We recently caught up with retired DEA Special Agent Ernie Batista, who currently supports the national and global efforts of U.S. and foreign law enforcement partner agencies by offering them state-of-the-art solutions which will help make them more effective in their investigations and also help keep them safe.
Batista commented about the latest handheld narcotics analyzers that utilize Raman spectroscopy, a well-established analytical technique. Here’s an excerpt from a video interview taken at the 2019 IACP show in Chicago.
“Today, officers are facing a wide range of drugs that we’ve never seen before and that are constantly changing and evolving. So when they come across someone with a package of white powder they don’t know what it is. It could be fentanyl, it could be meth, it could be MDMA. So how do you determine that by simply trying to select the right kit to use for it?”
Batista goes on to explain that handheld narcotics analyzers are now being used and are good for law enforcement because officers can safely identify the package of powder without having to open it.
With handheld narcotics analyzers, one can scan directly through plastic or glass for most samples to minimize contamination, reduce exposure and preserve evidence. An officer can scan a sample and receive the result within seconds. (You can read about these and other reasons how handheld Raman analyzer strengthens law enforcement for narcotics identification here.)
These handheld narcotics analyzers offer a presumptive test that is more accurate and reliable than colorimetric drug tests, providing law enforcement officials a quicker and safer method to identify suspected narcotics in the field.
“They’ve got a great tool for their toolbox to go out on the street….” said Batista. “They can make a determination whether to let the individual go, or if they identify that it’s a drug, they know they can keep the person and take the proper steps to continue the investigation and possibly arrest the person.”
You can watch the two-minute video here.
Additional Resources on our website:
- Watch the video of Retired DEA Agent Stephen Murphy
- Watch the video of Retired DEA Agent Javier Pena
- Access the web page: Solutions for Law Enforcement: Narcotics, Chemical and Radiation Threats