As seasoned officers well know, early career judgments often leave profound and long-lasting impact on others which affect an officer’s entire career. A comprehensive scientifically based interview and interrogation recruit training program plants confidence and measured discipline first-year officers need to ensure a fitting transition into conservation police work. In my recruit classes, cadets learn to cultivate and sustain a more serene disciplined delivery rather than relying on an initial government approach. This thinking is woven into the course’s fabric through candid discussions about approaching people with an “A” game warden mindset versus “The” game warden attitude.
Major Course Topics:
The Effects of Police Bias and its Influences on Others • Tactical Use of Implicit Communication • Self-Monitoring Truth and Deception Research and Practical Application • Abstract Interviewing • The Psychology of Persuasion
This course has been presented to: Alberta Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Division, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, Illinois Conservation Police, Iowa Department of Conservation, Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Department, Maryland Natural Resources Police, Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, Pennsylvania Game Commission, South Dakota Fish & Game Commission, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Refuge Law Enforcement, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Practical Truth & Lie Detection Training
Courses four days or longer allow recruits the opportunity to put their truth and lie detection skills to practical use. Outside volunteers appear in the classroom where stories are told that are completely true or made up. At the conclusion of each simulation the class is told the answer which is where the real learning takes place.
Class members are allowed to ask questions then break into groups to assess the person. Many times other group members have seen or heard something different which often changes minds. This practical application prong of the course is very popular and the recruits really get into it when the answer is revealed. Some recruits are “punished” when they falsely accuse a storyteller of lying. It’s all in fun but in the real world telling someone they are a liar when they are not is a big deal, especially when the government is the one falsely accusing.
The interrogation itself can be quite intimidating to a young inexperienced officer. Classes that are four days or longer gives us the classroom time to actually practice how to interrogate suspects involved in various crimes.
For example, this Pennsylvania cadet has been given a typical fishing crime, the overbag. The suspect has taken 44 bass over his limit but states the cooler he was sitting on containing the fish was not his. One of the major reasons an interrogation fails is because the interrogator runs out of things to say so this is what we concentrate on, learning how to talk and talk and talk. The additional fourth day also allows more time to review video and audio taped interrogations conducted by conservation officers from around the country.