narcotic purchases, Byron purchased firearms that included: common street weapons, machine guns, and a grenade launcher. Byron also worked undercover on two DEA wiretap investigations during his tenure on the ATF task force.
In 2009, while working in an undercover capacity, Byron and his partners were able to infiltrate a violent drug trafficking organization, posing as large-scale drug traffickers. During their "initiation stages", Byron and his partners were targets of the violence perpetrated by the gang members. Firearms were repeatedly utilized and brandished by the gang members during undercover transactions, to intimidate Byron and his partners. On each occasion, they utilized superior tactics and techniques to safely walk away from the dangerous situations they encountered. As a result of the 2 year undercover operation, 28 violent gang members were removed from the community they preyed on.
In December of 2010, Byron was selected to join a newly created Mexican Drug Cartel Task Force led by the FBI to investigate Transnational Criminal Organizations impacting the Southwest Border. During his tenure on this elite task force, this elite unit has seized over 100 kilograms of cocaine, 200 kilograms of methamphetamine ICE. The unit also seized over two million dollars of U.S. currency & Assets. Most importantly, hundreds of suspects directly linked to Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations have been arrested, indicted, and convicted in the Dallas – Fort Worth area. Based on debriefings of cooperating defendants, multiple wire intercepts, and long-term undercover operations, Byron has learned the inner-workings and the structure of Mexican Cartels.
In 2014, the City of Dallas witnessed several drug-related overdose deaths involving North Texas teens. Byron and his partner were tasked with conducting an undercover operation to target the sources of those narcotics. After using unconventional undercover techniques, Byron and his partner infiltrated several Rave/Club Drug organizations and arrest dozens of suspects responsible for the death of the teens. As a result of the investigation, Byron and his partner were nominated for Dallas Police Officer of the Year in July 2015.
Byron is currently assigned to a Mid-level enforcement unit within the narcotic division where he continues to investigate, arrest, and prosecute drug dealers impacting North Texas.
Byron’s unique police experiences have enabled him to teach both undercover officers and patrol officers on the most effective ways to target all levels of drug dealers. He is a certified law enforcement training instructor, and has presented training courses to thousands of military, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers in the United States & Canada with extremely high reviews. Byron has received the following awards:
Department of Justice – Law Enforcement Commendation Award
United States Congress – Certificate of Appreciation
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms – Certificate of Appreciation
Meritorious Conduct Award
Police Commendation Award
Certificate of Merit – Unit Award
Perfect Attendance (15 Years)
Dallas Police Association "Cops Cop"
Texas Peace Officer Association - Officer of the Year
United States Attorney's Office - Certificate of Appreciation
Conference/Keynote Speaker Presentations
Calea Conference Guest Speaker (March 2010)
Oregon Narcotic Officers Association (June 2010)
BPA Conference Guest Speaker (June 2011)
Illinois State Police Narcotic Banquet (October 2012)
Northwest Gang Investigators Association (May 2013)
International Law Enforcement Educators & Trainers Association (March 2014)
LPOA Annual Conference Guest Speaker (July 2013)
Ontario Association of Police Educators (June 2014)
Virginia State Police Gang Conference (June 2014)
Virginia State Police Gang Conference (April 2015)
International Law Enforcement Educators & Trainers Association (March 2015)
New Jersey Gang Conference (June 2016)