If you are a fan of television police dramas, you have probably seen actors play the good cop and bad cop roles during a pretend interrogation. While actors may take certain artistic liberties that differ considerably from reality, they are demonstrating the Reid interrogation method.
The Reid interrogation method is popular with federal, state and local detectives, as it is often an effective way to elicit information from criminal suspects. If you believe officers may question you as part of a criminal investigation, you should understand the method’s three parts.
1. Factual examination
Before questioning a criminal suspect, officers carefully examine the facts of the criminal offense. They also consider the backgrounds and personalities of all suspects. The purpose of this in-depth examination is to uncover information that may be useful in procuring a confession or other obtaining useful information.
Put simply, even before walking into the interrogation room, officers already know a great deal about both the criminal offense and the person they intend to question.
2. Behavior analysis
Detectives must establish a behavioral baseline early. Therefore, the Reid interrogation technique often starts with a casual conversation about the suspect’s life. An officer may also attempt to develop rapport by engaging in small talk or asking about seemingly trivial matters.
3. Suspect interrogation
When detectives are reasonably certain the individual they are questioning has committed a crime, they turn to the interrogation part of the Reid method. This nine-step process uses varying techniques, such as the good and bad cop routine, to convince the suspect to confess to a crime.
Because confessing to a crime during a custodial interrogation often leads to disastrous consequences, it is critical not to let the Reid interrogation method induce you into incriminating yourself.