Desert snow training - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Desert snow training

Madison (WKOW) -- From WI Dept. of Transportation:  To improve their knowledge and ability to apprehend drug smugglers, terrorists and other criminals who use highways to transport drugs, weapons, explosives and other dangerous contraband, approximately 80 law enforcement officers attended a comprehensive training program in West Bend on Sept. 17-19.

  The advanced highway criminal and terrorist interdiction training-called Desert Snow-was sponsored by the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Midwest Counterdrug Training Program.

  The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that 40 percent of all drug arrests in the country start with traffic stops.

  During Desert Snow training, officers from Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota learned to "look beyond the traffic stop" and identify suspicious or deceptive behavior by drivers that indicates possible criminal or terrorist activity.

  Officers also were taught new ways to find hidden compartments in vehicles that can be used to conceal drugs, weapons and contraband.

  Desert Snow was started by former California Highway Patrol Officer Joe David to train his fellow troopers to spot cocaine smugglers.

  Desert Snow is now considered the nation's premier highway criminal and terrorist interdiction training program, according to Wisconsin State Patrol Superintendent David Collins.

  "Desert Snow is part of continuing efforts by law enforcement agencies to provide their officers with the training they need to protect our citizens and our communities," Collins said. "To fulfill our law enforcement mission, all officers must remain vigilant and take effective actions to apprehend those who use highways to commit crimes and threaten public safety."

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