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  • Celebrating 20 Years of Training Excellence 2004-2024

Dignity & Respect

One of the teaching blocks of our three day interview & interrogation class is a component covering gender and cultural differences. How do we deal with interviews involving subjects of the opposite sex or from a different culture? How can we brush up on these differences so as to avoid making a faux pas that has disastrous consequences? The long answer involves a lot of outside reading, study, and practice. The short answer is much simpler – treat people with dignity and respect.

While it would be ideal to arm ourselves with as much information as possible about gender and cultural differences, it’s not always practical. The one thing that is universally understood is treating someone with dignity and respect. This means using a tone of voice and demeanor that reflects an abundant awareness that you are dealing with another human being. Remembering to smile, using a polite tone of voice, and extending common courtesies are all part of bridging gaps between gender and culture. And doing so also helps compensate for any failures on our part to inadvertently recognize these differences.

For example, let’s say I arrive at the home of a family whose culture requires that I remove my shoes before entering the household. When I approach the front door and see a porch full of shoes, that should be my first clue as to how things roll in this house. If I’m a patrol officer, I’m certainly not going to be able to remove my duty boots before entering the house, but I can exhibit a modicum of respect by talking to the home owner about this. I could explain, from the porch, that I’m not able to remove my boots and do not want to disrespect the practice in her home. I can ask the home owner if she would prefer to speak to me outside or whether it’s ok to enter with my shoes on? By simply asking the question, I’m showing my awareness and treating the home owner with the dignity and respect her customs deserve.

The different types of these situations we can find ourselves in are countless. Just remember to stop, consider your response, and to use a tone and demeanor that indicates you wish to be respectful. Most people will make great allowances if they sense we are genuine, sincere, and respectful.

  • This training provided the useful tools necessary for assessing the veracity of a suspected child abuser, which goes a long way in helping to protect children.

    —Sunny Burgan, MSSW, LCSW, Social Work Supervisor, Santa Clara County DFCS
  • I highly recommend this training for any Probation staff who have the necessity to interview/interrogate individuals for investigation purposes.

    —R. Bret Fidler, Santa Clara County Probation Department
  • Effective teaching teams! The presentation of the material was consistently interesting, and intelligent without being too intellectualized.

    —Michele Keller, Deputy Probation Officer, County of Alameda
  • This was, by far, one of the most useful training classes I've attended since becoming an investigator.

    —Steven Aiello, Antioch Police Department
  • The information presented was highly relevant to my job and was presented in a manner that was organized and very easy to digest.

    —Michael McGarvey, California State Prison, San Quentin
  • Incredible training with amazing real world instruction. I have been taking law enforcement classes for over 30 years and by far this is the best presented and most useful.

    —Det. Brian Dale, Portland Police Bureau
  • This training by far has been the most informative and most effective I've attended. The instructors engaged the students in a manner that made me want to speak my opinion, ask questions, and participate.

    —Julio Ibarra, Merced County Sheriff’s Office
  • This was, by far and away the best training I have received in 15 plus years of Law Enforcement. The instructors are experienced, engaging, articulate, and very entertaining. I will be recommending this training to multiple agencies.

    —Mark Paynter, Oregon DOC
  • Your training gave me the confidence and tools to interview the suspect for over 5 hours and to bring a closure to the case.

    —Daniel Phelan, San Jose Police Department
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    —Quinten Graves, Oregon State Police
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    —Ken Gelskey, National City Police Department
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    —George Laing, Fire Prevention Captain, Investigator
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    —Kimberly Meyer, Washoe County Sheriff's Department