CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT
Public Affairs Office
1100 Cultural Park Blvd
Cape Coral, FL 33990
Date: September 19, 2011
Subject: Cape Police Stay on Forefront of Eyewitness ID and Lineup Procedures
An article in the September 18th New York Times details recommended changes to the way police departments across the country show lineups to crime victims and eyewitnesses. The study, which was released today, was sponsored by the American Judicature Society, the Police Foundation as well as the Innocence Project.
Research contends that the use of "Sequential Lineups" vs. "Simultaneous" significantly reduced false identification by victims and witnesses. Sequential lineups are where a witness is shown photos one at a time and in simultaneous lineups, the witness is shown a group of six photographs at one time.
Research also showed that having an "Independent Administrator" (a detective not working on the case and therefore unfamiliar with the players involved) administering the lineup reduced potential subtle and unintentional influences on people that can sometimes lead to a false ID.
In Florida, four important organizations got together during the 2011 Legislative Session to address these same issues. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Police Chief's Association, the Florida Sheriff's Association and the Florida Prosecuting Attorney's Association came up with suggested guidelines for agencies in Florida to adopt. The groups also met with the Florida Innocence Commission to ensure that case studies, emerging research and other recommendations are followed to reduce the likelihood of false identification by victims and witnesses.
These uniform standards were adopted in February of 2011 and are to be in place by November of 2011. The Cape Coral Police Department has been in compliance since the standards came out, as they are a requirement for the Florida Commission of Law Enforcement Accreditation. The Cape Coral Police Department is accredited by that body as well as nationally accredited by CALEA.
"What this means to the citizens of Cape Coral is that they can trust that their police department is on the forefront of policing trends. As both a nationally and state accredited agency, it is our responsibility to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve.
These standards have been in effect at this agency for many years. Our Officers and Detectives know the importance of ensuring that proper identification is made. We never want innocent people to be arrested and/or convicted. It obviously does that person an injustice and it is also an injustice to the victim of the crime if the real suspect is still at large."- Lieutenant Tony Sizemore.