Prompts such as photographs, sketches, or evidence from your background research
are useful tools.
They help orient the interviewees and serve as a basis for
This approach helps to motivate the interviewee and serves to "break
Verify Information. When you are satisfied that your interviewee has given you all
the facts he is able to provide, you need to review these facts with him.
review the facts means that you verify the information given to you.
must be accurate, complete, and based on the personal knowledge of the interviewee.
Remember that this interview should lead to a sworn written statement.
interviewee must be confident that you did not misinterpret the facts.
Likewise, you want to ensure that there is no misunderstanding before you prepare
You might want to have the witness repeat the description.
there was a misunderstanding or an error in your conception of the story, resolve
the issue at this time.
Prepare DA Form 2823. If you are reasonably sure that the interviewee has told you
as much about the incident as possible, and you have verified that information,
prepare and fill out a DA Form 2823.
Terminate the Interview. Terminate the interview when it is apparent that no more
relevant information can be obtained.
All information should be verified and a
sworn statement, if made, should be completed and signed. When you terminate the
interview, show appreciation for their cooperation. By emphasizing the importance
of the information, you may cause the interviewee who had been lying or concealing
facts "lighten up." Be attentive for additional statements of facts when you end an
Often the interviewee will loosen up and let some information slip.
Finally, do not make any promises or give any hint that the interview will be kept
Evaluate the Information.
After you have completed your interview and have
obtained a sworn statement, you need to determine the consistency and reliability
of the information. Information is consistent if it compares favorably with other
statements, physical evidence, and your own observations.
Suppose you were told,
for example, that one car struck another on the right fender. The car does have a
dent in the right fender. Therefore, the information is consistent.
Information is reliable if the interviewee is truthful.
This is more difficult.
The mannerisms and emotional state of the interviewee may indicate that he was
concealing or withholding information or exaggerating facts. However, this is hard
to determine and even harder to prove. If the information seems to be inconsistent
or unreliable, you may need to reinterview the victim or witness. You do not need
discrepancies to further obscure the truth of the incident or cast doubt on the
You can confront the interviewee later
with the inconsistencies.
calm an emotional witness and cause an
interviewee who concealed information