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Law Enforcement Training

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Training for Archaeological Resource Protection (TARP)

For Law Enforcement

Archaeological sites on Florida’s State-owned or State-controlled lands are irreplaceable assets. While their location on State land affords them special protections from disturbance or destruction by development and relic hunters, monitoring and protecting these resources presents unique challenges for law enforcement officers. The TARP program is specifically designed for law enforcement officers who are tasked with the protection of these important resources. The course is designed to familiarize State, Federal, and County Law Enforcement agencies with archaeological resources and the laws that protect them. 

Upon completion of the class, students will:

  • Understand the nature and importance of cultural resources and why archaeological sites are significant
  • Be able to apply knowledge of the physical aspects of prehistoric and historic artifacts to differentiate them from fossils and other natural objects.
  • Be familiar with the major periods of prehistoric and historic Florida and the types of artifacts associated with each.
  • Have more detailed knowledge of Federal and State laws protecting archaeological resources on state managed lands
  • Be able to identify archaeological sites and differentiate damage resulting from human actions from natural disturbances
  • Know the common characteristics of looters and the various reasons they engage in this illicit activity
  • Understand the role of the Bureau of Archaeological Research (BAR) in helping law enforcement officers document damage to archaeological sites and aid in prosecution of offenders
  • Have the names and contact information for the appropriate BAR representatives that will assist them with questions and concerns about archaeological resources, sites, and cultural resource crimes.

Extensive two-day courses are offered several times a year in different regions. The two-day course includes a practical component in which officers visit an archaeological site that has been damaged by illicit digging, giving them first-hand experience investigating criminal looting on state land. Regional classes rotate between the North Florida, Central Florida, and South Florida regions.  All classes are free with the exception of incurred travel expenses by attendees.

There are a limited number of seats available in each TARP, and admittance is on a first-come-first-served basis. To register, please download the registration form and return it to Paulette McFadden at [email protected].   Note that your training request and travel must be approved by your supervisor and your agency.

In addition to the regional course, classes of varying lengths and level of detail have been designed to meet specific law enforcement officer’s needs.  Please contact Paulette McFadden at [email protected] for details.


TARP Agenda

TARP Registration Form 


Upcoming TARP Courses:


Central Florida

Rescheduled to May 17-18, 2018

Waccasassa Forestry Center, 5353 NE 39th Avenue, Gainesville, FL


Northeast Florida

August 8-9, 2018

Ravine Gardens State Park, 1600 Twigg Street, Palatka, FL 


Southwest Florida

Sept. 20-21, 2018

Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Island Drive NE, St. Petersburg, FL


South Florida

Dec. 6-7, 2018

John D. MacArthur Beach State park, 10900 Jack Nicklaus Drive, North Palm Beach, FL 33408


 2018 TARP Courses