Published 12:00 am Friday, March 29, 2013

What looked like a law enforcement convention Thursday at the Holiday Inn was in fact the culmination of a weeklong crime interdiction training conference held at the Salisbury hotel.
More than 150 law enforcement agencies from three states participated in the training, which began Monday. The seminar was sponsored by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the N.C. Narcotic Officers Association.
“It dealt with a number of issues involving law enforcement, primarily the aspect of anti-terrorism, criminal interdiction or enforcement,” said David Ramsey, Chief Deputy with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.
On Thursday the participants, which included officers from North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina had training on identifying hiding spots in vehicles.
The training specifically focused on criminals who create hidden compartments in vehicles and how law enforcement can seek out those types of hidden spaces. Officers had to look through tractor trailers, passenger cars and a bus to determine where the hidden compartments were contained.
During the week, there were speakers from California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and North Carolina.
Ramsey said, from a law enforcement position, these types of training sessions allow officers and agents to network and learn from each other.
“You’re able to interact with them, learn how they do investigations and certain types of things they see in law enforcement,” he said.
The criminal activity for which the officers received training didn’t just include drug trafficking and anti-terrorism, but fraud and prostitution that might occur across interstate highways, in and around hotels and motels.
Many of those in attendance were undercover agents and could not be interviewed or photographed by the Post. This is the first involvement by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office in such a training conference of this caliber, Ramsey said.
The training was paid for through asset forfeiture money seized by the sheriff’s office after investigations.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.