The power of presumption

Submitted by:
Chuck Remsberg & Scott Buhrmaster, PoliceOne Editorial Staff


07/15/2005

In his book, “Blue Blood,” NYPD Detective Edward Conlon suggests using presumptive wording when talking with suspects as a way to get to the truth faster. As an example, if you’re entering a suspect’s house, don’t ask, “Do you have a gun in the house?” In the mind of a perp the answer may realistically be no if he’s just holding a gun for a friend. If it’s not his, it’s not there. Instead, Conlon suggests, ask, “Where is the gun?” This presumption presentation saves time and lets the perp know that you’re alert and fully expecting that he’s got a weapon. “The quality of information you get is only as good as you demand,” writes Conlon.


Charles Remsberg has joined the PoliceOne team as a Senior Contributor. He co-founded the original Street Survival Seminar and the Street Survival Newsline, authored three of the best-selling law enforcement training textbooks, and helped produce numerous award-winning training videos.

His nearly three decades of work earned him the prestigious O.W. Wilson Award for outstanding contributions to law enforcement and the American Police Hall of Fame Honor Award for distinguished achievement in public service.

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