The Phony Name Check

If a suspect you are questioning has no I.D. on them and you suspect that they are lying to you about who they really are, take all their pertinent information (i.e., name, height, weight, D.O.B., etc.) and pretend to run a name check on their bogus information. Wait a few minutes and then tell the suspect that they are wanted …

Interview Questions

Establishing a baseline on interview subjects is important. This is done by asking a series of questions that are non-threatening. Questions such as, Are you married? How long have you lived in this neighborhood? Are you currently working? If yes, where are you working? What school did you attend? Etc… A series of simple non-threatening questions will give you an …

Phrasing Questions

Interviewing goes way beyond just asking questions. The way a question is asked can have a major impact on how it is responded to. For example, asking someone, “Did you cheat on your taxes last year?” will almost always get the answer, “No!” If you rephrase the question a bit, such as, “What deduction on your taxes are you the …

Perception of a Cop

Every cop has a reputation out on the street. Smart cops learn that perception plays a big part in how people react and interact with us. How do they view us? Are we too professional and aloof/not an easy person to talk to? Are we talkative and friendly while still staying in control? Smart cops realize we are playing a …

Mining the Streets

Effectively mining the streets for good information: It’s important to remember that the information police officers need to solve the crimes occurring on their beats is out there. Aggressive cops now where to go to help develop good street information. In five years of undercover work dealing with some of Chicago’s most violent criminals, I saw first-hand how much talk …

Contacting You

Having a way for people to contact you is critical for success in your information and intelligence gathering efforts. If your agency doesn’t provide you with a department issued phone, a simple and safe way to keep in contact with street sources is to buy a cheap pre-paid cellphone. These phones are also commonly known as throw away phones. You …

Negotiations

It’s important to consider and prepare for a situation where you might have to negotiate with a hostage taker or a barricaded suspect. All Negotiations require you to develop some type of rapport with a suspect. Rapport leads to trust and with trust comes influence. An important rule in negotiations is to be yourself, stay calm and focused and try …

Developing Information

The most effective police officer is one who is an expert in developing information and then actively pursuing that information, not passively waiting for others to come to him or her. So, be “proactive” in developing street intelligence and street sources. You’ll definitely see results. Patrol should be actively involved in street source development. You can talk to people just …

Talking to Ex-Cons and Street Punks

Many cops and street agents have been told too many times that hardcore streetwise punks and ex-cons won’t talk to you. Just the opposite is true. These ex-cons and street punks are easier to roll than other criminals. They are always on the hustle and their own survival is all that really matters to them. Work hard to try and …