Man-Tracking is the art and science of being able to follow the track and sign of humans, left by their passage in rural, wilderness and remote areas.
Tactical Tracking is doing the same thing except the person or persons being tracked are or are presumed to be armed and dangerous.
Constable Tom Dallas recently attended and completed the Backcountry Tactics and Tracking School (Sept. 22 thru 29, 2012) conducted by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (F.L.E.T.C.) in Artesia, New Mexico.
The F.L.E.T.C. conducts this school and the training is at NO COST to qualifying officers, agencies or local governments, except for transportation to and from the training center. Constable Dallas made application to this training over 2 years ago and was notified of acceptance this past May and paid ALL related costs himself.
The training is designed to prepare and train officers in techniques and skills used to search for persons in rural and wilderness areas. The tracking and search skills can be used for all types of search ranging from basic SAR for wandering or missing persons to the search and tracking of armed, violent/dangerous criminals. With the diverse terrain found in Macon County and surrounding areas of Tennessee and Kentucky these are valuable skills to have available.
Students who successfully complete this training are able to apply land navigation and tactical tracking skills in remote backcountry settings and urban environments. These skills aid the student in interpreting track and sign at a crime scene and documenting findings in a case report to indicate furtherance and/or involvement in a crime. In addition these skills also aid in search and rescue operations, locating missing persons, border security, poaching, and fugitive apprehension. This training program emphasizes the ability to work as a team or individually.
Constable Dallas reported directly to the training facility located near Carlsbad National Park. This area is dominated by rocky slopes, canyons, cactus, thorny shrubs, and the occasional tree with an elevation range from 3,500 to 4,500 ft.
The training lasted 5 full days and covered the following topics:
• Land Navigation
• Tactical Team Development
• Immediate Action Force on Force Drills using Simunitions’ and Colt automatic Rifles and Glock pistols
• Camouflage and Concealment
• Night Tracking
• Tactical Team Patrol Operations
• Sign Cutting and Tactical Tracking
• Operations Planning
• Interpretation of track and sign at crime scenes
• Documenting track and sign
The school was attended by 26 other law enforcement officers from New Mexico State Police, Texas Game Wardens, Carlsbad PD, Mescalero-Apache Reservation Tribal Police and Texas Ochiltree County Sheriffs’ Deputies. These officers were broken into teams (A-alpha, B-bravo and C-charlie) who worked together as individual units during the training.
Constable Dallas, who is also an employee of the Lafayette Fire Department and member of the Macon County Rescue Squad is a Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads certified Search and Rescue Technician and has attended the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency’s “Man-Tracking School”. He intends to use these skills as needed in support of Macon County Law Enforcement and other Emergency Services and to use his instructor skills to share these advanced techniques with all Macon County and surrounding agencies.
The training is rated by the Department of Homeland Security as a Train the Trainer school and Constable Dallas can provide awareness level and detailed training in these tracking skills for various agencies. For more information contact Constable Dallas at 615-633-6687 or visit the F.L.E.T.C. web site at http://www.fletc.gov/training/programs/artesia-fletc/backcountry-tactics-and-tracking-training-program