DA Seminar Teaches Officers To Sniff Out Lies - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/16/05

DA Seminar Teaches Officers To Sniff Out Lies

For each bit of information a cop tries to uncover... a criminal will try to cover it up. Officers know, those operating outside the law go to great lenghths to keep their secrets... and send police in the wrong direction. Law enforcers from Jackson, George and Greene Counties are spending some time learning the finer points of seeing through a suspects lies.

As a police detective in Washington D.C., Dale Sollers learned a lot about physical behavior and how it can reveal what's going on inside the criminal mind.

During the seminar Sollers cited specific examples to help officers understand.

"I ask him a question and he leans back, puts his feet out, crosses his arms... how come he did that? I want to distance myself from this question."

By teaching officers to look for certain behaviors, Sollers says he's helping them become more efficient on the job.

"Everyone that you speak with doesn't tell the complete truth all the time," says Sollers. "They lie a little bit and if we can help the officers identify these deceptive behaviors... it makes them better interviewers and better interrogators."

It's important for officers to watch... but Sollers says they also have to listen. Mark Spicer works in the D.A.'s office... but for six years he patrolled the streets of Ocean Springs. Spicer says training like this would have come in handy back then.

"I'd been able to recognize some of the deception and things people actually do that could've told me I needed to look a little deeper," says Spicer.

Reserve Deputy John Timm agrees these lessons will help him know what to look for when interviewing suspects.

"Body language, phrases but more importantly things that we as police officers should not do," said Timm. "If you don't say some things you bring out a better response."

The response most officers are looking for is a confession. Sollers says by knowing what to look for... officers can get confessions a lot faster... to keep criminals off the streets.

Josh Ridgdell

2/16/05

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