Ozarks Law Enforcement agencies receive training from FBI and others

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - More than 20 law enforcement agencies throughout Missouri and Arkansas traveled to Harrison Monday to receive psychological training from a case study of the 2018 Chris Watts homicide investigation in Colorado.

In light of National Law Enforcement week, those who protect and serve gained training on interview and polygraph techniques used during interrogations.

”Looking a seeing their experience and what they’ve done, because they have a lot of experience, we have people taking notes and just helps as a whole get everybody work well together,” said Lt. Mike Toland with the Harrison Police Department. “There is so much to be taken away, and we always have time to improve and become better at serving the public.

Investigators in the Chris Watts case spoke on the techniques used to get him to confess the murder of his wife and two children back in 2018. Including Agent Tammy Lee with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and an FBI agent whose identity had to be concealed due to his current work.

The Watts case is one of the most high profile investigations in recent history, later being spotlighted on Netflix, Lifetime, and Investigation Discovery.

”You watch your interviews and see what a person does and when you there in that moment, you don’t realize it,” said Toland. “You start realizing stuff that you at first, and it can help you build your case. And kind of the importance of interview techniques.”

The training also included a significant emphasis on the mental strain investigators go through when working on a case.

“It’s something that needs to be talked about more, and it is,” said Toland. “We all see this trauma and we’re seeing officer suicide rates going up, families being broken, and this happens because the cases we get involved in. The mental health of officers and investigators is not something to be overlooked.

Agent Lee spoke about her disgust with suspect Chris Watts while working on his case.

“I just couldn’t believe a father could do something so horrible to his children and his wife,” she said during an interview with Oxygen in 2019. “I was completely disgusted. I felt sick.”

According to the American Police Officers Alliance, some law enforcement agencies report their internal suicide rate is 60% higher than the national average.

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