Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries 2014

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Officer Wayne Billhimer tells us that K9 “Justice” is trained to track suspects, perform area searches for items with human scent… guns, cell phones, bowels, keys, clothing etc. “Anything you touch and hide he’ll hit on,” says Wayne. Justice is also trained to find hidden deer, turkey, trout and bear. And his most memorable trait is every time you say “bad guy” he barks. Justice is smart too, when you ask him the limit of trout he’ll bark 6 times. To date Justice and I have tracked over 267 bad guys from murders, bank robbers to missing children. We have helped find over 67 hidden guns, usually felons hiding them to avoid being arrested. His best case was locating a 12 year old missing girl after 10 hours of tracking. He’s my best bud! Justice roamed the classroom for three days and it was a pleasure.

 

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Trying to figure out if someone is lying is hard enough on the street. It can be even more difficult from just a videotape. Here the officers watch and listen closely as the person describes a trip she went on. Intense group discussions follow where each express his or her opinion. Many groups elect a “jury foreperson” where they try to convince the entire class to their opinion.

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The foreperson leads the class in an open discussion about the “did she take the trip” simulation.

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It looks like the class is nearly 100% convinced the person was….? And they were correct. Nice job everyone.

Aside

Maryland DNR Police Four-Day Recruit Course 2013

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Sometimes it is very difficult to suppress inner emotions.

A full day is devoted to practical truth and lie detection for conservation officer recruits.  A practical application of determining truthfulness is the best way to practice.

A full day is devoted to practical truth and lie detection for conservation officer recruits. A practical application of determining truthfulness is the best way to practice.

As the class discusses the lie detection simulation, Recruit Morgan Phelps shows an outward sign of extreme confidence in his decision.

As the class discusses the lie detection simulation, Recruit Morgan Phelps shows an outward sign of extreme confidence in his decision.

The evaluation gesture is seen throughout the class as the recruits actively try to determine if the speaker is truthful.  During a real interview, it may not be a good thing to show the person you are skeptical.

The evaluation gesture is seen throughout the class as the recruits actively try to determine if the speaker is truthful. During a real interview, it may not be a good thing to show the person you are skeptical.

 

Wisconsin Conservation Warden Recruit / State Patrol Class 2013

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The 2013 Conservation Warden Recruit class invited the State Patrol to attend their four-day class. Interaction between the two agencies proved to be very beneficial as each agency learned much about the other’s job description.
In this photo, the class attempts to decipher a volunteer’s story.

Reproduced with permission from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Federal Wildlife Officer Basic Training 2013

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Federal Wildlife Officers talk about in the importance of understanding the interrogation process with their instructor during their basic training. This training takes place at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in West Virginia several times a year. There are about 260 full-time Federal Wildlife Officers nationwide.

Illinois DNR Conservation Police Four-Day Recruit Course 2012

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New recruits discuss an interrogation video of a deer poaching suspect. The Illinois Conservation Police graduated fourteen new officers in 2012 which was the first class to be comprised entirely of military veterans. The academy for Illinois wardens lasts twenty-four weeks.

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Yes! I knew you were telling the truth.

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Yes! I knew you were lying.

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Recruits benefit greatly from different perspectives. Here, guest instructor CPO Steve Vasicek talks about treating everyone with respect during the interview and interrogation process

South Dakota Practical Interrogation Course 2012

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Officer Hans Walleser stares intently at the “suspect” during his pheasant poaching simulation. Eye contact with the suspect is very important as it sends the message of confidence and determination. This particular aspect of persuasion is practiced over and over during the two-day training. Redundancy has always been highly correlated with retention whether created in participating or observer roles. By concentrating on one topic, interrogation stamina, in differing ways throughout the course, “procedural memory” is created. This type of recall is scientifically linked to individual skill and habit formation making future similar tasks reasonably automatic and reflexive. Procedural memory has a strong tendency to pre-determine how we respond, answer or retort in a given situation; in the case of a difficult interrogation, how to keep going. When the interrogator “hits the wall” this memory is what we want the officer to access; their training, the memory of how to endure.

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Following each simulation, the officer is given a candid critique from their peers and the instructor. These critiques are extremely important as each of us rarely know how we “really” appear while engaged in the process of interrogation.