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Strategies and Tactics for Improving Street Interviews (3.75 Hours)

Course Number: CR-552
Course Length: 3 Days or 4 Separate Blocks

Classes are available on a limited basis.

The interviewing series consists of four 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 I: Strategies and Tactics for Improving Interviews covers the step-by-step approach to the field interview, as well as the formal interrogation. The terms “strategy” and “tactics" are differentiated, and the styles of strategy discussed. The four phases of a formal interview are described and the very important differences between “interview” and “interrogation” lead into the value of separating “interview” techniques from “interrogation” techniques. The workshop discusses the overall preparation and tactics of conducting a successful interview, including pre-interview assessment, proper attire, avoiding the “traditional” law enforcement interview approach, building rapport, note-taking and terminating an interview. Contents include preplanning of the interview, selecting an appropriate strategic style, adjusting tactics as the interview progresses, tactical phases of an interview, negativity management, assisting victims and witnesses to remember and articulate details from memory, and elements of oral and written statements. Exercises include enhancing memory and memory recall, and the analysis of transcripts of actual law enforcement interviews.