Every year thousands of eyewitnesses meet with forensic artists (police artist/sketch artist) to describe the face of their assailant. The sketch evidence that’s produced from this interview may be used as probable cause to detain a subject who resembles the sketch. Investigators and forensic art practitioners must understand the process for creating this sketch evidence and strive to enforce best practices that will reduce the probability of misidentification by eyewitnesses.
Cognitive Sketch Evidence 1.1
Define eyewitness memory
How does understanding the function of eyewitness memory assist investigators?
Trained in composite art by the FBI in 1993, Gil continues to assist law enforcement agencies by creating cognitive sketches, from eyewitness interviews, to identify assailants. While working as the police artist for the San José Police Department, he gained valuable insight on the issues of eyewitness misidentification and developed his unique methodology. Since 1996 he’s completed over 3,000 sketch interviews focused on gathering reliable sketch evidence. Gil has testified as a forensic art expert in criminal and civilmcases regarding composite sketch evidence.
After retirement Gil gained notoriety as the forensic artist featured in the Real Beauty Sketches video (Dove, 2013) about how real women saw themselves compared to how others saw them. Gil holds a Masters in Education and a Bachelors in Behavioral Sciences; he lectures at SJSU on forensic art and eyewitness interviews. Gil practices meditation and completed intense programs in Compassion Cultivation Training (Stanford, 2017), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR, 2016); he’s also an advocate for mindfulness programs that contribute to the wellness of law enforcement personnel.
Your class 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
You two are an effective teaching team, and your presentation of the material was consistently interesting, and intelligent without being too intellectualized.
—Michele Keller, Deputy Probation Officer, County of Alameda
I will continue to use and pass on this information because I really believe in the instructors and their approach.
—Kimberly Meyer, Washoe County Sheriff's Department
Your instructional style is engaging and your tag-team style is highly effective.
—George Laing, Fire Prevention Captain, Investigator
Your class has made the greatest and most direct impact on my assignment of any training class that I've taken.
—Ken Gelskey, National City Police Department
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to attend the Interview and Interrogation training presented by Paul Francois and Enrique Garcia.
—Todd Almason, Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office
The information that they have presented is highly relevant to my job, and was presented in a manner that was highly organized and very easy to digest.
—Michael McGarvey, California State Prison, San Quentin
This was, by far, one of the most useful classes I've attended since becoming an investigator.
—Steven Aiello, Antioch Police Department
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
...Provides 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