For this course, you are to consider yourself as a police detective. You are about to be engaged in a very stressful situation. The following are the facts:
You and your partner are working the afternoon shift and are at your duty station—the detective bureau—when you receive a call from the communications center.
Uniformed police officers on the crime scene have requested that a missing persons investigator respond for a critical missing persosn case. You ask the communications officer on the phone for any additional facts, and all she knows is that it is a child missing from her home.
As you leave the detective bureau to respond to the scene, you ask for the juvenile detective working your shift to accompany you.
As you respond to the scene, you learn via police radio that the missing child is a female, age 11. She did not return home from school.
You arrive at the residential neighborhood of individual houses and are greeted by the first officers on the scene. They brief you on what they know.
First, they announce that the missing child is the daughter of a police lieutenant from your agency.
Next, they have learned from the school that the child never arrived at school that day.
Neighbors, volunteer firefighters, and uniformed police are gathering to begin searching the adjacent wooded area for the missing child.
You ask several uniformed officers to begin conducting neighborhood interviews to see if anyone saw anything during the morning as the child left for school. Quickly, an officer identifies a neighbor returning home from work that provides information.
As the neighbor left for work, he observed an adult subject walking behind the missing child on the sidewalk. This neighbor did not recognize this adult male as being from the neighborhood, but he provides you with a physical description of the individual.
By narrowing the scope of the investigation by focusing on a handful of neighbors, you are able to locate a family that has had a visiting family member from a nearby city. Now, the focus of the investigation has narrowed on locating and speaking with this subject, referred to as Sam.
You learn that Sam is returning from his home in the nearby city by transit bus in a few hours. As the primary investigator on the case, you decide to meet the bus and to bring Sam to the detective bureau for an interrogation.
Recently, your police department has received media coverage and community activist criticism because of the detective bureau’s techniques of interrogation. Your chief of detectives has assigned you to develop a general order for the chief of police to consider implementing on this topic. The chief will use your drafted general order to prepare his response to the media at a press conference scheduled for next week. Therefore, time is critical. Consider the following:
Miranda warnings and waiver of rights form
Use of audio and video equipment
Developing a plan
Knowledge of the subject and incident
This general order should provide sufficient detail on each of the topics, and it should address the legal and ethical considerations and implications of conducting interviews and interrogations. Research general orders so that your submission reflects a format that is typical of what might be seen in a police department general order.