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​Body Language (7.5 Hours)

Course Number: CR-554
Course Length: 3 Days or 4 Separate Blocks

Classes are available on a limited basis.

The interviewing series consists of three complete days of instruction in the art and science of gathering accurate and more complete information from persons by means of oral interviews and assessing non-verbal communication. This involves oral interaction, interpretation of non-verbal behaviors, and assessment of deception. This process is discussed from the standpoint of various interviewing situations including mere encounters, traffic stops, vehicle collision investigations, interviews of victims and witnesses, interventional interviews, and interrogations of criminal suspects. Beginning with Interviewing I, and progressing through Interviewing IV, the participant explores the alternatives available for obtaining information from those who wish to furnish assistance, as well as those who attempt to conceal information. Each successive workshop builds on the preceding one, but is complete by itself. Through the use of videos, demonstrations, and classroom exercises, participants learn how to prepare for interviews, assess subjects, and conduct routine and formal interviews. Participants review and assess actual interviews and critique them for proper application of strategy and tactics. Interviewing methods introduced are discussed within the range of routine interviews to the interrogation of a suspect in custody.

Interviewing III: Body Language in Vehicle Stops, Street Interviews, and Formal Interrogations is dedicated to the proposition that body language is a potential second language to be used by the trained interviewer. As such, it is two-way communication. This workshop focuses not only on the proper observation of a subject’s body movements and chosen spatial relationships, but also discusses the use of this modality by the interviewer to enhance the interview results. The workshop places the preplanning covered in the first session and the questioning techniques covered in the second session into perspective. By understanding the concepts and use of behavior symptom analysis, participants learn to recognize leakage, incongruence and deceptive behavior. This workshop focuses on decoding posture, breathing gestures, eye movement and spatial relationships, as well as physical signs of stress as both tools to gain additional information and methods to assess the truthfulness of that information. Contents include the assessment of body language to determine an appropriate interview strategy; the role of fear and other emotions in body movement; baseline, context, congruence, timing and consistency of observed movements, and reading non-verbal communication in clusters. The officer also can use his/her own body language to control denials and obtain useful information. The workshop details observations possible of a subject from head to toe, with extended sections on facial movements, eye movements indicative of deception, and clues to the carrying of a concealed weapon. The officer safety section demonstrates by means of videos the deterioration of a law enforcement encounter, and how the ability to accurately assess body language indicative of either a threat or of deception is a major law enforcement safety tool. Demonstrations and videos are used to illustrate how situational awareness and officer safety may be improved by being able to better assess body language.