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How to Improve Your Investigative Interviewing Strategy

When it comes to your department’s investigative interviewing techniques, how much does technology play a role? If you’re like most agencies, probably very little. Your detectives most likely plan their questions, interview suspects and build their cases without giving much thought to the camera in the corner of the room until it comes to typing up their report later.

But what if that camera could actually help improve your department’s interviewing strategy and increase workflow efficiencies? The right in-room camera system can help your detectives ascertain critical details of a case faster, garner more confessions and save time organizing evidence on the back end.


Capture and share important details immediately


Axon Interview is a simple, smart interview management system that streamlines the interview process. With professional-grade cameras and microphones, Axon Interview allows you to zoom in on micro-expressions and hear even whispers.

“Let’s say the detective leaves the room, and while the interviewee is sitting there, he whispers something like, ‘Oh god, why did I say that?’ — because suspects do sometimes do things like that — our microphones will capture it up to 15 feet away,” says Harshwinder Singh, senior product manager for Axon Interview.

But it’s what your detective’s partner can do from the next room or the next building that’s even more impressive. Axon Interview provides a live-viewing application that can be accessed from anywhere on the agency’s network. That means a partner can view the livestream from his or her desk while confirming case details, a supervisor can check in for training purposes, and the prosecutor can watch in order to ensure he or she has what’s needed for the case to move forward.

While watching in real time, any of these people can bookmark, annotate or leave comments in the video file, making report-writing go that much faster without having to replay the entire interview to get to the most important segments. Anyone watching the livestream can also rewind with the instant replay feature. This can help a partner catch inconsistencies in someone’s story on the spot and then keep on livestreaming.

Axon Interview also supports automatic transcription, allowing to you to build transcripts in a fraction of the time and to review evidence quickly by scanning or searching for keywords in Axon Evidence.


A no-fail solution


There’s nothing worse than getting a suspect to confess only to realize it wasn’t captured on video, or that the video was lost due to a technical error. Axon Interview makes these mishaps all but impossible. With Axon Interview’s optional 24/7 buffering capability, your agency can continuously record and store weeks’ worth of video in the event someone forgets to manually start a recording.

“Even if an officer forgets to actually start an interview — say it’s a high-stress situation and they go in and immediately start doing the investigation — and then after 30 minutes, they realize they forgot. Not to worry,” Singh says. “You can always go back to our software and take that buffer and recreate the interview, which, of course you cannot do with a body-worn camera.”

And as far as server failures go, Axon provides multiple levels of redundancy, Singh says. In a typical Axon Interview installation, two servers are provided, and both of the servers are recording simultaneously. Even if one server fails, the other server will still have the data. Those servers are further supported with RAID drives, which add another level of redundancy. “For us the aim is that not even a single interview is ever lost, because it’s not like you can go and ask someone, ‘Hey, can you please confess again? We lost your interview.’”


A better solution


Axon Interview can help you streamline your interview process. Contact Axon to learn more about how Axon Interview can improve your agency’s investigative interviewing approach.