7-17 Interviews and Interrogations

Policy Type: Local

Responsible Office: Chief of Police, Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department

Initial Policy Approved: 1/12/2014

Current Revision Approved: 1/12/2014



The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to uniformed and non-uniformed sworn officers in conducting interviews and interrogations.


Accountability Statement

All employees are expected to fully comply with the guidelines and timelines set forth in this written directive. Failure to comply will result in appropriate corrective action. Responsibility rests with the division commander to ensure that any violations of policy are investigated and appropriate training, counseling and/or disciplinary action is initiated.



  1. Field interviews are a productive tool and source of information in criminal investigations. They should be used only in the pursuit of legitimate goals of the department and not to harass any segment of the community. When used properly, they can discourage criminal activity, identify suspects, add intelligence information to the files of known criminals and build public trust and confidence.
  2. When related to an investigation, field interviews should be conducted according to the procedures set forth in Written Directive 6-5 Field Interviews and Pat Downs.
  3. Sworn officers will conduct interviews, if applicable, during any preliminary investigations to document all pertinent information available at the time. Interviews will be used to report the incident fully and accurately by documenting the statements of the victim and witnesses.
  4. Interviews are informal in nature and the person being interviewed is not required to participate. Interviews should be recorded if possible, or documented in detailed notes.
  5. Interviews may also be used in follow-up investigations to clarify any information noted in the preliminary investigative report. The interviews should be performed as soon as practical following the incident to ensure that important details are not forgotten.
  6. As the follow-up investigation progresses and strong leads are developed, officers who develop a suspect may conduct an interrogation, if necessary.
    1. When initiating an interrogation, the officer should use an audio recorder to record the interrogation, noting the date and time and all persons present. Electronic recording of custodial interrogations is recommended.
      1. NOTE: Victim statements shall not be audio or video recorded.
    2. The sworn officer shall advise the suspect of his/her rights and provide him/her with a VCUPD-8/8A Rights Waiver form. To ensure the suspect is aware of Constitutional rights associated with interrogations, the VCUPD-8/8A Rights Waiver includes the following information:
      1. The suspect has the right to remain silent.
      2. Anything the suspect says can and will be used against him/her in court.
      3. The suspect has the right to talk to a lawyer before being asked any questions and to have a lawyer present during questioning.
      4. If the suspect cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for him/her before any questioning.
      5. NOTE: Once the form is read, the officer will ask if the suspect understands his/her rights and request that the suspect sign the VCUPD-8/8A form before proceeding with the interrogation. If the suspect agrees to waive his/her rights but does not want to sign the form, the sworn employee may note that on the VCUPD-8/8A form and sign his/her name and date.
    3. Any statement made by the suspect must be free and voluntary.
    4. The original executed VCUPD-8/8A Rights Waiver form will become a part of the case file.
    5. Normally, there will be no more than two sworn employees in the interview room with the suspect, unless unusual circumstances exist that dictate otherwise for the safety of the sworn personnel and the suspect.
    6. Should the suspect advise during the interrogation that he/she no longer wishes to speak, the interrogation will immediately cease and the time of the request and “revoked waiver” will be noted at the bottom of the form and read to the suspect in order to capture it on the audio recording, if applicable.
    7. Officers shall abide by the procedures set forth in Written Directive 7-7 Interview Rooms.



  1. VCUPD-8 Rights Waiver form
  2. VCUPD-8A Rights Waiver form (Spanish)


Revision History

None - New Policy