At no time in our modern history have more demands been placed upon the law enforcement officer. Communities are extremely concerned about crime and they are demanding that law enforcement agencies “do something about it.”
It seems that every day, violent crime and drugs occupy the front page of every newspaper in America. Politicians at the local, state and national level like to give the impression of being “tough on crime” and espouse philosophies which, at least outwardly, seem to support that toughness.

At the same time, the public (via the media) is scrutinizing the actions of the law enforcement community more closely than ever before.

The public wants results and, more importantly, to feel safe. Yet, that same public will not tolerate any perceived abuses of suspects’ rights in the process.

Primarily due to the increased cost of incarceration, a concerted push is being made to release prisoners from jails and prisons, with the ensuing increase in probationers and parolees.

Probation/Parole Officers have increased caseloads with no end in sight.

Juvenile crime is sky-rocketing.

Younger, more fearless criminals are becoming the norm, with the media bringing sad tale after tale into our homes on a nightly basis.

When I speak to new recruits, I tell them that what the public wants in a police officer is simple: we want applicants that are warm, caring individuals who are capable of speaking to public groups; conducting demonstrations at schools; counseling troubled youth; rendering first aid; interacting with and assessing problems from a community perspective.

In addition to all of those admirable qualities, we want much more.

If a bad guy is trying to get into our home, we want an absolutely fearless gladiator who will willingly risk his/her very life to apprehend the suspect (without injury to the burglar, of course) and protect our property.

We want, expect and demand all of this for a salary that is far less than society pays a plumber!

Whether a person is a Probation/Parole Officer supervising 100 felons, a Police Officer in a patrol car, a Fish and Wildlife Officer working all alone 50 miles from any back-up, a military law enforcement officer or a Federal Agent working in a structured environment, being a law enforcement officer is an extraordinarily tough and complex job which demands that we apply all of our skills and training.

How has the law enforcement community dealt with the ever-increasingly need for interview training?

Poorly, I’m afraid. Here’s how it works…

In virtually every modern law enforcement agency, much care and consideration is given to the allocation of training, especially that training which requires both expenditures of time and money.

Traditionally, different segments of the agency (patrol, detectives, administration, etc.) have had to compete in a sense for their share of the almighty training dollar budget.

As a result, it is incumbent upon agency administrators to prioritize the available training money.

Training in most modern law enforcement agencies has taken on the semblance of a triage system at an emergency room. Administrators want to send everyone to training, so they end up throwing some money at those who are “bleeding” the most. Due to civil liability concerns, patrol officers mainly receive training emphasizing the motor skills areas (firearms, arrest techniques, emergency driving tactics, handgun retention skills, etc.), said areas presenting the most opportunity for misapplication and a resultant lawsuit.

Investigators receive training geared toward their primary areas of emphasis (interview & interrogation, crime scene investigation, investigative specialties, etc.).

Ironically, an objective analysis of the component parts of the job of patrol officer reveals interviewing skills are utilized far more often than any other skill. Think about it, what skill is used more often than the ability to talk with people and elicit information?

Conversely, what will get an officer in trouble with the public faster than an inability to communicate?

How many times in any officer’s life will he or she use deadly force?
How many times in any given month will he or she get into a vehicular pursuit?
How many instances of dealing with hazardous materials will crop up in an average month?
Contrast the frequency of these incidents against the absolute certainty that we will have to interact with people during each and every shift.
We routinely qualify in shooting, attend yearly hazardous materials safety courses, attend Emergency Vehicle Operations courses and the like, yet most patrol officers never attend formal interview and interrogation instruction after an initial exposure to it in the basic training academy.

Consider the following sober statistics:

o Police Training academies in the United States offer, on average, only 4 hours of training on interviewing techniques during Basic Training.

o 60% of law enforcement training academies in the U.S. don’t offer any interview training at all during Basic Training.

o Less than 20% of all law enforcement officers have received in-service training in interviewing techniques.

Unfortunately, in most law enforcement agencies, the investigators are repeatedly sent to interview and interrogation training, while the patrol officers who apply to attend are routinely turned down. In the bureaucratic effort to make training dollars stretch a long way, administrators often prioritize training requests, sometimes based upon outdated or inaccurate information.

The need exists for inexpensive, easy methods benefit police officers without regard to job assignment, all in an affordable manner.

Compounding the training problem is the current countrywide push toward “Community Policing” and all of the responsibilities inherent with that system. Simply put, Community Policing can be best described as a philosophy of empowerment that allows the beat officer to solve problems. By a collaborative effort with others in the community, police officers are responsible for actually resolving the community concerns, rather than just taking enforcement action.

While the philosophy sounds good, the average law enforcement patrol officer has not been given the tools with which to conduct investigations, interview people, make public presentations and achieve this collaboration to solve problems. Federal grant money has been spread across the country in an effort to promote Community Policing.

Officers have been hired, equipment has been purchased and public relations efforts have been extensive in this area. Unfortunately, officers that do not have the foundation of investigative training may find themselves in an uncomfortable position.

One Community Policing officer recently told me “If I had wanted to interview neighbors, show photo lineups, speak to public groups and work extensively with other public agencies, I would have been a detective. What happened to good, old-fashioned police work?”

One of the primary components of Community Policing is the ability to interact with people in a non-threatening manner which elicits maximum information.

Most basic training academies teach a block of instruction on “Interviewing and Interrogation.” However, these traditional systems stress the structured interview approach to interviewing. The new trainee soon realizes that he or she will conduct hundreds or thousands of street interviews while on patrol and will perform relatively few formal, structured interviews in an interrogation room setting.

There are some very fine formal “Interview and Interrogation” type training classes for law enforcement officers out there (being a polygraph examiner, I have attended quite a few of them), but they tend to emphasize the structured interrogation aspect of the situation and are geared more toward an investigator than a patrol officer.

Look for interview training that does not deal with just the structured interview/interrogation type setting. Again, an analysis of a patrol officer’s daily job reveals that the vast majority of contacts that he or she experiences are not in a structured setting conducive to a formalized method of interview and interrogation.

Virtual meetings are all of the rage nowadays. Since March, primary meetings were cancelled throughout the United States. Huge meetings that have been in no way supposed to be held remotely have grew to become digital. You are possibly receiving classified ads to wait distinct digital meetings all of the time now! But how do you understand if it is going to be worth the cash to wait? A country wide convention this is usually held in-character might be very distinct held virtually. As making a decision which meetings you may attend this year, you’re possibly factoring withinside the quantity it’ll fee to wait in comparison to the fee you may get hold of from it. Will the convention you usually attend in-character be worth attending virtually? While I do not have a crystal ball to inform you all of the answers (despite the fact that that might be cool if I did), I covered a handful of pointers you ought to remember whilst determining to wait, in addition to, pointers on a way to get the maximum out of the convention whilst attending!

Is the Conference Worth the Money?

This is the million-greenback query all and sundry is looking themselves proper now. If the convention is free, then you definitely ought to surely attend if cash isn’t a aspect and you’re interested by the content material. If it isn’t free, you may want to decide if the schedule/content material might be of fee to you. There are some key questions you may ask your self to assist decide this:

  • Is this a convention this is usually held in-character? If so, evaluate the schedule to year’s past. Is it simply as meaty or does it appear a little weak?
  • When you’re looking on the schedule are you locating your self immediately choosing out periods you need to wait? Are you drawn in to numerous of the topics?
  • Is the content material relatable in your company? Do you spot fee withinside the topics they’ll be imparting that you may be capable of observe returned at your company?

Asking your self those key questions will assist manual you withinside the proper direction.

Additionally, as you’re debating approximately attending a digital convention, make certain to keep away from the demeanor that a digital convention is 2d exceptional to in-character. If the content material is what you’re looking for, the manner you get hold of that records is the most effective factor this is distinct. Furthermore, if it is a convention usually held in-character and is valuable, possibilities are the digital convention might be simply as useful if it is overlaying topics you’re interested by. Organizations who’re taking the time to rework the convention right into a digital occasion are going to do everything they could to make it a terrific one.

What Are You Missing from an In-Person Conference?

This is the following query you need to invite your self. The important thing you’re lacking is the networking aspect. When you attend meetings one of the advantages is being capable of mingle and meet others who do the equal factor you do. It may be very hard to contain this right into a digital occasion, however meetings are nonetheless hosting digital glad hours, digital networking periods, chat periods, and extra to interact with different attendees. While this isn’t similar to networking in-character, it should not be a large aspect with the intention to now no longer attend a digital convention given that it’s miles a customary hindrance throughout meetings proper now. If networking is essential to you, you may focus at the meetings so that it will be conserving digital networking periods.

Besides the networking thing, ask your self if there’s whatever else that is lacking from the convention which you usually have in-character. Assess what’s lacking and determine if it is a massive aspect this is turning you away from attending the convention virtually.

The Benefits

Now let’s dive into a number of the important thing advantages of a digital convention.

Flexibility

Virtual meetings provide you with the power to hop on and off. You can choose which periods are maximum essential to wait. This lets in you to take care of enterprise at the same time as nonetheless being capable of attend the quantities of the convention you need to take a seat down in on.

Save Time and Money

The appropriate factor approximately now no longer wanting to wait an in-character convention is the money and time you may shop. You will shop time on tour and shop cash in lots of distinct regions consisting of airfare, motel rooms, food, drinks, registration for attendees, and extra. Registration is also less expensive for a digital convention so that you may also shop cash at the registration fee. Additionally, you may remember registering most effective a few personnel for a digital convention rather than the same old quantity you could carry with. If you probably did most effective sign in some personnel, the ones that attend can take notes and provide a presentation to the group on key takeaways from the convention.

Presentations are Being Recorded

If you leave out a consultation or would really like to revisit one you attended, maximum digital meetings are recording the periods and sending it out to attendees afterwards. This is a gain you would not have at an in-character convention. If there’s a consultation you are not capable of make live, you may nonetheless be capable of view it later on.

Education and Inspiration

Let’s now no longer neglect about approximately the primary purpose we attend meetings to start with. Even aleven though it’s miles being held virtually, the purpose of all meetings stays the equal: to be instructional and inspirational. Everyone always feels appropriate after attending a convention. You benefit new enterprise insights that you may take returned in your company. You emerge as stimulated listening to motivational audio system and specialists withinside the enterprise talk. All of this facilitates you carry new thoughts and exceptional practices returned in your company. Conferences are useful. Otherwise they would not exist. By attending a convention virtually, you might not lose out on those key experiences.

Tips When Attending a Virtual Conference

Don’t Multi-Task

If making a decision to wait a digital convention, make certain to make the maximum of it and be absolutely engaged. Often instances whilst you are on a webinar, it’s miles clean to get sidetracked in doing any other task. Avoid multitasking. You are attending the convention for a purpose, now no longer to 1/2 of listen. In order to keep away from distractions, near from your electronic mail and out of all communications. I could even placed your telecellsmartphone to the facet so that you do not get distracted via way of means of a textual content or telecellsmartphone call. Disconnecting all through the periods you’re attending is the most effective manner to make certain you may be absolutely worried with the convention and get the maximum of it.

Interact with the Speaker and Attendees

If you’re capable of ask questions all through the consultation, do not keep returned. Ask questions as in case you have been there all through an in-character presentation. Also, take part withinside the networking and chat periods with different attendees. While it is not similar to in-character, it’s miles a pleasing manner to percentage exceptional practices and get to understand others withinside the enterprise. You gets extra out of the convention, the extra worried you’re.

Login 10 Minutes Early

Everyone is the use of a distinct webinar platform nowadays and feature distinct capabilities grew to become on/off. Be positive to login 10 mins early to get the era setup so that you do not leave out the start of the presentation. Sometimes you want to down load the webinar platform in your computer, different instances it could be puzzling to get the audio/visible setup. To keep away from any confusion and stress, login early to make certain you’re geared up to go earlier than the presentation.