LAWE2225 Criminal Investigation

This course is designed to provide the student with information pertaining to basic duties and responsibilities of a peace officer as they relate to crimes against person and crimes against property. A presentation of the goals for successful crimination investigations will include crime scene considerations, building and establishing elements of a crime, learning to obtain information and evidence and working within the confines and constraints of a legal framework.




Admission into the Law Enforcement Program

Course Requirements and Evaluation

Refer to Course Syllabus for detailed information regarding the requirements and evaluation standards for this course. The Course Syllabus will be distributed the first week of the course.

Learning Outcomes

The following outcomes will be addressed in the course:
Demonstrate the use of police interview positioning
Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of interviewing techniques
Demonstrate the ability to write narrative reports
Define identified legal terms
Explain investigative principles
Outline law enforcement goal setting
Define chain of custody
Define constitutional amendments
Explain report writing elements
Define elements of an offense
Explain Minnesota statutes
Demonstrate methods of crime scene protection
Demonstrate ability to collect and preserve evidence
Explain duties of crime scene investigator
Define types of evidence relevant in a crime scene investigation
Explain how to question a suspect
Demonstrate understanding of legal issues regarding Miranda rights
Explain duties of first responder

Minnesota POST Board Learning Objectives:
1.1.1 Describe how perception, sympathy, empathy, compassion and respect affect peace officer communication.
1.1.3 Use and interpret verbal and non-verbal cues to enhance interpersonal communications.
1.1.4 Describe and demonstrate active listening skills including paraphrasing, reflecting meaning, and summarizing understanding to obtain and clarify information.
1.1.5 Demonstrate reading comprehension skills necessary in law enforcement including: the ability to differentiate between facts, opinions and propaganda, understanding sequencing of events, and recognizing cause and effect.
1.1.6 Compose documents that demonstrate competent writing skills, including: writing from the first person viewpoint, differentiating between facts, inferences and opinions, correctly structuring sentences and paragraphs, and using correct grammar, spelling, punctuation and capitalization.
1.2.1 Discuss the inter-relationship between core beliefs, integrity and ethical reasoning.
1.2.2 Identify ethical issues in a variety of law enforcement related situations and apply ethical reasoning to decision making processes.
1.2.3 Evaluate and apply strategies for responding to unethical or illegal actions that may arise within law enforcement and public safety.
1.2.4 Model behaviors that demonstrate commitment to ethical and professional behavior.
1.3.1 Define and describe models of the conscious processes of critical thinking, logical reasoning and problem solving.
1.3.3 Applying reason and evidence to formulate logical inferences and draw logical conclusions.
1.3.4 Analyze and evaluate ideas, proposals, and solutions to problems using basic forms of logic and techniques designed to encourage sound reasoning.
1.4.1 Describe decision-making processes and models.
1.6.5 Discuss ways officers can promote positive relationships with community members of varying races, ethnicities, national origins, immigration statuses, genders, ages, economic classes, disabilities and/or sexual orientations. (Minn. Stat. 626.8455)
1.7.3 Identify the value of cooperation and collaboration in solving problems.
2.2.5 Summarize the forms of individual protection related to search and seizure granted by the US Constitution.
2.2.6 Explain the meaning of the good faith doctrine, the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine and the inevitable discovery doctrine as they pertain to Fourth Amendment rights.
2.2.7 State the requirements of the Fourth Amendment on the law of arrest.
2.2.13 Describe the following suspect identification methods: line-up, photo line-up, and field identification.
2.2.21 Explain the impact of the Fourteenth Amendment as it relates to due process and equal protection under the law including: the difference between the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments in terms of due process the differences between substantive and procedural due process, and how Fourteenth Amendment rights constrain law enforcement authority in interrogations.
2.3.1 Define the following terms: search warrant, arrest warrant, subpoena, order for protection (OFP), ex-parte order for protection, qualified domestic violence-related order (QDVRO), Harassment Restraining Order (HRO), no-contact orders, night-capped warrant, no-knock warrant, and curtilage.
2.3.2 Explain and demonstrate search warrant preparation including establishing a factual basis for probable cause and identifying items to be searched for and seized.
2.3.3 Identify the legal requirements governing preparation and execution of the search warrant of a suspect's home or dwelling, vehicle, or person.
2.3.4 Explain the scope and limitation of a lawful warrant-less seizure during a consent search of persons.
2.3.5 Explain the scope and limitation of a lawful warrantless search of a premise and warrantless search of a vehicle.
2.3.6 Explain the scope and limitation of a lawful warrant-less search during a search based on exigent circumstances.
2.3.7 Explain the scope of a lawful warrant-less search during a plain view search.
2.3.8 Discuss how telephonic search warrants and search warrant templates can speed up the search warrant application process.
2.3.9 Explaining each of the following types of orders: Domestic Violence Protective Orders, Order of No Contact, and Orders to Pick Up Children.
2.4.1 Explain what constitutes an arrest and the differences between a contact, a detention and an arrest.
2.4.2 State the requirements of the Fourth Amendment on the law of arrest.
2.4.3 Discuss protocols and terms associated with arrest including "reasonable suspicion" and "probable cause".
2.4.4 Describe the stop and frisk standard as found in "Terry vs. Ohio" and subsequent cases.
2.6.1 Explain the Supreme Court decision Miranda vs. Arizona and the four components of the Miranda warning.
2.6.2 Explain a criminal defendant's Sixth Amendment right to an attorney in all criminal prosecutions including interviews and interrogations.
2.6.3 Describe legal interviewing and interrogation techniques peace officers may use and the difference between a voluntary and a coerced statement.
2.6.4 Explain the difference between custodial and noncustodial interview or interrogation.
2.6.5 Describe considerations for videotaping and recording interviews and interrogations and explain when interrogations must be recorded (State v. Scales, 518 N.W.2d 587 (Minn.1994).
2.6.6 Explain when admissions and confessions are legally admissible in court.
2.6.7 Explain the purpose of an interrogation and how results of interrogation can be used in trials.
2.6.8 Explain the conditions under which confessions may or may not be used in court.
2.23.1 Identify and discuss crimes commonly described as cybercrime or internet crime.
3.3.1 Describe the relationship between good report writing and testimony.
3.13.1 Discuss officer safety issues relevant to serving warrants and special procedures to follow when serving potentially high risk warrants.
3.14.4 Explain law enforcement procedures for response to child and vulnerable adult abuse and neglect situations including: identifying behaviors, signs or symptoms indicative of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, maltreatment and neglect, completing mandatory reporting requirements, contacting appropriate social service agencies, explaining Munchausen by proxy and shaken baby syndromes, and explaining what sudden infant death syndrome is and how it is not a crime.
3.14.5 Identify mandatory reporters of suspected abuse and discuss where to report, what must be reported, the confidentiality of reports, and the legal ramifications for not reporting.
3.14.6 Discuss the collaborative child abuse team approach in investigating child abuse.
3.14.7 Discuss special interview consideration when dealing with children including the terms suggestibility and child centered interviewing.
3.14.8 Explain child welfare holds that allow officers to remove children from at-risk situations.
3.14.11 Explain officer duties in death notification/body identification situations.
3.14.12 Discuss investigation and evidence collection techniques specifically related to homicide, suicide, accidental and natural death scenes.
3.14.13 Discuss the role of peace officers in a variety of disaster and large scale emergencies including: the importance of initial on-scene assessment for immediate action and resources needed and for on-going threats and safety concerns, i.e., gas leaks, downed power lines, looters, fires, etc., the importance of interagency communications and cooperative interaction between law enforcement agencies, utility companies, and other resources, and large scale traffic and crowd management.
3.14.14 Given a scenario, explain or demonstrate an initial scene assessment.
3.14.15 Summarize the elements of the Incident Command System (ICS) including: the overall objectives and primary functions of ICS, the typical agencies that are involved in the ICS, the roles of emergency/first responder in preparedness and response systems during and after disaster situations, the typical hierarchical chain of command structure, and the role of the FBI if the disaster is related to foreign or domestic terrorism.
3.14.16 Summarize characteristics of systems involved in preparing for and managing large scale disasters including: the elements of the national preparedness system and the national response plan, and the purposes, key concepts and principles of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
3.14.18 Discuss risks associated with domestic violence situations and safe approach techniques including: why it is best not to respond alone, the importance of gathering as much information as possible prior to response, the importance of initial scene assessment, and why it is important not to reveal the name of the person who requested police response.
3.14.48 Explain or demonstrate law enforcement procedures for responding to situations and crime scenes involving juveniles as victims and/or offenders including: enforcing status offense laws, apply laws applicable to interviewing a juvenile, explaining the 72 hour hold rule governing shelter placements, the 36 hour hold rule governing detention hold, parent or guardian notification requirements regarding placements and detentions, and custody and liability issues, applying appropriate data practices rules governing incidents involving juveniles including who may request and receive juvenile data, and explaining to whom a juvenile may be released.
3.14.59 Define the terms white collar crime and identity theft and describe the importance of evidence protection in investigation of financial fraud, white collar crime and identify theft.

Text and References

A list of textbooks required for this course is available at the bookstore.

Course Scheduling

The scheduled hours of instruction include sixteen hours for each lecture credit, thirty two hours for each lab credit and forty hours for each credit of supervised occupational experience (SOE). Lecture credit may include formal or impromptu lectures, demonstrations or discussions with the entire class or with small groups or individuals. Refer to the Credit Details section of this course outline for the credit breakdown.

Accommodations Statement

Disability Services assists students with disabilities who need accommodations to access programs, services and college activities.  If this applies to you, please contact the DS Office on your campus to initiate the accommodations process. 
Brooklyn Park Campus - 763-488-2477
Eden Prairie Campus – 952-995-1544


Brooklyn Park Campus 952-995-1300

Credit Details