We asked several Northeast Wisconsin law enforcement agencies about their policies on the interviewing process concerning officer involved shootings. Below are their responses.
Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith:
"For minor uses of force, we don't wait to do an interview. For an officer involved shooting, we wait two sleep cycles before doing a formal interview."
Chief Smith said this policy is based on studies that show you get a more accurate recollection of the sequence of events if you wait two sleep cycles.
Appleton Police Sgt. David Lund:
"The way we have our policy written out on that, the actual policy I'm looking at is referred to as an officer involved critical incident. The way they define an officer involved critical incident is involving death of or serious injury to a department employee or another person as direct result of action or involvement of a department employee while on duty or acting in an official capacity."
"Members of the investigative services unit or other investigative agency, which in the case of an officer involved shooting we'd turn it over to another agency, may conduct in depth interviews with officers involved as the investigation warrants."
The following guidelines should govern this interview:
a. It should generally be conducted 24 to 72 hours after the incident. Current medical and psychological information reveals the best recall after a significantly stressful situation occurs within this time frame.
b. The officer may have a representative of his or her choosing during this interview.
c. The interview should be conduced at the Appleton Police Department if possible.
d. The officer shall be given all rights afforded by the U.S. Constitution and Police Officer Bill of Rights.
Oshkosh Police Chief Dean Smith:
"No. We don't require there be a waiting period."
Fond du Lac Police Chief William Lamb:
"Yes we do. That's based on scientific evidence regarding basically recall. Generally speaking, that's a use of deadly force scenario. Other applications of force that wouldn't always necessarily apply."
Lamb said the waiting period is typically two sleep cycles, but it can vary under certain circumstances.
"There's times where an officer will say they want to talk about it right now. And under certain circumstances you need to take that into consideration."
"When we say a couple of sleep cycles -- it could be four days. You want them to have a couple of good sleep cycles."