Motivation Policing

Test your detective skills

Here’s a fun test for anyone who wants to be a real-life detective or if you just want to compare your crime-fighting skills with your favourite/favorite Hollywood detective next time you tune in to your favourite/favorite crime drama. This test is from a real-life college final exam in a criminal investigation course that I taught for 20 years in college. The case study is from a real-life investigation I worked on as a detective in 1987, three years before I quit and changed careers from detective to college teacher:

Case Study #1. Imagine you are a detective. Berken Mooner (not his real name) phones you. He is at a phone booth. You are at your desk. You answer the phone. Berken Mooner identifies himself. You recognize his voice because he had been one of your top five informants of the year. He has a mid-range criminal record and has given you information that helped solve a number of crimes during the past year. The following conversation occurs:

Berken Mooner : “I heard a rumour about Quatro Volte. He’s out of money. He’s looking to make a big score.”

You: “Who told you?”

Berken Mooner : “I forget.”

You: “Where did you hear it?”

Berken Mooner: “Can’t remember.”

You: “Who was with you?”

Berken Mooner: “Huh?”

You: “Who was with you when you heard the rumour?”

Berken Mooner: “Aw come on man, like what the f@#$.”

Question 1: Which of the following statements is true?
a. You should never have questioned Berken Mooner. You ruined the interview and jeopardized the investigation.
b. Excellent interview. You asked the right questions.
c. There is no right answer in this situation.
d. None of the above.

Question 2: What is the correct belief you should have formed at this stage of the interview?
a. Berken Mooner is telling the whole truth. What he said is 100% true.
b. Berken Mooner made up the rumour himself and is spreading it himself.
c. There’s not enough information yet. Never form any belief, theory, or opinion at this stage of any interview.
d. None of the above.

Question 3: What real-life lesson was learned from this real-life case?
a. All rumours are true.
b. Believe any rumour especially when the informant initiates the conversation.
c. Studies have proven that unsolicited rumours are never false. An unsolicited rumour is guaranteed to be 100% truth.
d. All of the above.
e. None of the above.

Question 4: What is another real-life lesson learned from this case study?
a. Every informant is automatically credible.
b. Studies have shown that you should always rate an informant with strong credibility who initiates conversation and provides unsolicited rumours.
c. Case law mandates that you must rate an informant with strong credibility if he initiates conversation and provides unsolicited rumours.
d. All of the above.
e. None of the above. Never give any informant instant credibility. It’s very easy to start an unsubstantiated rumour and then spread it yourself. Evaluating credibility requires a process of skilled interviewing.

I invite you to send your answers to get marked. Feel free to send me your answers through my personal Facebook account, our X Fitness Welland Facebook page, my Linkedin account, or my personal Twitter account or X Fitness Welland Twitter account, or my website. I will send you your score. Here’s what the scoring means:

4 out of 4 = way above average investigative potential
3 out of 4 = average investigative potential
2 out of 4 = below average investigative potential
1 out of 4 = needs a lot of work
Zero out of 4 = things could be worse.

Blessings and all good things #BuonNatale. #FestiveSeasons #SeasonsGreetings


Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)
Head coach – Niagara X-Men Football
Owner – X Fitness Inc.
Blogs – and

Host of Blunt Talk Podcast

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