Traditional Law Enforcement Interrogation Methods Versus the Trauma-informed Interview Process

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90 Minutes

Originally Aired
April 21, 2022

Mike Schentrup
Mike Schentrup
Captain, Gainesville Police Department (Ret.)
Jon Rappa
Jon Rappa
Corporal, Gainesville Police Department

Traditional interview and interrogation methods have been used for years to the detriment of survivors of sexual violence, including the way questions were asked and how a victim’s answers were scrutinized using deception detection techniques. However, over the last several years, progressive law enforcement agencies have come to realize why a trauma-informed response to survivors of sexual assault is a significant improvement. This is especially true in how law enforcement has begun using a trauma-informed interviewing process for survivors. What if we extended these same trauma-informed techniques to victims of other crimes, witnesses, and even suspects?

The presenters will share lessons learned from years as Robbery/Homicide Detectives. One presenter currently teaches traditional interrogation methods, while the second presenter teaches a trauma-informed approach. Together, they will discuss the nuances that differentiate traditional interrogation methods from trauma-informed methods. Understanding these differences is vital when discussing these techniques with law enforcement personnel and commanding officers not trained in trauma-informed techniques. Attendees will also learn the benefits of trauma-informed interviewing techniques for both victims and suspects.


As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Recognize the reasons deception detection works against a survivor of sexual assault and to the benefit of the offender.
  • Describe how trauma-informed interview techniques can be used on all victims or witnesses of crimes.
  • Recognize trauma-informed interviewing techniques can also be used for better suspect interviews and interrogations.


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