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    Major Lesson Plan: Strip Searches

    Major Lesson Plan: Target Audience: Law Enforcement personnel who may be faced with the task of conducting a strip search during booking. Objective: Provide officers with essential knowledge with respect to some of the current issues surrounding strip search Format: Roll-call/ supervisory training. Time: Five to ten minutes, but this may be expanded where agency resources allow. Materials: Law Enforcement Risk ...
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    Types of Polygraph Used in Sex Offender Testing

    The polygraph community, in conjunction with therapists and probation/parole officers, has identified the following types of tests to deal with areas of concern: 1) Instant Offense Disclosure - Specific issue dealing with denial. Sex offenders frequently deny or minimize their behavior both about the index offense and past behaviors. According to Trepper & Barrett (1989) there are four types of denial ...
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    2005 Use Caution When Expressing The Urgency For A Suspect To Confess

    It is human nature to put off unpleasant decisions. Being in my 50's, I know that I need to eventually get long-term care insurance. Even though I fully intend to do this, I can come up with all sorts of reasons why I do not have to do it today. Many guilty suspects experience the same thought process during an interrogation. ...
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    Visual Documentation in Crime Scene Investigations

    Visual Documentation in Crime Scene Investigations
    Upon arrival at a major crime scene, officers must have the ability to effectively multi-task utilizing what often amounts to be very limited resources. Supervising officers and investigators must work diligently and take steps in order to preserve the integrity of any evidence and the scene as a whole in order to facilitate an effective investigation as well as effective prosecution. ...
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    A Review of Legal Issues Concerning Trickery and Deceit During an Interrogation

    A number of recent cases involving an investigator’s use of trickery and deceit during an interrogation have caused problems in the subsequent trial. In some of these cases the confession was suppressed. These cases have not involved a novel legal argument or radical interpretations of current law. Rather, existing laws have been applied in a predictable manner in situations in which ...
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    Eliciting A Subject’s Willingness to Submit to a Voluntary Interview

    In most instances, subjects will agree to answer an investigator’s questions if the conversation occurs at the subject’s home, place of business or over the phone. From an investigative perspective, however, it is far more productive to have the subject agree to come to the investigator’s office for the interview. Once the investigator is alone with the subject in a controlled ...
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    Evaluating a Subject's Posture During an Interview

    The foundation of a subject's nonverbal communication is his posture. How a person's body is positioned in a chair often dictates arm and leg movements and, in some cases, even eye contact. Three inferences can be drawn from a subject's posture: the person's level of interest, their emotional involvement and their level of confidence. **A SUBJECT'S POSTURE REFLECTS INTERNAL THOUGHTS** +Dynamic ...
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    Evaluating Inconsistencies Within an Account

    It is a common trial strategy for an attorney to attack inconsistencies within testimony offered by a victim, witness, or an investigator. And yet most victims, witnesses and investigators tell the truth when testifying. On the other hand, consider a suspect who told an arresting officer that a friend drove him home on the night of a crime. Several hours later ...
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    Evaluating Omissions within a Suspect's Statement

    An earlier web tip discussed the evaluation of inconsistencies within a suspect's statements. Inconsistencies represent factual changes in an account whereas omissions represent expected information not included within a response. It must be realized that both truthful and deceptive subjects will edit (omit) information from an account. Consequently, it is not the presence of an omission that necessarily indicates deception, but ...
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    Issues to Consider Regarding Possible Suicidal Suspects

    It was about 4:00 in the afternoon when one of our regular clients called and requested an "emergency" polygraph examination for a 19-year-old female employee they suspected was stealing jewelry from a kiosk in their store. In pursuing the urgent nature for the polygraph examination, it was learned that the suspected employee had been unsuccessfully "mildly" interrogated over the last two ...
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    Laughter and the Detection of Deception

    Recently my wife and I attended her high school reunion. While such reunions are marketed as a great time and an opportunity to get re-acquainted, in truth they are very anxiety provoking. The reunion forces classmates to reveal occupational and marital failures, the success or disappointments of raising a family, health problems and the undeniable effects of aging. As my wife ...
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    Legal Considerations When Asking an Alternative Question

    An investigator is asking a great deal from a guilty suspect to confess to a crime which may potentially involve substantial punishment. For this reason, the suspect must be allowed to make his first admission of guilt with as few words as possible and also in a way that allows him to save face. In the Reid Nine Steps of Interrogation, ...
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    Selecting the Proper Issue in a Child Physical Abuse Investigation

    The nature of most crimes involve a central criminal behavior such as stealing money, starting a fire, selling drugs or having sexual contact with another person. Under these circumstances, the focus of the interview will specifically address the criminal behavior, e.g., "Did you steal that $2000?", "Did you start the warehouse fire?" However, when investigating physical abuse to a child, the ...
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    Testifying on a Suspect's Behavior Symptoms

    Recently, the Washington Supreme Court reversed a rape conviction partially because the trial court admitted an investigator’s testimony that the defendant’s verbal and nonverbal behavior symptoms were indicative of guilt. While there were other grounds for overturning the lower court’s conviction, relevant to this article is the finding that the investigator’s testimony constituted a manifest constitutional error that was not harmless. ...
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    The Computerized Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA)

    Throughout history man has tried to identify a single, unique physiological responses that would only be present when a person lied. In the 1970's a phenomenon known as a vocal micro tremor was identified and seemed to be only present in a person's voice during periods of high stress. Before any serious research could be conducted, entrepreneurs seized the opportunity to ...
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    The Use of Evidence During an Interrogation Part I

    **Types of Evidence** Evidence represents information used to help establish a fact. It may be inculpatory (supporting guilt) or exculpatory (supporting innocence). There are four broad categories of criminal evidence, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Circumstantial evidence involves such things as the suspect’s opportunity to commit a crime (alibi), his access to commit a crime (special means or knowledge) ...
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    The Use of Evidence During an Interrogation: Part II

    In the earlier web tip a fundamental principle of interrogation was presented: A guilty suspect may be persuaded to tell the truth if he is convinced that the investigator is absolutely convinced of his guilt. In some cases the suspect’s guilt is, in fact, almost certain because of actual evidence collected against the suspect. Under this circumstance, most suspects readily confess. ...
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    The Use of Follow-Up Questions During an Interview

    The primary goal of an interview is to develop meaningful information from a subject. The first step in this process is to ask the right questions. However, merely asking the right questions will not guarantee that a subject will tell the truth. To learn the truth or to elicit behavior symptoms indicating probable deception it is often necessary to ask follow-up ...
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    Search and Seizure of Real Property

    Search and Seizure of Real Property
    There are many legal issues for law enforcement officers to contend with in regards to Search and Seizure of persons and property. In order to effectively understand search and seizure law and procedure, it’s important to have a basic understanding of related history and case law. Fundamental issues to consider when dealing with Search and Seizure include probable cause, search warrant ...
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    Investigator's Use of the Polygraph

    Increasing population growth, crime rates and new resistance to expansion of community services have all contributed to increased case loads for law enforcement. The polygraph, when properly used as an investigative tool to eliminate the wrongfully accused and identify the guilty, can provide the investigator with a more efficient and productive use of his case time. Unfortunately, misunderstanding and misuse as ...
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