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NCJ Number: 201733 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Training Dilemma: The Patrol Officer and the Preliminary Investigation
Journal: Law Enforcement Trainer  Volume:18  Issue:3  Dated:May/June 2003  Pages:34-37
Author(s): John Fuller
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the preliminary investigation conducted by a patrol officer that is crucial to the investigation by the specialist criminal investigator.
Abstract: The duties of the patrol first-responder are to attend to any personal injuries sustained by victims or witnesses; secure the crime scene; identify and isolate any witnesses; and effect any required notifications, such as supervision, crime lab, or detectives. But the typical patrol officer can and should go beyond these obligations and institute a quality preliminary investigation. A neighborhood canvass should be done on every criminal offense that is reported. The neighborhood canvass means going house-to-house and knocking on doors in the immediate vicinity of the offense, and along any known escape route to determine if anyone observed the offense and/or the suspect. Criminal informants, official or just street people, should always be contacted, even if the crime scene is removed from their area of activity. If identifiable property was taken in an offense, the patrol officer should contact pawn shops, second-hand stores, consignment shops, junk yards, and street vendors on or near his/her post, and inquire if anyone has tried to sell stolen goods. To constrict patrol officers from initiating preliminary investigations is shortsighted and counter-productive police management. The progressive police-training administrator should push this initiative and tailor the agency’s training program to include intensive training in conducting quality preliminary investigations by uniformed patrol officers. Assigning these added duties and responsibilities to the patrol force will raise morale and enhance motivation.
Main Term(s): Patrol; Preliminary investigations
Index Term(s): Criminal investigation; Evidence collection; Field interrogation and interview; Investigative techniques; Patrol procedures; Street crimes
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