This course is designed for students who want to get the whole truth and nothing but the truth in law enforcement background investigations. Over the course of our two day, 16 hour class, students will learn to: identify and overcome deception and omission; interview applicants and references to get to the truth; and write up their findings precisely and effectively. This is not a class in the logistics and legalities of background investigations. This is a class about seeing what’s not in the paperwork, hearing what people are not telling you, and knowing what to do about it.
Background vs. Criminal Investigations
Pre-Interview Sources of Information
Statement Analysis and Background Investigations
Elements of Statement Analysis
Example (criminal investigation): Statement of father in shaken baby case
Example (background investigation): Responses to Personal History Statement
Confronting and overcoming equivocation/negation in background investigations
The First Interview
Personal History Statement “small talk”: rapport and baseline
Creating a truth-telling environment
Connect application process to police officer qualities:
“Setting the table” themes
Statement Analysis Practical Exercise
Themes to Address and Overcome Deception & Omission in Background Interviews
Best foot forward.
Not the same person
Help me explain
The language of truth-seeking
Words to avoid
Words to use instead
Talking About Drugs
How do we get people to talk about misconduct for which there is no “paper trail”?
Personal History Statement: gaps in time and place
Personal History Statement: SA elements that indicate missing information
Personal History Statement: leakage and bet-hedging partial disclosures
Truth telling environment and “setting the table” themes
Two catch-all questions
Example Background Investigation
Statement Analysis and the reference questionnaire
Outliers (and previous candidate responses to “people with an axe to grind”)
Who’s missing? (Compare with social media and information from Internet research databases)
Going beyond the reference questionnaire
Closing and Discrepancy Interviews
Addressing discrepancies and derogatory/potentially disqualifying information
Matt Irvine worked as a Detective with the Glendale, California Police Department, investigating sex crimes and family violence before transferring to Robbery/Homicide. He moved to the San Francisco District Attorney Bureau of Investigations, assigned to public corruption investigations. Matt reached the rank of Lieutenant, overseeing the Public Corruption Task Force (with the FBI) and the investigation of officer-involved incidents. After retiring from sworn service, Matt joined the Portland Police Bureau as a background investigator. He currently works as a cold case sex crimes investigator. Matt is a graduate of Columbia University, the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute, and the FBI National Academy.
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
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
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
It not often that you go to a training that you really, really want to pay attention to. Because of the high quality information and style of presentation, I knew that if I looked away I was going to miss out.
—Quinten Graves, Oregon State Police
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
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
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
Your training 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
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
Instructional style is engaging and highly effective.
—George Laing, Fire Prevention Captain, Investigator