Unspeakable Times

Everything You've Ever Wanted To Know About Police Interrogation Methods

For many people, the closest they'll ever get to a real police interrogation is via episodes of a TV show like Law & Order. Unless the writers hired law enforcement professionals as outside consultants, events happening on-screen are just someone's best guess at the reality of an interrogation. As such, viewers probably aren't learning anything substantial from watching Ice-T wax poetic about the injustices he witnesses in New York.

But this begs the question: what methods do police interrogators use? Is there a playbook everybody uses, or is every cop just making it up as they go? Are they basing their techniques off of a standard, or do they rely on the good cop, bad cop dynamic?

In North America, many police agencies use standard practices like the Reid Technique, while others employ the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) method. Either way, they're out to make you talk.