Field Investigation Drug Officer (FIDO)


Streamlining straightforward drug possession cases

Controlled Substance ForensicsThe efficiency of the entire criminal justice system is impacted by the overwhelming caseload of drug investigations. As a result, many cases fail to be prosecuted in a reasonable timeframe or are dismissed due to a lack of timely sample analysis. Straightforward possession drug cases comprise a significant percentage of those investigations. Handling the cases at the investigative level has the potential to streamline the adjudication process, enabling the reduction of backlogged investigations and the efficient use of resources.

Under the direction of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Centers (NLECTC) and the Forensic Resource Network (FRN) formed a focus group consisting of representatives from the law enforcement, forensic science, corrections, legal, and judicial communities to facilitate NFSTC’s development of the Field Investigation Drug Officer Program.

Program Features and Benefits

  • Comprehensive training program, recommended practice guide, and quality assurance system that provides law enforcement personnel with the resources necessary to perform preliminary identification of the most commonly encountered drugs of abuse (marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin)
  • Designed with sufficient flexibility to enable adaptation based on agency-specific needs and resources
  • Addresses legal issues, guidelines for quality assurance, materials for development of training and certification programs, and guidelines for the selection, testing and evaluation of testing materials and emerging technologies
  • Establishes minimum standards for FIDO programs, including program management, officer and trainer selection, and efficacy assessment
  • Provides immediate investigative information without the need for extensive laboratory analysis as well as facilitation of case adjudication in the preliminary phase; field test may factor into obtaining an immediate plea agreement. (Cases proceeding to trial are submitted for complete analysis at the laboratory.)

View the FIDO tech transition workshop online.

To access all FIDO program documentation to implement and  customize the program, download this ZIP file and save to your computer:

  FIDO Implementation Documents (ZIP file)

All or some of the projects listed were fully or partially funded through grants from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, and/or the US Dept. of Justice. Neither the US Dept. of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).