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Trends in Recording Police Interviews

NCJ Number
Law EnforcementTechnology Volume: 35 Issue: 2 Dated: February 2008 Pages: 60,62,65
Radhika Anand
Date Published
February 2008
5 pages
This article provides an overview on policies that require recording the inviews of suspects, victims, and witnesses.
One of the biggest issues faced by law enforcement officials relates to allegations that mistreatment of a suspect by officers resulted in a coerced confession. Cities and counties across the country have encountered situations where they have been faced with lawsuits for wrongful arrests, coercion, physical and verbal abuse, and police brutality. Recording the entire interview significantly reduces such allegations, which could save the municipality and the taxpayers lots of money. The investment in reliable, high-quality recording solutions can be recouped in a relatively short amount of time. The challenge appears to involve changing the mindset of law enforcement agencies in order to understand the value of the process. Trial and reviewing court judges favor electronic recordings of interviews; recorded interviews streamline the judicial process by reducing the number of motions filed to suppress a confession by the defense, and eliciting more guilty pleas. Facilitating a streamlined process can avoid the costs, time, and resources associated with a jury trial. The adoption of digital recording technology for interview recording further streamlines and automates existing legal processes by collecting and managing vast amounts of sensitive information in a simple application.