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    The Law of Citizen Contacts and Stop and Frisk

    Corrupt police officers, politicians, and government employees sometimes engage in corrupt activities, which generate large amounts of cash. The challenge for law enforcement authorities investigating this type of crime is to be able to prove the corrupt individual has a net worth that exceeds their legitimate explainable income. This can often be accomplished by a forensic audit of the target’s assets, ...
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    Illegal Arrest and It’s Effects on Confession

    On May 5th 2003 the United States Supreme Court issued a decision regarding how an illegal arrest will impact a subsequent confession. The facts in Kaupp revolved around the disappearance of a 14 year old girl. During the investigation, detectives leaned that this young girl had a sexual relationship with her 19 year old half brother. Detectives questioned the half-brother as ...
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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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    Distinguishing Between Admissions and Confessions

    An admission represents a statement that tends toward proving guilt. On the other hand, a confession is a fully corroborated statement during which the suspect accepts personal responsibility for committing a crime. This distinction is important for legal and procedural reasons. For example, a theft suspect who agrees to reimburse the victim for the $1000 stolen has offered an admission, not ...
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    Do You Invite People to Lie to You?

    No one wants people to lie to them. Yet, I have encountered numerous parents, teachers and investigators who regularly invite deceptive answers from people they question. I am certain they do not do this intentionally. Rather, these individuals have little understanding of the psychology of deception. This web tip is written for individuals who are not dealing with rapists and murderers ...
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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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    Interviewing Elderly Subjects

    Interviewing techniques presented in textbooks or during seminars generally assume that the person being interviewed is an emotionally healthy and mature individual with a normal IQ. Twenty-five years ago, when the epidemic of unreported child sexual abuse attracted national attention, specific interviewing techniques were developed to address the special circumstances of eliciting information from a child. Contemporary investigators are now dealing ...
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    Investigating Possible Fabricated Claims

    A recent case involving a University of Wisconsin student who falsely claimed that she was abducted highlights some important characteristics of these investigations. This particular case quickly achieved national attention and was followed on a daily basis by morning talk shows. The reason for this attention was probably because the media were able to build suspense by showing surveillance video of ...
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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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    Screening New Employees: Part II

    The importance of a face to face interview with a job applicant to evaluate their recent past behavior was emphasized in the last web tip. One reason employers are reluctant to ask probing questions during a preemployment interview is the fear of a subsequent law suit. This discussion will focus on legal aspects of preemployment screening and cost-effective strategies in making ...
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    Selecting The Proper Alternative Question

    The Reid Technique of interrogation relies on two important underlying psychological principles. The first is that it is much easier for a person to tell the truth if that person is allowed to couple his admission with some moral justification. Consequently, we teach that an investigator should suggest possible moral justifications which allow the suspect to save-face when telling the truth. ...
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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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    The Significance of Specific Denials During Interviews and Interrogations

    Recently, I reviewed a videotaped interview of an 17-year-old suspect who was being questioned about starting a fire that burned down his parent’s home. During the interview the investigator asked the punishment question: "What do you think should happen to the person who started the fire inside your home?" The suspect’s response was, "A person who starts a house on fire ...
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    The Use of an Interpreter During an Interview

    A question that is frequently asked during our seminars concerns the proper use of an interpreter during an interview. This is particularly true when we train military personnel who regularly utilize translators in their effort to develop intelligence from a variety of sources. Our staff has successfully used interpreters both during interviews and interrogations. However, because interrogation is a more complex ...
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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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    Modus Operandi Vs. Offender Signature

    Many aspects of forensic psychology (behavior analysis) are used to identify suspect(s) of violent crime in modern police investigations. The two most basic aspects of measurable and identifiable criminal behavior in the field of forensic behavioral analysis are modus operandi (MO) and offender signature. In order to perform effective investigations of violent or serial crime, investigators should have a rudimentary understanding ...
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    An Investigator's First Step in Violent Offender Profiling

    An Investigator's First Step in Violent Offender Profiling
    Over the past few decades, the emergence of novels and movies such as “The Silence of the Lambs” has created the image in the public’s eyes of profilers being superhuman men and women capable of ungodly leaps of almost psychic intuition which lead to the magical capture of the villain. While (unfortunately) no such person exists, the science of criminal offender ...
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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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