1 Investigation Techniques, Planning and Report Writing
2 AGENDA Field Notes and Report Writing Observation Skills and Memory Incident Scene Procedures Interviewing Techniques SUPPLEMENTAL Investigation and Report Writing Protocol for Amusement and Tramway Incidents Investigation and Report Writing Protocol for Building Incidents Source: Protection Officer Training Manual, Seventh Edition International Foundation for Protection Officers
3 Field Notes and Report Writing In the amusement industry, like other professions, the written word is an important tool of the trade. It is the means by which details, factual reports of events or incidents are recorded so that others may learn what has occurred and if necessary, take action.
4 Introduction Encounter a myriad of events or incidents that will require the passing of factual information to person(s) who were not present at the event or incident. Must be able to accurately observe the event and then take those observations and put them on paper in a clear, concise, and logical manner. Experience has shown us: Many people lack appreciation of the value of taking good notes and preparing proper reports. Many inaccurate reports are the direct result of inaccurate or incomplete notes. This has led to losses in assets, information, statistical data, and convictions in court.
5 Field Note-Taking Notes may be defined simply as a quick and accurate method of recording what you saw, did, and heard. A notebook should have the following features: Small enough to carry easily in your clothing Large enough for easy writing Clothbound with no loose-leaf pages Pages numbered sequentially Protected by adequate cover
6 Field Note-Taking There are five main areas of consideration when determining the purpose of keeping a notebook: Assist in preparing reports Detecting contradictions in statements Refresh your memory Investigative aid Reflect your ability
7 Assist in Preparing Reports Notes will typically be made in the notebook and a full report completed at some point in time after the investigation is completed. It is necessary to ensure that all the facts, details, names, addresses, and so on, that will be required when it comes time to complete the report are documented. We cannot trust these facts and details to memory. The tendency to forget details and events with the passage of time is a well-known fact. Notes, properly made at the time, are seldom forgotten, will never change with the passage of time, and will ensure that accuracy and detail are not lost.
8 Detect Contradictions In Statements During any investigation, certain facts are made known by witnesses and persons of interest, and certain statements may be made by those persons involved. If we have take good notes regarding the events, then any contradictions or changes in facts or details will be found and further questions may be needed. If proper notes have not been made, then we must rely on memory, which may or may not be accurate. The proper use of notes in this instance makes for a more professional investigation and more credibility when questioning people regarding conflicting facts.
9 Refresh Memory At Later Date Notes made at the time of an event will not change and form a permanent record of events as they occurred or were observed. They become an invaluable aid when trying to recall an incident or specific detail of an investigation at a later date. The notes will remind you of what you actually saw, did and heard. This in turn assists you in report preparation, giving evidence in court, or in apprising a supervisor of what occurred. The courts have long recognized the value of the written word over memory.
10 Tips on the Use of Notebooks Prepare your thoughts in a legible manner This means you are able to go back any time in the future and be able to understand what you have written. Keep your notes complete If your notes are legible and you are able to go back and read them and understand them, you must also ensure that there is enough detail in your notes to give you a complete picture of the event that you are detailing. Be systematic Record your observations in chronological order; don t bounce around in your story because this becomes confusing when refreshing your memory at a later date.
11 Tips on the Use of Notebooks Abbreviations If you can remember what word or phrase you are abbreviating, then go ahead and use them. Use all pages and spaces By leaving spaces, you open yourself to questioning regarding the accuracy of your notes. The courts view the leaving of blank pages and spaces with extreme skepticism, believing that you may have added or deleted vital information. Develop your own style Develop a style that is comfortable for you to use.
12 Tips on the Use of Notebooks As soon as possible The best method is to write down your observations as you make them and to note details provided by witnesses as they give them. Ripping out pages Whenever possible, avoid ripping out pages from your notebook. If needed, take a page from the back of the notebook. When this is done, you should note the time and date on the stub that is left.
13 Errors Tips on the Use of Notebooks Draw a single line through the error and initial it, then continue. Personal notes and Opinions Personal notes and opinions have no place in your notebook. Review After you have completed your notes on an event, review them and see if they make sense, and if they tell the entire story and represent the event as it actually occurred.
14 Who Report Writing Relates to who was involved in the event. What Relates to the type of incident or event, what actually occurred. When Relates to the time and the date the event occurred.
15 Where Report Writing Relates to the location the event took place, or subsequent locations, depending on the type of incident. Why It may explain the reason for the occurrence, but can not be speculation or unfounded opinion. How Relates to how the event came to your attention, how it occurred. This means the complete details about how the event happened from start to finish.
16 Introduction Report Organization Should include the date and time, the location, people involved, and what happened. Body Chronological narrative of what actually occurred, observations made, and subsequent interviews and inquires, witnesses names, statements, and descriptions. Conclusion What follow-up actions are still required and expected time of completion, preventative action taken, and a brief summary of points that are not completely answered in the body of the report.
17 Observation Skills and Memory You need to be able to see, hear, smell, touch, and taste with accuracy and be able to remember this information for your notes, reports, and discussions with supervisors.
18 Observation Skills and Memory It is critical to be able to do the following: Be able to see a problem situation forming and be able to take appropriate action before the situation erupts. Be able to give more accurate descriptions of people, places, and things we encounter. Be able to see signs of untruths when interviewing people. Be able to conduct more effective incident assessments. Be able to say with full confidence that he/she has completed their job responsibilities in the best possible manner. Observation Is the act of noticing and noting the information we gather through our senses.
19 Observation Skills and Memory We need to ensure that we are thinking about our surroundings and being aware of what is happening around us. Sight The distance from the observer The size of the object The illumination of the object Night vision Position of the observer
20 Hearing Observation Skills and Memory You must be aware of the different sounds which may be encountered at the scene. Activity noises, voices, motors, ect Touch The physical touch of an object can assist in the assessment of the scene and provide additional information that may not be able to be gathered from your other senses alone.
21 Smell Observation Skills and Memory The following are substances you should know and be able to distinguish Gasoline/ other common fuels Natural gas Gas fumes that endanger life and health Smoke- to include wood, electric, or rubber Remember that certain substances may diminish your sense of smell temporarily. The longer you are exposed to any smell, the less distinguishable it will be.
22 Taste Observation Skills and Memory Taste should not be used unless one has received extensive training. Memory Memory is the act of recalling information. Memory skills grow the more you use them, and memory tests should be incorporated into your everyday life.
23 Sight How To Improve Your Senses Make a conscious effort to see instead of just look. Hearing Know and be able to distinguish various sounds sometimes associated with your profession and also those sounds that are normal for the actual scene. Smell Know when this sense is limited through a cold or other sinus condition. Know the various dangerous smells, and be able to distinguish them.
24 Touch How To Improve Your Senses Don t hamper this sense by covering it with other materials unless specific safety measures are enacted, such as PPE. Taste The sense of taste should never be used unless very specific examples can be provided.
25 Incident Scene Procedures In order to properly preserve and protect and incident scene, it is important that we understand what an incident scene is and what is expected of us.
26 Determining the Incident Scene Incident scenes can cover very large areas. On first examination, the boundaries of an incident scene may not be easily determined. It is important not to establish the limits of an incident scene until after an initial investigation. A premature definition of the incident scene may cause loss or destruction of evidence outside the established area defined as the incident scene.
27 Determining Boundaries Once the boundaries of the incident scene have been established, close off the area to all persons who are not required for investigation purposes. The limits established should exceed beyond what is believed to be the actual incident scene. It is better to contain too much of an area then late to discover you did not include enough, causing a possible loss of valuable evidence.
28 Determining Boundaries Once an incident scene is established, we must do the following to best affect protection of the scene and at the same time preserve any evidence that may be found. Protect Preserve Make notes
29 Protect the Scene It is imperative that all personnel, by standers, and anyone else who happens to be in the area or stops to look, be prevented from entering the incident scene area. All unauthorized personnel must be told to leave the area and remain outside the area until told to return. Do not forget that those who are removed from the area may have witnessed part or all of the incident and be waiting for someone to ask them their story.
30 Preserve the Scene & Physical Evidence Depending on the circumstances it may be difficult to preserve the scene as it was first discovered. Keep in mind that things may have been moved, removed, or altered in some way; and some evidence, real or suspect, may have been added to the scene. Should someone have the need to touch, move, or remove anything from the incident scene for safety reasons, prior to your arrival, it is essential that this information be communicated and documented.
31 Preserve the Scene & Physical Evidence Physical evidence simply stated is anything that could be connected to or associated with the incident. Physical evidence can be visible or invisible.
32 Evidence Collecting If you are required to collect evidence as an individual or team, please remember the following: Assign one person to collect all evidence Record all information in detail in notebook The evidence person must maintain possession of all evidence For each piece of evidence, record the following: Time, date, location, and initials In a notebook, record the following: Time, date, location, who seized the evidence, description of evidence, and disposition of evidence
33 Evidence Collecting If evidence is required to be collected, please remember to safeguard and ensure its integrity. It is recommended that you demonstrate the following: The evidence can be positively identified from other items of a similar description The evidence has not been altered in any way That continuity of possession has been maintained if required by your State Continuity of possession simply means that there is an unbroken chain of possession from the first instance to presentation.
34 Interviewing Techniques We must assemble information gathered from various sources, obtain the facts necessary to conduct the investigation, and, ultimately, to submit a complete report giving an accurate account of actions taken.
35 Interviewing Techniques Let s take a look at some of the basic areas regarding interview techniques: Conducting the interview Getting acquainted Developing rapport Motivating the person Keep the person talking Listen to what is said Obstacles to conversation Avoid specific questions Avoid yes/no questions Do not use leading questions Avoid rapid-fire questions
36 Interviewing Techniques Encouraging conversation Open-ended questions Non directive approach Ending the interview Winding down
37 Interviewing Techniques Many people will be emotionally upset, angry, hostile, physically injured, and so on. Try to calm the person, make him/her more comfortable, and enlist their active cooperation. Take your time, and obtain all of the facts and as much background information as possible before taking any action.
38 Getting acquainted Conducting the Interview Identify yourself and produce your identification Your initial approach and be formal or informal, depending on the circumstances Developing rapport Your immediate objective is to establish a common ground on which you can communicate with the person You must be able to put aside your personal feelings, respect the person as a person, and show your understanding of the person and the circumstances that have brought you together.
39 Motivating the person Conducting the Interview If you have developed a rapport with the person, it is a simple matter to convince the person of the need to tell the truth and enlist their active cooperation. Keep the subject talking Once the person is motivated, turn the conversation towards the topic you wish to discuss. Allow the person to give a complete account without interruptions, but be alert for inconsistences or omissions. Control the conversation to the extent that the person keeps talking until you have all of the information you require.
40 Conducting the Interview Listen to what is said and how it is said It is not what the person says that is important, but the manner in which he/she says it or what he/she does not say. A wealth of information is available to us by learning how to interpret body language.
41 Avoid specific questions Obstacles to Conversation By asking specific questions, we divert and limit the interview rather then letting the person give a narrative of the whole, or part of the story. Direct questions may also lead the person into a false line of thinking as to what you consider to be important. Direct questions to have a place in an interview, but they should not be asked until the person has given a complete narration. Avoid yes/no questions In order for us to obtain full and detailed facts, the person must respond with an explanation detailing the events.
42 Do not use leading questions Obstacles to Conversation Leading questions have the same effect as yes/no questions. These questions may cause the person to give false or misleading information. Avoid rapid-fire questions These questions lead to confusion, emotional tenseness, and resistance to the rapport that may have been developed. It also stops the cooperative witness from completing their statement, thereby possible loosing information.
43 Encouraging Conversation Open-ended questions are general queries such as: Tell me what you saw? Can you tell me more about that? What happened next? The person is forced to give a narrative in order to answer the question. Nondirective approach Turns the persons statements into questions calling for more information In using this method, simply repeat the persons last phrase, but with a rising inflection on the last word so it becomes a question.
44 Ending the Interview No interview should be abruptly terminated When it is apparent that the interview is ending, close the conversation in a courteous and friendly manner. You may wish to summarize what has been said and ask the person if there is anything else they wish to add.
45 Investigation and Report Writing Protocol for Amusement, Tramway and Building Incidents Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public safety
46 Incident Protocol 1. Depending on the type of incident and/or size of incident, the Supervisor may, of his own volition or upon request of assistance from the first responding inspector, dispatch one or more additional inspectors to the scene. 2. Within an hour of being dispatched to the scene, the inspector will contact their immediate Supervisor by phone or giving a brief status and will periodically update information as appropriate.
47 Incident Protocol 3. Once an inspector arrives at the scene, the inspector will contact their immediate supervisor by phone or to apprise them of same and to request additional assistance if necessary. The Supervisor will vet this information and the Chiefs, the Chief of Staff/General counsel, the Supervisor of Engineering Inspectors and the Commissioner indicating the nature of the incident and total number of inspectors that have or may be dispatched to the scene.
48 Incident Protocol 4. The inspector shall gather the following information and notify his/her Supervisor while at the scene. If information is transmitted by phone, the supervisor shall compose an and forward to all those listed above. In either instance, the information should contain the following: a) Confirm DPS jurisdiction b) Status of injuries (if any) including gender/age/severity and nature of injury c) Whether injured was transported from scene to hospital and if so, identity of hospital d) Potential violations of DPS regulations/statutes e) Identity of other local/state or federal entities on the scene (eg: OSHA)
49 Incident Protocol 5. The Supervisor will vet information by the reporting inspector and send to the Chiefs, the Chief of Staff/General Counsel, the Supervisor of Engineering Inspectors and the Commissioner. 6. The Supervisor will vet information and forward an with the final status report for the day to the Chief, the Chief of Staff/General Counsel, the Supervisor of District Engineering Inspectors and the Commissioner. 7. Before the inspector has left the scene, the inspector shall contact their Supervisor to advise.
50 Incident Protocol 8. The inspector shall draft a report for review by the Supervisor as soon as possible after the incident and send that report to the Supervisor for review. 9. Once it has been reviewed by the Supervisor, the report shall be sent to the Chief of Inspection-Building for further review. The report shall indicate if there is information that is pending due to another local/state or federal entity investigation (eg: OSHA).
51 Incident Protocol 10.Upon completion of the investigation, with the understanding that information from other law enforcement entities may not be completed at the time, the inspector will have within 14 business days from the incident to submit the final draft report, which shall be sent to the Supervisor, who shall review it. Once the report is approved by the Supervisor, the supervisor shall forward the document to the Chief of that division. Once the Chief approves the final draft report, he/she shall forward the document to the Chief of Staff/General Counsel and the Commissioner for review prior to it becoming final and filed in AX.
52 Incident Protocol 11.If the Legal Department has further follow up, the attorney assigned shall make initial contact with the appropriate supervisor prior to contacting the inspector and discuss next steps/communication with the inspector.
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