Police TestimonyOnce a police report has been written and a suspect has been arrested and brought to trial, the police officer’s role in the case continues. While the police report will have been scrutinized and criticized by the attorneys involved in a given case, it will not be presented to a judge or jury. Rather, an officer’s live testimony will be the evidence presented.Testifying in court requires preparation and a thorough understanding of the case and all of the facts associated with it. Knowledge of the facts of a case is important, as is general knowledge about court procedures and the law. Officers providing testimony must also rely on communication skills, rhetorical abilities, and body language to make their points. Making eye contact with jurors, maintaining a professional demeanor even if provoked, and conveying an air of straightforwardness and honesty can all contribute to the effect that testimony has on a judge or jury. Failure to perform any of these actions can weaken testimony and compromise the case. Criminal Investigation. Focus on the section entitled “The Investigator as a Witness.”Read the articles “Police Detectives’ Perceptions of Giving Evidence in Court,” “Courtroom Testimony,” and “Five Tips for Testifying in Court.” Focus on how law enforcement officers must bring integrity and truthfulness into the courtroom if they are going to make their testimony an asset to the case.Review the “Code of Ethics of the Northwest Association of Forensic Scientists,” paying particular attention to the section on ethical aspects of court presentation.Consider how officers’ testimony (verbal and non-verbal cues) influences judges and juries. Also consider the challenges that officers encounter when testifying, and how they might address those challenges.
an explanation of how an officer’s testimony (including verbal and non-verbal cues) influences a judge or jury. Be specific and use examples to illustrate your explanation. Then describe one challenge that an officer might encounter while testifying and explain how he or she might address it. Be specific
- Centre des Sciences de Montréal. (Producer). (n.d.). Autopsy of a murder [Interactive media]. Retrieved May 9, 2010, fromhttp://www.centredessciencesdemontreal.com/static/autopsy/flash.htm (for review)
- Course Text: Swanson, C. R., Chamelin, N. C., Territo, L., & Taylor, R. W. (2017). Criminal investigation (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
- Chapter 6, “Field Notes and Reporting”
- Chapter 22, “The Trial Process and the Investigator as a Witness”
- Article: Northwest Association of Forensic Scientists. (n.d.). Code of Ethics of the Northwest Association of Forensic Scientists. Retrieved April 19, 2010, fromhttp://www.nwafs.org/Documents/Code%20of%20Ethics.pdf (for review)
- Article: DePresca, J. (2003). Courtroom testimony. Law & Order, 51(10), 165–168.Use the Criminal Justice Periodicals database, and search using the article’s title.
- Article: Gunderson, M. P. (2003). Five tips for testifying in court. Law & Order, 51(7), 110–113.Use the Criminal Justice Periodicals database, and search using the article’s title.
- Article: Hess, K. (1999). The ABCs of effective reports: Observe the basics. Police, 23(3), 43–44.Use the Criminal Justice Periodicals database, and search using the article’s title.
- Article: Kebbell, M. K., & O’Kelly, C. M. E. (2007). Police detectives’ perceptions of giving evidence in court. Policing, 30(1), 8–20.Use the Criminal Justice Periodicals database, and search using the article’s title.
- Article: Nelson, K. R. (2002). Patrol: The police report in the officer’s arsenal. Law & Order, 50(9), 226–228.Use the Criminal Justice Periodicals database, and search using the article’s title.