Last September, Jeff Noble, a retired deputy chief with the Irvine, California, police department and University of South Carolina criminology professor Geoffrey Alpert performed an analysis of existing scholarship for the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. Their conclusion? Giving cops "cooling off periods" is a bad idea.See related Grits posts:
They say this for two reasons, both of which are more or less intuitive. One is that giving officers several days to replay -- and, consciously or not, revise -- an incident in their minds seems to harm their recall. The research on the subject is still in its infancy, but generally backs this up. ...
The other part is that such cooling off periods are deeply unfair.
"Now you have this dichotomy where police are treating themselves one way and treating everyone else in the world another way," Noble tells Unfair Park.
"We would never in law enforcement allow a suspect, who may have also undergone a stressful event, to have two or three days to collect their thoughts," he adds. They're asked to provide details as soon as possible.
If, as Brown argues, officers give a more accurate account of events after three days, then it follows that it would be in the interest of justice to give the same leeway to suspects.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Critiquing Dallas PD policy giving cops, but not citizens, a "cooling off period" before questioning
Radley Balko and the blog Unfair Park have good posts up criticizing the new Dallas Police Department policy giving cops 72 hours to get their stories straight after shooting incidents. From Unfair Park: