Electronic Recording of Interrogations

By Dr. Steve Albrecht, CPP

***** Electronic Recording of Interrogations. By David M. Buckley and Brian C. Jayne; published by John E. Reid & Associates, 800/255-5747 (phone), (Web); 199 pages; $25.

As important as public-private liaisons are, there’s a limit to how far they can go. After all, private investigators and police detectives face different legal limitations. That inherent duality looms over this book. Much of the work deals with interrogation protocols for police, such as Miranda warnings. On the other hand, private security professionals can learn a lot from this text, especially if they are responsible for investigating embezzlement, fraud, threats, or violence. It can help them interview victims and witnesses and interrogate suspects.

There’s another duality at work here as well. The book is written by John E. Reid & Associates, the well-known developers of the nine-step “Reid Technique” of interrogations. The book draws heavily from Reid’s principles, so someone who disfavors that approach might not find this book to their liking. Reid fans will love it, however.

There’s a lot to learn about recording interrogations, such as equipment used, legal issues, and sound interrogation approaches. The five chapters cover an introduction to electronically recorded interviews and interrogations, equipment and room-design considerations, ethical behavior, special interview and interrogation situations, and legal testimony. The authors carefully explain the semantics that interviewers must use to avoid charges of coercion or intimidation of a suspect.

The true strength of the book resides in its use of photos, court cases, tips, and anecdotes about the purchase, installation, and use of recording equipment in interview rooms. Each chapter also closes with a list of recommendations, and a helpful appendix lists state laws for recording, eavesdropping, and related matters, as well as sample policies and subject consent forms.

Though primarily intended for police detectives, this book will help private security professionals gain expertise in many facets of interviewing.

Reviewer: Dr. Steve Albrecht, CPP, is a San Diego-based author and trainer on workplace violence issues. His 14 books include Ticking Bombs, Surviving Street Patrol, and Fear and Violence on the Job. He is a member of ASIS.



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