Trending Topics

Navigating police use of force: The post-incident interview process

Jamie Borden shares critical insights on preparing for a post-incident interview, highlighting the nuances between an officer’s perceived truth and the established facts

In the final part of a seven-part Policing Matters Roll Call series on use of force, host Jim Dudley engages with Jamie Borden from Critical Incident Review.

Borden focuses on a pivotal aspect of law enforcement procedures: the post-use of force interview. Borden underscores the significance of this process, arguably one of the most crucial moments in an officer’s career. The preliminary interview, typically conducted by a sergeant or supervisor, sets the stage for how the incident is perceived and analyzed. Borden delves into the complexities officers face when recounting their experiences, emphasizing the difference between an officer’s immediate perception and the eventual facts as they come to light.

Key learning points

The gap between truth and fact: Understanding the distinction between an officer’s truth — their perceived reality during the incident — and the established facts uncovered in hindsight is paramount. Bridging this gap through a comprehensive and honest interview is crucial for both the officer and the investigative process.

The importance of honesty and completeness: An officer’s ability to convey their experience honestly and completely, without necessarily aligning perfectly with the video evidence or other factual findings, is essential. This honesty serves as the bridge between their personal truth and the objective facts of the incident.

Preparing for the interview: Officers must approach their post-incident interviews with a clear understanding of their experiences and the limitations of human memory and perception. Providing a detailed account that captures the rationale behind their decisions, even if it deviates from the factual outcomes, is critical for a fair assessment.

Questions for discussion

  1. How can law enforcement training better prepare officers for the psychological impacts of a critical incident and the subsequent interview process?
  2. What strategies can be implemented to ensure that officers feel supported and able to share their experiences honestly in post-incident interviews?
  3. How can the gap between an officer’s perceived truth and the established facts be effectively communicated to the public to foster understanding and trust in the investigative process?

The entire series is available for viewing below.

In this seven-part series, Policing Matters podcast host Jim Dudley speaks with Jamie Borden about the complexities and nuances of police use of force
Jamie Borden explores the limitations of academy training and advocates for self-investment to bridge the gap between knowledge and proficiency in policing
Jamie Borden delves into the adequacy of current fitness standards for law enforcement officers
Jamie Borden urges officers to seek continuous training in self-defense and defensive tactics to ensure their safety and effectiveness
Jamie Borden discusses how de-escalation is not just a tactic but a goal, achieved through a range of tactical endeavors based on the dynamic circumstances officers face
Jamie Borden on the importance of officers being alert, prepared and constantly running through “what if” scenarios
Jamie Borden discusses the nuances and complexities officers face when engaging with an unarmed but potentially assaultive individual
Jamie Borden shares critical insights on preparing for a post-incident interview, highlighting the nuances between an officer’s perceived truth and the established facts

Policing Matters law enforcement podcast with host Jim Dudley features law enforcement and criminal justice experts discussing critical issues in policing