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Police Witness Interview Training, Supervision, and Feedback: A Survey of Canadian Police Officers

NCJ Number
Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice Volume: 54 Issue: 3 Dated: July 2012 Pages: 363-372
Brent Snook; John C. House; Sarah MacDonald; Joseph Eastwood
Date Published
July 2012
10 pages
This study reviewed police interviewing practices in Canada.
Despite the recognized importance of intensive training for producing effective police interviewers and the importance of sustained supervision and feedback in maintaining learned interviewing skills, there is no empirical data on the current state of such practices in Canadian police organizations. Canadian police officers (N=171) from 2 organizations completed an online survey about the training, supervision, and feedback received for interviewing adult witnesses. Officers reported that their training was limited and came from several disparate sources, and many officers expressed a lack of satisfaction with the interview training that they had received. The majority of officers also indicated that it was rare for them to receive supervision or feedback from their supervisors on their interviews or refresher training to help them maintain their skills. The implications of these findings for police interviewing practices and the potential to use these results to improve current witness interviewing practices in Canada are discussed. (Published Abstract)