This Two-Day curriculum builds on techniques learned during the Initial Course allowing the game warden an opportunity to refine individual interrogation abilities through classroom interrogation scenarios. Officers are given actual cases to practice on or may supply their own. All participants receive an on-going evaluation from the instructor and other course participants. The content is reinforced with candid discussions regarding involuntary statements, round-table discussions and analyzing interrogation audio and video tapes. The limited class size of 13 allows all participants to actively engage in the simulations. This is an advanced rigorous course for highly motivated officers.
At the beginning of the class we will have a candid round-table discussion on the topics of involuntary statements, coercion, Miranda, past cases the officers have been involved with and their field observations since completing the Initial Course. This is an important prong of the course often taking up to three hours. Officers also participate in simulations assuming role of interrogator and simulations assuming role of violator. Playing the part of violator helps tremendously in understanding the pressures a real violator may be subjected to and also gives the officer just a touch of what the wrongfully accused person may be feeling as well.
Research shows that a central reason an interrogator does not secure a confession comes down to a simple but little known reality; the interrogator runs out of things to say. And when this happens one of two choices typically materialize. The suspect is allowed to leave without confessing, or at this critical time, the officer has no practical supervised training to mentally fall back on and thus the interrogation dialog often deteriorates to tactics that may be successfully attacked by the defense attorney. The inability to spontaneously improvise when the interrogation gets tough is called the lack of “interrogation stamina.” We do not want any officer to inadvertently back themselves into such a perceived corner left seemingly with only these two options. This course instills in each officer the threshold for ending any interrogation is through confession or when the suspect invokes Miranda.
Soliciting an involuntary confession is never acceptable yet the reality is very few officers have experienced the supervised one-on-one classroom interrogation training needed to create procedural memory which is essential in producing long-term interrogation fortitude. Redundancy has always been highly correlated with retention whether created in participatory or observer roles. So, by concentrating on the one topic of “interrogation stamina” in differing ways throughout the course, procedural memory is created which is then stored in long-term memory. This type of recall is linked to individual skill and habit formation making future tasks reasonably programmed and reflexive. Procedural memory has a strong tendency to pre-determine how we will respond to or overtly act in a given situation; and in the situation of a difficult interrogation, how to keep going never running out of things to say. When the interrogator hits the wall, this memory is what we want the officer to access; their training, the memory of how to endure.