For the Phase 4 IP, you wrote a proposal of 1,000–1,250 words of a general order for the chief of police on interview and interrogation strategies. By now, you should have received feedback from your instructor about the general order that you put together for Phase 4. For this task, you will revisit the general order from the Phase 4 IP, and do the following:
- First, make any edits necessary based on the feedback from your instructor.
- Amend the general order to include caution, techniques, and skills authorized for use in obtaining statements from special populations (e.g., children, elderly, and the mentally challenged).
- What special training, demeanor, and other conditions should be considered by the police department interviewers?
- Do not forget about proposing possible themes on how to approach certain populations when seeking their information.
- Read the literature, and do some scholarly research to develop your addendum to the earlier general order.
Your assignment should be submitted as a memorandum from the chief of police to the entire department as a supplement to the original general order. Your memorandum should include sections for the following special populations (at a minimum):
- The elderly
- The mentally challenged
The high performer might also suggest other special populations to consider, if any.
Opportunities for improvement: A main gist of this U4IP was to prepare a comprehensive General Order format, which you fully neglected to do. As I indicated in my March 11 classroom Announcement pertaining to Live Chat Session 8; you were required to prepare a General Order. Further, I had provided examples of General Orders under Course Resources in our classroom within Learning Materials for Unit 4 that you were at liberty to employ in format. I also provided examples of two completed General Orders by former students within Learning Materials for Unit 5. Where is the G.O. full cover page with title, number designation, date of issue, effective date, issued by chief of police, and index? Instead, you simply submitted a standard narrative. You most certainly did not follow stipulated directions.
A General Order is a clear and precisely written directive from the Chief of Police to department personnel. It states department policy and procedures; in this instance, conducting interrogations at the detective bureau. It concisely states procedures regarding the 5 ‘bullet’ items indicated for this assignment.
For Waiver of constitutional rights, you should state that it must be shown that a suspect did so voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently. Those three words were pronounced by the U.S. Supreme Court. What if a suspect refuses to sign a written statement of admission, confession, or denial of having committed a crime? What is department procedure then? (If a suspect agrees to waive their Miranda rights but refuses to sign their statement, the detective then simply writes in the signature space, “Refused to Sign” having another detective witness so doing). That statement can still be admitted at trial.
Regarding audio/video recording; keep in mind that a suspect has no legal right to refuse to be recorded during an interrogation, in contrast to a victim and witness who do have a legal right to refuse. What is procedure for retention of recordings as evidence, and for later retrieval should the suspect go to trial? (Maintaining chain of evidence is vital; where are recordings stored as evidence? Recordings are most often placed in the department’s evidence/property room, or digitally on a designated computer). Incidentally, most police departments audio/video felony crime suspects but just audio record misdemeanor suspects.
Regarding Note-taking; what is procedure for retention of a detective’s notes? (Original notes are most often placed in the investigation case file).
You should include that officers should allow enough time for the interview or interrogation and avoid being rushed, but they are not to exceed 6 hours in continuous questioning. To do so risks a defense attorney claiming violation of 8th Amendment – no cruel and unusual punishment. Also, include in your G.O. that officers are required to make an effort to understand provisions pertaining to legality in performing interviews / interrogations as enumerated in state law, state constitution, and U.S. constitution (4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendment provisions). I mentioned such provisions in a live chat session.
A General Order usually concludes with:
By Order Of,
Chief of Police
There are a few minor errors in text. For example, on page 2 at top: “Interrogations and interview [interviews] are essential…..” Bottom paragraph: “….kind of environment that a crime [criminal] is interview in….. in the areas where the interrogation take [takes] place.” On page 3, second paragraph: “….conducting the investigations [investigation] is expected to disclose….” On page 5, second paragraph: “….these rights to a suspect y [by] stating that the criminal is allowed to remain silent and request for (omit “for”) an attorney before….” Lastly, in-text reference citations should be indicated (Gordon & Fleisher, 2011) instead of “(Gordon and Fleisher, 2011)”. And (Goldstein & Goldstein, 2010). Etc. for others.
Additional comments: Essentially you did not abide by the directions for this assignment in that you need to regroup and prepare a General Order format as stipulated. Please accept the challenge and indicate changes in your finalized U5IP by employing Colored Print as much as possible (except for the cover page) so I can readily notice them. The newly added topic questions posed in the U5IP portion should be printed in the standard black print.
WEEK 4 IP (LAST WEEK)
Interrogations and interview are essential within the police department. For years, these two approaches have been used in the office to obtain information about a case. When criminals are caught in the wrong by officers of the law, they are taken for questioning to determine the reason for their participation in a crime. During questioning officers utilize the interrogation and interview techniques to gather enough data to be used as evidence in a court of law to convict a criminal. These approaches follow some strategies in collecting information on a case from crime suspects. This paper outlines the strategies used in interrogation and interviews as conducting within the police department.
Law officers are expected to respect the rights of individuals regardless of them being involved in a crime. As these officers try to protect the rights of people, they have to create a suitable environment for the suspects to acquire information needed regarding a case under investigation. The first strategy that the police department follows is that of establishing a welcoming environment for the crime suspects. This surrounding will help the officers establish a rapport with the suspect and in turn collect enough information about a crime (Inbau, 2013).
Successful interrogations tend to depend on the kind of environment that a crime is interviewed in. When criminals feel uncomfortable, and as though they are not appreciated then they hide some of the sensitive data about a case. Officers thus have to guarantee the suspects privacy and a welcoming surrounding in the areas where the interrogation take place. Moreover, the officers should also make sure that the area set for examination is free from any distraction such as noise and presence of things like a window, telephone and clocks among others. This environment not only allows a suspect to feel comfortable it also gives the office an opportunity to identify the verbal and nonverbal responses from the individual under interrogation. Therefore, the presence of a suitable and comfortable environment reduces the chances of having inadequate investigations.
Secondly, the majority of the criminals find it hard to give their confessions about a crime to an officer. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the officer to consider communicating the Miranda rights to a suspect before interrogations (Gordon and Fleisher, 2011). The officer in charge of conducting the investigations is expected to disclose the rights of a suspect such as rights to remain silent during the interview until they have a lawyer. After being made aware of these rights, a defendant may decide to invoke them and avoid answering any questions from an interrogator.
Additionally, it is crucial for the officers to understand the facts of a crime before carrying on with the interrogations. Knowledge regarding a case is relevant to any investigation as it acts as a persuasion tool used by officers to acquire enough information from a suspect. The officers tend to use the available knowledge about a case to explain it to suspects. This allows the suspects to open up and give reasons as to why they are connected to a case or crime. A suspect is likely to explain in details the happenings of a crime once they realize that the officers already have an insight into what happened. Therefore, finding facts about a case before the examination help to reduce the risk of losing credibility.
Also, it is important for officers in charge of interrogations to have knowledge of the suspects or subject. The information about a suspect that is crucial for interrogations include attitudes about an individual, feeling, personal values, strengths, and weaknesses. Moreover, it is also critical to learn about what is important to the suspects such as their family, job and fear among others (Maguire and Okada, 2011). These factors are used by officers to their advantage to obtain information on a case. The officers use this information on the subjects to persuade them to deliver a confession about a crime.
Interrogations in law enforcement are used as proof of what is confessed by a suspect in the offense. Moreover, these interviews help to collect adequate evidence about a case that can be presented to a court of law. However, the evidence is kept in the form of writing, video tapes or audio recordings (Lord and Cowan, 2011). In the case that these factors are absent then the entire interrogation may fail. The investigators thus have to document every detail both spoken and observed in the examination.
Lastly, before conducting investigations or interviews in the police department, officers should have a plan regarding how the investigation process will be implemented (Inbau, 2014). The investigators should have a set plan that describes whether they are conducting an interrogation or an interview. Secondly, the plan should comprise of the strategies to be followed during the entire process. Moreover, the plan should consist of themes or arguments designed to be used during the interrogation or interview. In addition, the method of the document is determined during planning to avoid disruptions of finding a documenting method in the process of investigation. Therefore, officers should devise a plan that will direct them throughout the inquiry process to ensure that suspects deliver valid information about a crime.
Examinations are conducted by law enforcement to obtain details about a case. Both interviews and interrogations are utilized as the means of acquiring information that helps to understand crime. These approaches are similar as they employ the same strategies to gather information on crime. However, they have legal responsibilities towards the suspect especially since officers are expected to respect and protect the right of every citizen. The majority of the people believe that officers who conduct interrogations are aggressive. However, these agents tend to follow the rules and policies to avoid losing credibility of their jobs.
One of the legal considerations that officers in charge of investigations have to consider is the Miranda right. Before any integration or interview, a suspect is made aware of his rights which he or she can decide to waive or invoke during interviews. It is the responsibility of the officer first to communicate these rights to a suspect y stating that the criminal is allowed to remain silent and request for an attorney before answering any questions (Goldstein and Goldstein, 2010). Further, the officer also states that the suspect can go ahead and ignore the rights but whatever is spoken during interrogation can be used against the suspect in a court of law. The Miranda rights seek to protect individual rights, especially during the justice procedure. Therefore, the officers are expected to respect this right to ensure that suspects receive fair treatment during the interrogation and justice process.
Interrogations can fail in law enforcement for various reasons. One is that the interrogator may fail to follow the strategies designed to be utilized during investigations. Secondly, in the case where the investigator fails to respect the Miranda rights of the suspect, then it could lead to a failure of the interrogation process. As such, legal considerations and strategies used in questioning suspects are essential in establishing successful investigations.
Goldstein, A. M., & Goldstein, N. E. S. (2010). Evaluating capacity to waive Miranda rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gordon, N. J., & Fleisher, W. L. (2011). Effective interviewing and interrogation techniques. Burlington, MA: Academic Press.
Inbau, F. E. (2013). Criminal interrogation and confessions. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Inbau, F. E. (2014). Essentials of the Reid technique: Criminal interrogation and confessions.
Lord, V. B., & Cowan, A. D. (2011). Interviewing in criminal justice: Victims, witnesses, clients, and suspects. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Maguire, M., & Okada, D. (2011). Critical issues in crime and justice: Thought, policy, and practice. Los Angeles: SAGE.