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 mentally challenged
The high performer might also suggest other special populations to consider, if any.
To: Chief of Police
Subject: Police Order on Ethical Interrogation Techniques
The order addresses the issues involving detectives' interrogation techniques in the police department. Moreover, it will enhance the media's understanding of the ethical operating procedures in the interrogation process. We would like to inform the media how the detectives conduct interrogations and interviews. We would explore the Miranda warnings, how the detectives take notes, use video and audio equipment, develop plans and acquire knowledge of the incidents and suspects.
The Miranda warning is the information that detectives or officers avail to suspects. It highlights how the suspect has the right to remain silent, and anything they communicate can be used in a court of law (Dixon 430). Also, suspects are asked to seek the services of a lawyer in the interrogation process. If one cannot afford the services of a lawyer, he is given one to represent him or her at the time of interviewing. Therefore. Detectives or law officers need to read Miranda warnings to suspects because they have a right to it.
Also, note-taking is crucial in acquiring the main aspects of the suspect's behavior during a response. Notes that entail a suspect's responses should not be recorded because only answers are accompanied by crucial behavior symptoms (Karppi 2). In addition, future interview references should highlight the suspect's non-verbal and verbal responses, especially the cases that entail multiple suspects.
Furthermore, video and audio equipment are essential in the interrogation process because it enables detectives to record evidence presented by suspects, effectively used in testimonies and court cases (Luke 266). However, the recording must be accompanied by the Miranda warning, express accuracy, and display intact voices and unaltered information. Also, oral responses are not acceptable in court unless an electronic recording is developed, and the audio or videotape should be kept until the adjudication of a case.
Nevertheless, detectives develop plans to help them in the interrogation process (Dixon 432). Before an interview or interrogation occurs, the detective should create an interrogation plan to effectively look at the suspect's profile, previous interrogations, criminal records and realize the offense aspects required or approved according to law.
Ultimately, detectives should have first-hand information on the suspect and relevant incidents before interrogation commences. This will enhance effective questioning and responses depending on elements highlighted from an offense or crime. The detectives have an ethical obligation to know the suspects and the relevant incidents they are involved with from previous records.
During the interviews, there is a likelihood that the officers will interact with people of special disabilities, the old and even children. Therefore, when interviewing special populations, they should remember that they are not always aware of their surroundings and thus may be more susceptible to coercion. To avoid coercive techniques, officers must be respectful, patient and understanding. Additionally, officers must use proper oral communication skills when obtaining statements from special populations. Such skills include active listening asking questions.
There are some special training and conditions that the police unit is supposed to consider in interviews. The police department interviewers should receive training in the following areas:
Interviewing skills and techniques include asking open-ended questions, clarifying responses, and summarizing.
- Verbal and nonverbal communication.
- Legal issues surrounding custodial and noncustodial interrogations.
- Ethical issues surrounding custodial and noncustodial interrogations.
The interviewers should also consider their demeanor when interviewing suspects. They should remain calm and professional at all times during the interview. They should remember that they are under observation by the suspect; therefore, they should keep their composure even if they become angry or frustrated with the suspect’s answers during the interview process.
Moreover, some special themes would be essential when dealing with some populations like children, the elderly, and the mentally challenged. First, they should ensure that the elderly and children are well prepared for questioning. For example, ask short questions and give time for a response before asking another question. For the children, it would be noble to explain to the child what is happening, why it is happening, and what will happen after the interview (Dixon, 435). Lastly, it is also significant to be patient with mentally challenged individuals as they may take longer to respond to questions than others.
Dixon, David. "Questioning suspects: A comparative perspective." Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 26.4 (2010): 426-440. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1043986210377107
Karppi, Tero. "The computer said so": On the ethics, effectiveness, and cultural techniques of predictive policing." Social media+ society 4.2 (2018): 2056305118768296. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2056305118768296
Luke, Timothy J., and Fabiana Alceste. "The mechanisms of minimization: How interrogation tactics suggest lenient sentencing through pragmatic implication." Law and Human Behavior 44.4 (2020): 266. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2020-45076-001
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