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Liberty You will find in this section hot News articles which we feel are of national importance to all folks. This Public Service is brought to you for free from AAJTS.


     Stakeout and Surveillance are two methods used by Operations Officers.  The two terms refer to different states of knowledge about a person, scene or object.  The definitions follow:

Surveillance; A systematic stationary or mobile            observation of a person, Scene or object.

Stakeout:      Objective waiting in a particular place for the arrival of a Person or object.

     From an Operation stand point the surveillance is a method of observing the object of interest.  While the stakeout is a method of waiting for the arrival of the object of interest.  Time is an excellent manner of distinguishing the difference between a Stakeout and mission of Surveillance.  Surveillance takes place in the present, or now.  While a stakeout is pointed toward a future even.  For example “we’re waiting for something to happen or someone or a group of persons to arrive".

     In order to organize your understanding of systematic surveillance and stakeout it is necessary for you to become familiar with the taxonomy.


     The following words and their definitions are a priorii for understanding and implementing a Successful Stakeout and/or Surveillance:

Subject.        The person, place or thing under observation.

Surviellant.   A person engaged in observing a subject.

Contact.          Any person or persons the subject meets or confers with.

Convoy.        A person employed by a subject to detect surveillance.  Usually done by following the “Subject”.      

Decoy.            A person who attempts to divert the surveillant’s attention from the subject.

Burned.         Burned is synonymous with a blown or made cover.  These terms indicate that the identity of the Surviellant has been discovered by the subject.         

Surveillance Defined:

     Surveillance is defined as the systematic observation of persons, places, or things to obtain information.  Surveillance is carried out without the knowledge of those under surveillance and is concerned primarily with people.

     Surveillance is further divided into mobile or stationary.  Mobile surveillance can be either by foot or from a moving vehicle.  A stationary surveillance is often called a “stakeout”.  Foot surveillance, vehicular surveillance and stationary surveillance all have the same objective.  That is to obtain the necessary objective, which may differ in each type of surveillance.  For example information, a person, a place or piece of land, or a thing such as a plane, a building, nuclear or chemical weapons held by a felon who would destroy the world.

Obvious Utility of Surveillance:

     Today’s examiner will find themselves continually involved with these surveillance methods, both mobile and stationary because it is the very nature of investigation to obtain information about people who may not know that information is being withdrawn and would not want that information to get out if they were made aware.  When operations sends one out on such a mission if skill is absent, failure to garnish the necessary facts, not just once, but over and again with perhaps disinformation or misinformation being brought back to Operations.  Ultimately useless to the agency, an employer or a client.

     Surveillance has been applied to all aspects of Observation whether for national security, or the humble private eye.  For example, Industrial security officers may find that one of their plants has a saboteur and a stakeout is a necessity.   Even burglary, arson, murders or any type of evil may be the objective.  Retail stores use surveillance to apprehend a suspected or known shoplifter.  As you know by just going to any bank, merchant teller or even warehouse or any business, Surveillance systems protect merchandise, trucks, and intellectual property.  Obviously the reason for this article is to teach proper applications of the skills which make the difference between a successful or unsuccessful system.

     A skillful surveillance person is safer and more valuable and one who is unskilled.  Obviously if the person under surveillance burns you and surveillance was your job, they will undoubtedly become hostel, and perhaps kidnap you as in the case of a national security agent in a foreign unfriendly or evil country bent on destroying humanity.   Surveillance has one objective.  To gain and inquire information. 


     Pre-surveillance protocol insures successful surveillance.  Every surveillance including stationary, foot, or transportation, share the same basic tenants.  The checklist for varying types of surveillance will of course change with the very nature of the objective.  The following is a basic example with explanations for you to truly understand what it takes to be successful and stealth:

A.     Study your file and check very carefully to make the judgment as to:

  1. Where there any actions previously taken?  If so were they by individuals that are under the same employ as you?  If so, did the last operator “burn” the surveillance and alert the subject so he will be prepared or minimally suspicious.  Or are you the first operator?  If so are you handling national security, industrial or in-plant surveillance, determine what, if any, disciplinary actions have been taken by superiors.  Will the subject know they are suspected?
  2. What information has Operations provided the agency about routines, work schedules, home phone number, e-mail and addresses, or frequently visited coconspirators, restaurants and bars where a surveillance might be reestablished if the subject is lost.  Relative to industrial or in-plant surveillance, what are their work habits, Who are their friends in the plant, what are their work routines?  Has the routine been broken?
  3. From the file review you should obtain and carefully study;

a.    The Name and address of the subject

b.   A full description, including mannerisms and known characteristics.  Is he/she a cross dresser, or some personality trait that could trip you up later?

c.   Who are their associates?

d.   Background information provided prior to your assignment.

B. Slowly and carefully study the Lead Sheet.

     In most Agencies, Bureaus, or departments a lead sheet is included in the file and should be studied thoroughly.  It should contain the majority of the information you need to know.  Check it for any instructions from Operations or your client.  This is where the photograph is generally attached.  Know your subject’s looks.  Be able to site him in crowded places.

C. Become familiar with the territory, neighborhood or surrounding area.

In order to dress appropriately you will have to possess a working knowledge of the country, territory, neighborhood or surroundings.  Dress to conform to the mores.

D. Determine Subject Vehicles or means of transportation.

Be sure and obtain the license numbers, registration and VIN numbers and a description of all the vehicles used by the subject.  These could those of your client.

E.  Reconnoitering.

When ever practical, make a survey of the main working areas prior to your surveillance.  It might include a reconnaissance of the employment location, home, and leisure areas.  Always determine and familiarize yourself with;

  1. Traffic Conditions: Will there be a probability of light or heavy traffic.  Where are the good and bad places to enter traffic flow?
  2. Traffic Controls: Observe whether there are stop lights, turn right only lanes, and one-way streets.  Prepare for any event, which might cause you to loose your subject.
  3. Reliable Vantage Points: Find suitable vantage points prior to the surveillance so that there will not are any conspicuous delays.  Spending time searching around is lost verifiability.
  4. Locate and know the names of area streets and alleys.  You can accomplish this with both a map and your own investigation.  Mark all dead-end streets, or catwalks.-Copyright 1999 "Textbook For Forensic Criminal Investigations" Neff, SD

In Parts II-V you will learn all aspects of control, report, team, city, country, residential, auto, multiple auto, train, plane, cycles, boats and/or cruise liners, international, confrontation and resolution to continue Surveillance, electronic equipment, undercover pretext procedures, burning a case, photography and recordings, ultrasound, developing leads, statements and interrogations, synopsis and detailed narrative outline and reports.

by Dr. Scott D Neff, Chiropractic Orthopedist,  International Association of Police Surgeons, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Forensic Examiner, Disability Examiner, Industrial Disability Examiner, Master's in Oriental Medicine, Masters in Professional Studies in Biomechanical Trauma, Newspaper Editor InfoJustice Journal, 2010 Graduate University of Health Science Antigua School of Medicine

"Why does this magnificent applied science which saves work and makes life easier, bring us little happiness? The simple answer runs, because we have not yet learned to make sensible use of it." Albert Einstein 1931


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