Time is on your side

Submitted by:
Scott Buhrmaster, PoliceOne Managing Editor


Looking at your watch during an interrogation can be a big mistake, according to trainer Pat McCarthy, an expert on developing informants and surfacing information from even the most unlikely street sources. "Even just glancing at it during questioning gives the impression that you've got somewhere else to be and that you're preparing to stop pressuring him because you need to move on to other business," he says.

"This small move can inspire a reluctant or deceptive subject to stay dedicated to his fake story or keep his silence even longer. He figures that if he digs in, he can wait you out."

Instead, McCarthy advises, you should give every impression that you’ve got all the time in the world.

"Relax. Take your time," he says. "Your body language and verbal pacing should give the clear impression that you've got all the time in the world. Your subject needs to know that you’re in it for the long haul if that's the way he wants to play it. If you're not buying his story or he's not talking, he needs to think that you’re a marathon runner, not a sprinter. You'll stay in the race until you get what you need."

Scott Buhrmaster is a longtime contributor to PoliceOne.com, as well as former Publisher of Police Marksman magazine. He has also served as Contributing Editor for Law Officer magazine. Scott has been a member of the law enforcement training community since 1989, when he began work as Director of Research with Calibre Press, Inc., producers of The Street Survival Seminar.

Throughout his tenure at Calibre, Buhrmaster was involved with virtually every aspect of the company’s officer survival training efforts, from the planning, creation and marketing of the organization’s award-winning textbooks and videos to developing and securing training content for the Seminar. In 1995, he was named Director of the Calibre Press Street Survival Newsline®, an Internet-based officer survival training service he helped found. In less than five years, Newsline readership grew from 25 officers to more than 250,000 in 26 countries, making it one of the most popular training vehicles in law enforcement history. His efforts now focus on providing training and information to the nearly 400,000 officers worldwide who visit PoliceOne.com every month.

Prior to joining PoliceOne, Buhrmaster, who also serves on the National Advisory Board of the Force Science Research Center and stands as an active member of the American Society for Law Enforcement Training and the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, was President of The Buhrmaster Consulting Group, an international consulting practice for the law enforcement training sector and the publishing industry.

Contact Scott Buhrmaster

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