Introduction to PI Surveillance Techniques

(Content Under Development : Coming soon)

Accepted in: NC, SC, TN, KY, NM, KS, GA, IA, MN & OK (approved for 2 hours)

The term surveillance is often used synonymously with investigations. However, surveillance is only one, albeit vital, component of an investigation. The purposes and methods of surveillance vary by industry and objectives. This block of instruction allows students to examine the multiple types of surveillance while providing a framework they can use to tailor surveillance techniques to achieve desired investigative outcomes. Finally, this course introduces students to technological advancements they can use to enhance and improve the quality of their surveillance.

Purpose of PI Surveillance Techniques Course

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a general understanding of the role and purpose of surveillance in an investigation. This course will provide insight into the evidentiary value of surveillance as a means to collect or confirm relevant evidence or information in a case investigation. This block of instruction provides an opportunity for students to explore the benefits and role technology can play in mitigating challenges associated with surveillance.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this block of instruction, students will be able to:

  1. Distinguish the difference between surveillance and investigation
  2. Identify the purpose of surveillance associated with domestic, criminal, and insurance-related investigations
  3. Develop a sound surveillance strategy
  4. Describe the benefits and challenges of a minimum of three technological surveillance tools

Learning Strategies

  • PowerPoint or Prezi Presentation
  • Photographs and video footage
  • Interactive Template
  • Sample Case Studies
  • Certificate of Completion

Define surveillance

Actively pursuing a vehicle or person to determine their identity and activities.

Surveillance Methods

  1. Physical surveillance- tailing/following by foot or in a vehicle
  2. Remote surveillance- tracking devices, digital monitoring
  3. Role of surveillance in case investigations
  4. Domestic- identification, documentation, and establishment of relationships and interactions
  5. Criminal- identification and establishment of evidence that supports, refutes, or mitigates the elements of a crime and the commission of same by the accused.
  6. Insurance- documentation of approved or prohibited conditions, performance, behaviors, or activities

Components of SOUND surveillance

  1. Specific- sound surveillance specific to the elements of the behavior or actions
  2. Objective-driven- supports the attainment of client or case objectives
  3. Unified- aligns or supports other investigative activities
  4. Necessary- exclude frivolous or irrelevant information
  5. Detailed- includes specific and relevant information

Develop a Sound Surveillance Strategy

  1. Identify case objectives
  2. Select appropriate surveillance methods- physical, remote, use of pretext
  3. Sample surveillance Strategy (see attached)
  4. Selection of appropriate technology

Advantages and challenges associated with the use of technology in surveillance *

  1. Tracking devices- vehicle, computer usage, and activity
  2. Audio Visual- cameras, recorders, smartphones
  3. Social Media- friends, likes, tweets, photographs
    1. Facebook
    2. Twitter
    3. Instagram
    4. Snapchat
    5. LinkedIn
    6. Dating site

Domestic Case Study

  • Steele v Steele – Divorce (see attached)
  • Infidelity – Establishment of time, place, and opportunities for the consummation of an extramarital relationship
  • Child Custody – Ensure the safety of all minor children, required legal reporting of abuse/neglect, documentation of all evidence that is counter to the best interest of the child or children.
  • Alienation of Affection – Documentation and establishment of indicators that the accused engaged in an extramarital affair with the client’s spouse despite his/her knowledge of the existing marital status.

Course Information

Adult Education Methods Utilized

  • Downloadable handouts
  • Narrated slides
  • Case Studies

Textbook and Course Materials

  • Articles
  • On-demand video
  • Downloadable materials
  • Certificate of Completion

Course Requirements

  • Internet connection (DSL, LAN, or cable connection desirable)
  • Access to the internet
  • Ability to use a personal computer

Course Offerings

  • Certificate of Completion
  • 60-day unlimited course access

Course Structure

This course will be delivered entirely online through the website. Participants will use website credentials to log in and access their accounts. Participants will access online lessons, course materials, and resources. The course will be broken down into modules for self-paced learning. Access to the course is limited to 60 days. Following the completion of the course, students will receive a certificate of completion for Continuing Education Credits and licensing renewal.

*Make sure this course is approved by your state for licensing renewal.

  • This course will be delivered online through a course management website named
  • To access this course online, you will need to access the Internet and a supported Web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.

Technical Assistance

If you require technical assistance at any time during the course or to report a problem: