Using real life interview case studies, students will engage in an interactive discussion of best investigative interviewing best practices.
Students will explore how to effectively plan and approach potential interviewees in order to ensure they willingly agree to participate in an interview.
Students will also learn how to conduct an interview in a manner that builds rapport and mutual respect, allowing for a complete and truthful conversation that maximizes information gathering and allows for a continuing relationship that enhances the effectiveness of the investigative process.
Students will complete 1 Module per week for 7 weeks.
Jim Smyth, M.O.M. Chief Instructor
Jim is a seasoned forensic interviewer with 35 years of law enforcement experience. He has successfully obtained court admissible confessions in several of Canada’s most high-profile criminal cases. He has also had a lot of success helping to clear innocent people that were suspected of serious crimes through effective communication. Jim has been very fortunate to have worked with hundreds of high performing teams. Most of Jim’s career has been focused on the investigation of violent crime and supporting those investigations through behavioural analysis of serial crimes, sexual crimes, and homicides. His interest in the skill of forensic interviewing began in the earlier portion of his career, when I was investigating child abuse and sexual assault cases. The allegations were often provided by a young child who was only able to tell us the story from their memory of events, which due to their age, was sometimes confusing. With little to no forensics — or anything else — our options were simply to charge or clear somebody with little evidence or put our best foot forward and try to communicate with the suspect to get a sense of what had occurred. Those interviews helped me to learn how to talk with people in a way that allowed me to get information that is truthful and credible — and showed me that interviewing truly is a skill that must be learned, one that requires a firm grasp on human behaviour, building trust and rapport, and keeping a respectful and level head at all times. My approach to interviewing has also been studied extensively and has been the subject of scientific research projects by some of the world’s leading forensic psychologists, who consistently find that this approach is the most effective and fair way to elicit truthful information from almost anyone.