someone who provides information in confidence about a crime, either from a sense of civic duty or in the expectation of some personal benefit or advantage, and whose identity is normally not disclosed until required by law.
act as if you are looking into a mirror, seeing the interviewee as a reflection of yourself.
are brief statements which indicate that the officer hears what the interviewee is saying and is inclined to hear more. Examples include "Okay," and "Go on," and "Then what?"
is a permanent, verbal, or written record of a person's account of an incident or occurrence that may or may not be made under oath or affirmation.
is a written document which gives information about an event, situation, occurrence, or incident.
is a group of words that contains a subject (a noun), a verb (action), and an object (affected or receives action) and that expresses a complete thought.
is a group of words that lacks a subject, verb, or object or fails to express a complete thought.
is defined as paragraphs containing specific details, pertinent information, and the elements of an incident.
is the technical vocabulary of a profession which has meaning specific to the people who work in the particular field or profession.
(writing in a normal continuous form, e.g., as used in this textbook) format, detailing a chronological sequence of events
consists of informal, nonstandard words often characterized by regional or specific group usage.
Written statements and recorded electronic evidence
will receive equal treatment to field notes as sources of information.
The __________ of an incident is a legal requirement regarding the statute of limitation and right to a speedy trial.
The motive for an incident
may be a mystery during the initial investigation and may never be discovered.
How do notes (taken during an interview) help?
complete the final investigative report
other officers to acclimate themselves to the case later on
officers remember facts
prepare for deposition or trial
How do field notes help when writing reports?
hold up as evidence in court (in some cases)
officers recall the events of the incident
document information for further or follow-up investigation
do case preparations
When taking field notes,
it is important to note unique physical attributes that might later help identify a person, such as scars, body piercing, or tattoos.
Notes help officers remember a person's exact statement; however, it's better to rely on memory alone.
The __________ of an incident is a legal requirement which provides jurisdiction and is generally one of the first pieces of information an officer will obtain.
When taking field notes,
any additional information about a person such as height, weight, type of clothing, hair color and length, and unique mannerisms or speech patterns should be included.
An officer should not
jump to conclusions about motive or intent based on the first or loudest witness.
An officer's interview field notes will contain facts about what?
evidence that might aid in future investigations
information gathered from investigators
__________: specifies how an incident occurred. This should include what was used to commit the offense.
These are the basic facts that field notes should include.
Where did the incident take place? When did the incident take place? Who was involved? What happened? How did it happen? Why did it happen? Actions taken by the officer-
_________ are normally the primary source documents that an officer will use when writing reports.
When taking notes,
it is important to include facts about the interviewee such as name, address, date of birth and other basic facts, because these questions help the interviewee get used to answering questions while the officer writes.
All interviews with children,
whether they are considered victims or suspects, should be documented.
commonly accepted abbreviation
date of birth /DOB
phone / ph
female / F
victim / V
afternoon or evening / p.m
turned over to / tot
Asian / A
hour / hr
year / yr
time of day/ tod
years of age / yoa
also known as/ aka
no middle initial/
witness / W
While interviewing a juvenile, what does the officer need to consider about the interviewee (to understand the nature of the interview)?
What should an interviewer do?
obtain all pertinent information relating to the incident
determine whether to administer Miranda warnings or an oath or affirmation
follow agency interview policies and procedures
compare collected information with other case information
The longer you delay writing down what you see or hear,
the greater the chances are that you will not accurately recall some of the information.
An officer's field notes
should contain information regarding the actions taken during the investigation.
Before asking the first question in an interview,
officers must take certain steps to ensure that the interview will be successful.
When writing a report, __________ information may result in the wrong person being arrested or in an acquittal of a guilty person.
A custodial meeting, where information is obtained from a person, is referred to as a(n) __________.
While interviewing a juvenile, the officer should
ensure that the person understands whether the interview is custodial or non-custodial.
if you are uncertain of the proper spelling of a witness's name (when writing a report),
ask the witness to spell it. If a witness is not sure of the spelling of another subject's information, write the word phonetically and try to find the correct spelling later.
What does the pre-interview process include?
where to interview
the order of interviews
determining whom to interview and when to interview them
what information to obtain
how to record the interviews
Writing notes while interviewing a witness may cause an officer to not hear some of the witness's statement. A good technique is to listen and ask the witness to pause so that you can write down the information. This __________ method will permit you to hear and record information accurately from witnesses.
In preparing for an interview, an officer should check what information for the interviewee?
name through FCIC/NCIC
if the individual is a wanted person
Identify the important people to interview regarding an incident.
An officer can handle a(n) __________ interviewee by establishing rapport, confirming the interviewee's observations and statements, asking direct questions, and not confusing or frustrating the interviewee.
An officer can handle a(n) __________ interviewee by establishing the purpose of the interview, being patient, and asking closed-ended questions to redirect the interviewee back to the subject of the interview.
While interviewing a juvenile, the officer should
document how the person consented to the interview.
During an interview, officers should avoid asking questions, such as, "And then she hit you with the bat, right?" This is an example of a(n) __________ question, which is framed to evoke a specific response from the interviewee.
An officer can handle a(n) __________ interviewee by considering the safety of all concerned, by giving Miranda warnings (when applicable), by not stereotyping, pre-judging, ridiculing, or bullying the interviewee, and by being honest and straightforward.
If the opportunity to speak with a witness at the scene is not available,
the officer should schedule a post-scene interview with the witness.
Officers can decide which people to interview at the scene of an incident
by asking people around the scene some general questions and seeking information from anyone who knows something about the incident.
How can an officer handle a hostile interviewee?
Maintain a neutral demeanor.
Establish control of the interview.
Try to reduce the interviewee's stress and anxiety.
Do not argue with the interviewee.
Ask direct questions.
Follow safety precautions, including checking for a weapon.
Generally, the people that should be interviewed belong to one or more of __________ categories.
When identifying potential interviewees, you
should determine the extent of each interviewee's knowledge about involvement in the incident.
The proper __________ to interview will depend on various factors, including the physical and emotional state or condition of the interviewee.
A(n) __________ is someone who reports a crime or alleges that a crime has been committed.
While interviewing a juvenile, the officer should note
whether the person understood the Miranda warning (when consenting to the interview) and what it means to waive one's rights.
An officer can handle interviewees __________ involved with the incident by listening carefully to the interviewee, being polite, patient, and understanding, and encouraging the interviewee to disclose information.
Answers to general, open-ended questions, such as-"Can you describe what happened?"-can help identify potential
An officer can handle a(n) __________ interviewee by establishing control of the interview and keeping his or her composure.
An officer can handle a(n) __________ interviewee by establishing rapport, stating the purpose of the interview, and speaking in a subdued tone of voice.
During an interview, the officer should ask questions aimed at establishing the _________.
elements of a crime
An officer can handle a __________ interviewee by evaluating whether the interviewee is physically and mentally able to participate in the interview. Also, the officer can build rapport, be aware of the interviewee's verbal and nonverbal cues, prompt the interviewee with primary and follow-up questions, and maintaining a relaxed and calm interview environment.
Interviews should be conducted __________ or shortly after a crime in order to obtain the most accurate and helpful information.
If a particular person is not interviewed, the officer.
must explain reasons for not doing so in a report
A(n) __________ is someone who provides information in confidence about a crime, either from a sense of civic duty or in the expectation of some personal benefit or advantage, and whose identity is normally not disclosed until required by law.
Examples of open-ended questions include-__________ : __________ did you call for help? __________ did the incident happen?
Examples of open-ended questions include-__________ : __________ did he throw the knife? __________ did the incident occur? An officer should use the answer provided to establish the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.
The __________ should ask evenly spaced, nonthreatening, open-ended questions about the crime. These questions usually require more than "yes" or "no" answers.
During the ___________ stage, the officer establishes rapport and builds understanding with the interviewee.
Prior to recording the interview,
the officer should ensure that all recording equipment functions properly.
The attitudes of potential witnesses
will help the officer decide the order in which to conduct the interviews.
do not encourage conversation and require the interviewees to think, reflect, and provide their opinions and feelings.
Examples of open-ended questions include-__________ : __________ happened? __________ did you see? __________ were the circumstances? __________ offense was committed?
Whatever interview location the officer chooses, it should be safe, out of the weather, and as __________ as much as possible from other witnesses, victims, and suspects.
Factors that influence the success of an interview include what?
having privacy, which helps build rapport and gains trust
the location of the interview
an atmosphere that will encourage honesty and forthrightness from the interviewee
isolating the interviewee, which prevents outside influences
a good physical and emotional comfort level
During the __________ stage, begin by explaining the purpose of the interview and describe why the information is important and how it will be collected and used.
Examples of open-ended questions include-__________ : __________ can I help you? __________ did the incident happen?
Examples of open-ended questions include-__________ : __________ did you realize something was happening? __________, in terms of date and time, did the incident occur?
Examples of open-ended questions include-__________ : __________ were you with? __________ was involved? __________ do you think did it? __________ is the victim?
Generally, the __________ or victim is the first person to be interviewed, but officer safety and scene security factors may dictate otherwise.
During the __________ stage, the officer should verify contact information from the interviewee in case additional questions come up in the future, and then summarize all information collected for the report.
__________ are brief statements which indicate that the officer hears what the interviewee is saying and is inclined to hear more. Examples include "Okay", and "Go on", and "Then what?"
When using the __________ technique, ask interviewees questions related to who, what, where, when, why, and how.
Once you understand an interviewee's normal behavior,
you should transition to asking questions related to the incident, continuing to observe any changes in the interviewee in correlation to specific questions asked.
For the __________ technique, ask the interviewee to think back to the original event, to recall the physical surroundings (time of day, workspace, etc.), as well as the emotional situation (rushed, bored, and so on).
When using the __________ technique, you repeat what the interviewee says but rephrase responses as questions and statements that help clarify information or elicit a more detailed response.
During the __________ stage, the officer obtains information about the incident from the interviewee.
__________ involves asking questions designed to reveal cognitive memory through the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.
When conducting an interview, begin by
engaging interviewees in friendly conversation and asking non-threatening questions to establish how the interviewee normally behaves and physiologically functions.
A(n) __________ is a permanent, verbal, or written record of a person's account of an incident or occurrence that may or may not be made under oath or affirmation.
During the primary interview stage, the officer will ask a variety of __________ questions designed to collect as much information as possible.
To evaluate the effectiveness of their interviewing skills,
officers can compare the results of an interview with the case paperwork and other completed interviews from the case.
While truthful interviewees may display behavioral or physiological indications of deception,
these indicators will likely appear to be consistent with questions related to the incident.
A(n) __________ statement is written or oral facts that are stated under oath or penalty of perjury.
The __________ stage concludes the interview, and the officer should express an appreciation to the interviewee for his or her time.
__________ may be taken from anyone-witnesses, suspects, and victims-who has information about any crime, incident, or occurrence.
If the who, what, when, where, why and how of the incident can be answered by the interview,
then most likely, the interview provided valuable results.
During the primary stage, __________ questions are used to get specific answers or help the interviewee refocus.
Determining if the information from the interview is suitable for submission to court
is a method an officer can use to evaluate his or her interviewing skills.
__________ is a technique in which the interviewer acts as if he or she is looking into the mirror, seeing the interviewee as a reflection of him- or herself.
During the primary stage, answers to __________ questions help an officer assess how the interviewee handled a similar situation in the past.
If an interviewee is unable to sign the statement,
the officer should write the reason the person was unable to sign the statement.
Individuals cannot be forced to provide statements;
however, they can be subpoenaed and be required to appear in court.
If a person gives a written statement but refuses to sign it, the officer should note"_________".
refused to sign
Information contained in witness statements can be used for what purposes?
may be admissible in court
file an affidavit
obtain a warrant
establish probable cause
complete a report
In some situations, an interviewee
may be injured, sick or incapacitated and unable to sign the statement.
Information contained in witness statements .
may be admissible in court and could help solve a crime or identify additional suspects or witnesses who have information about the crime, incident, or occurrence
A witnessing __________ should notarize the written statement (in a situation when the officer writes the interviewee's statement).
If an interviewee does not read or write, or for any other acceptable limitation,
the officer may write the statement for the interviewee.
When taking statements in languages other than English,
it is necessary to be familiar with agency policy regarding the use of translators.
When writing a statement, individuals should describe, to the best of their recollection, what was involved in the incident.
In a situation when you write the interviewee's statement,
the person providing the statement should read the oath printed on the statement form and sign his or her name to indicate that the information contained is correct and factual.
At the beginning and the end of a written statement (that the officer writes for the interviewee),
the officer annotes the phrase: "Dictated by __________ and written by Officer __________ ".
In an interviewee submits a written statement,
you must read it to ascertain completeness before the interviewee signs the document.
In a situation when the officer writes the interviewee's statement, the officer should read the written statement back to the interviewee, make any needed corrections, and ask the witness to date and sign the statement or __________ .
make a thumb mark
If possible, the officer can ask a witness
to sign the statement, if the interviewee is unable to sign it.
When asking an individual to provide a __________ , explain the reason(s) for the request and be clear about what information (who, what, when, where, why, and how of the incident) the individual should include.
In a situation when you write the interviewee's statement,
you ask questions or have the individual relay the information in his or her words while you write the statement down.
In a situation when you write the interviewee's statement, it is
not acceptable to paraphrase or summarize the statements that the interviewee provides.
An individual who cannot speak English can write a written statement in his or her own __________ .
Identify common proceedings in which a police report may be used
workers' compensation cases
probation and parole hearings
internal affairs investigations
appeals in criminal and civil cases
victim restitution hearings
drafting probable cause affidavits
A report reflects an officer's
competency and professionalism, not only in writing, but also in all aspects of police work.
A __________ is a written document which gives information about an event, situation, occurrence or incident.
After completing an interview,
the information collected should be documented in accordance with agency policies and procedures, including all necessary evidentiary form or log entries.
A well-written report is important, because
it aids the state attorney's office in prosecutions.
it reduces legal liability for both the officer and the agency.
At the end of the audio recording (for a witness's statement), the officer should say,
"This now concludes the statement of __________, regarding incident __________, case number __________. The time is now __________."
Audio recorded questioning .
begins the same way as verbal questioning, or the interviewees can be asked to narrate what happened in their own words
When administering an oath,
inform the interviewee of the need for a sworn, written statement and explain that such a statement must be made under oath.
Officers normally use the video recording method (for an interviewee's statement)
only in serious criminal cases.
If a witness makes an audio recording of his or her statement, what information does the officer need to state on the recording?
the case number
the type of crime
the day and date of the interview
the names of other people present
his or her name
administer oath or affirmation
the incident to be discussed
Florida law, as per Florida s. 117.10, F.S., provides law enforcement officers with the authority to administer oaths while __________ . However, this does not certify officers as notaries; to become a notary, they have to complete the normal appointment process.
performing their official duties
While administering an oath or affirmation, instruct the interviewee to raise his or her right hand and ask,
"Do you swear or affirm that the statement you are about to give is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge?"
Reports are generally categorized as: offense reports, probable cause affidavits, and __________.
supplemental or follow-up reports
When administering an oath, advise the interviewee that
it is perjury to give false information in a statement.
In report writing, __________ organization is especially useful when writing a narrative and allows you to easily explain what happened, when, and in what order.
When organizing a report, information may be grouped by __________, such as witnesses, victims, suspects, weapons used and crime elements.
A __________ is a group of words that contains a subject (a noun), a verb (action), and an object (affected or receives action) and that expresses a complete thought.
When writing a report, .
have another person proofread your report to help ensure that you use the correct words
What are common incidents that may require law enforcement written reports?
additional or supplemental information
use of force by an officer
miscellaneous noncriminal or suspicious incidents
probable cause affidavits
traffic crashes (under certain circumstances) as required by law
missing or endangered person
Organizing __________ means sorting information by date and time: from the first event to the last.
__________ involves the rules and guidelines that govern a language's usage and enable its users to have the same understandings of its sounds and symbols.
Even if the content of a report reflects a good investigation,
numerous mechanical errors will distract from the message and reflect poorly on the writer's competence and professionalism.
The __________ of a sentence conveys what or who is affected or receives the action of the __________.
Before writing the report, it is necessary
to review the field notes to make sure that all specific facts are available.
The spell check feature (on the computer) does not always
indicate whether the correct word has been used, only if the word has been misspelled.
A sentence __________ is a group of words that lacks a subject, verb, or object or fails to express a complete thought.
Identify the potential readers of a law enforcement incident report
suspects, defendants, or people convicted of crimes
defense and prosecuting attorneys
city, county, or state officials
victims of their families
When writing reports, a(n) __________ is used to show possession or to create a contraction.
Select the correct sentence that demonstrates the use of a comma to separate nonrestrictive (unimportant) phrases in a sentence.
"The fingerprints, which I found on the window, belong to the victim."
If two complete sentences are not joined by a coordinating conjunction, use __________ to separate them.
a semicolon or period
Select the correct sentence that demonstrates the use of a comma to introduce a quote.
"When I arrested her, she said, "I'm going to burn his house down when I get out."
Select the correct sentence that demonstrates the use of a comma between two or more adjectives when the adjective before the noun changes what the noun is.
"He threw the white toaster oven at me."
select the correct sentence that demonstrates using a comma when writing dates and addresses.
"The first robbery occurred on January 12, 2008, at 345 Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida."
Select the INCORRECT sentence that results in improper punctuation.
"I met with the victim, she gave me a statement."
Select the correct sentence that demonstrates the comma rule to separate items in a series of three or more items.
"The victim said his digital camera, television, DVD player, radio, and computer were stolen."
Select the correct sentence that demonstrates the use of a comma after an introductory clause.
"When the alarm sounded, the burglar ran from the store."
Select the correct sentence below (that demonstrates the comma rule) for using a comma to separate two complete sentences joined by a coordinating conjunction.
"I met with the victim, and she gave me a statement."
__________ are words that are easily confused in use and spelling. They sound the same but have different spellings and meanings.
Select the correct sentence that demonstrates the use of a comma between two or more adjectives when they separately describe the same noun.
"The inmate used a small, metal object to cut his own arm."
A probable cause affidavit must
contain a narrative of the offense, sufficiently stating facts to show the probable cause of each and every element of the charged offense.
Before writing the probable cause affidavit, you should review __________ statements, offense or supplemental reports, and evidence.
_________ is the technical vocabulary of a profession which has meaning specific to people who work in the particular field. For example, "Signal Zero," "I got your Six," and "smash and grab" are terms familiar to law enforcement officers but likely unfamiliar to civilians.
A __________ is defined as paragraphs (in a report) that contain specific details, pertinent information, and the elements of an incident.
The __________ of a report usually includes the date and place of the incident, assignment and arrival time, the officer's name, the identity of the victim, suspect, or complainant, and the officer's initial actions.
The __________ of a report explains how the officer resolved the situation or handled the obtained information. It includes any citations issued or arrests made, if applicable, and documents with appropriate criminal charges.
When writing probable cause affidavits, also known as __________ affidavits, you must write legibly and use the approved agency or jurisdiction form.
When writing reports, quotation marks are used when paraphrasing or summarizing a person's statement.
Officers must properly identify the correct name and number of the __________ violated. If the narrative accurately describes and outlines the elements of the crime but does not state the classified crime or crimes, the content of the report can be called into question.
crime and statute
The content of the narrative report should answer certain key questions. Which question does it NOT need to answer
What is the officer's opinion?
Once a report has been written, it must be evaluated.
The officer should take the time to carefully examine the content of the report.
When writing a probable cause affidavit,
you must record the personal identification information of the suspect
To evaluate for errors, what should be considered when writing a report?
__________: Write reports in the first or third person, depending on agency policy. First person would be, "I saw",... "I spoke",... and "I arrived". Third person would be, "The officer saw",... "The officer spoke",... and "the officer arrived" .
Point of view
.__________: Officers should write their reports in active, rather than passive, voice. In active voice, the subject of the sentence comes before the verb and is clearly stated. For example: "Ann struck John with a frying pan" is active voice. In passive voice, the object and the subject switch places. For example: "John was struck with a frying pan by Ann" is passive voice
___________ consists of informal, nonstandard words often characterized by regional or specific group usage. Examples might include "geekin," "trippin," "chill," "dawg," and "my bad".
When structuring a report, the __________ of the narrative is the detailed chronological account of the incident. This section includes the investigative actions the officer took. It must address the elements of the incident.
What are the elements that should be included when structuring a report?
When writing probable cause affidavits, you must check the __________ or the Criminal Jury Instructions to review and comply with the elements of the offense for which the probable cause is to be established.
It is important to make sure you use proper verb tenses when writing reports;
writing in active voice does not mean you must write in present tense.