First Responding Officer Duties in Sex Crimes Investigations

First Responding Officer Duties in Sex Crimes Investigations
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2023-02-16
Unit 1Presentation Materials: First Responding Officer Duties in Sex Crimes Investigations
Unit 2Transcript: First Responding Officer Duties in Sex Crimes Investigations
Unit 3Workbook: First Responding Officer Duties in Sex Crimes Investigations
Unit 4Recording: First Responding Officer Duties in Sex Crimes Investigations

The initial interaction between the responding officers and the survivor holds immense importance in the survivor’s healing process, their participation in the legal proceedings, and consequently the outcomes of sex crimes investigations. This webinar discusses the pivotal role of first-responding officers in ensuring survivors of sex crimes cases get the justice they deserve.

Leading the presentation is Amber Burgess Cox. She is an instructor and developer for the North Carolina Justice Academy where she integrates her law enforcement and teaching experience instructing a range of topics from transportation of inmates to community policing.

Specifics Amber covered in this session include:

  • How officers’ mannerisms and demeanor when interacting with survivors can significantly impact the survivor’s likelihood to cooperate in the legal process.
  • The initial tasks that officers must do upon arriving on-scene as it relates to scene safety, demonstrating compassion for survivors, and collecting pertinent information.
  • What ability to maintain eye contact could mean by taking culture into consideration.
  • How physically positioning oneself at the survivor’s level and avoiding intimidating postures can establish rapport and facilitate communication.
  • Understanding how biases shaped by experiences and realities impact survivors’ behavior and perception of law enforcement.
  • What a trauma-informed approach is and guidelines in trauma-informed interviewing.
    • How it involves actions like establishing rapport, ensuring safety, and offering resources.
    • How it requires awareness of what the survivor has gone through and is going through.
    • How it takes on a survivor-centered approach that anticipates their needs and ensures respect throughout the process.
    • How it avoids inappropriate interviewing tactics – with specific examples of inappropriate questions to avoid.
    • How it involves explaining the purpose, asking neutral open-ended questions, offering medical attention to the survivor, and engaging in active listening.
  • A rundown of active listening techniques to help build rapport and gather valuable information.
  • The duties and responsibilities officers are expected to do.
    • Ascertaining basic facts and sequence of events and obtaining crime scene information to paint a picture of the scene and the incident.
    • Securing all possible crime scenes, preventing contamination, and managing potential obstacles.
    • Calling EMS and advocates to provide survivors with necessary medical attention and support.
    • Being alert for ongoing crimes and notifying supervisors and investigators as per department policy.
    • Interacting with survivors, identifying and isolating potential witnesses, and documenting survivor and suspect injuries, emotions, and reactions.
    • Probing for the possibility of strangulation.

Questions from the webinar attendees are about:

  • Getting non-profits to build partnerships with law enforcement.
  • Whether male or female officers are able to better assist sex crime survivors.
  • The correlation between willingness to take medical exams and truthfulness.


Other Webinars with this Presenter


Click here to view and register for other upcoming Law Enforcement webinars on the JCH Platform.



Audience Comments

  • “Everything was wonderful about this presentation, especially the trainer and how forthcoming she was with her hands-on approach. Trauma-informed interviewing and active listening were very useful.” — Moika
  • “I liked how real the statements were.” — Mercedes
  • “Thank you for covering this material with us. It was an excellent presentation.” — Matthew
  • “I will be adding new questions that I can ask victims. Great class.” — Sandra
  • “I loved every minute of Amber’s presentation! She is so knowledgeable and resourceful. I look forward to attending more of her presentations! Excellent! This is the BEST presentation I’ve ever watched!! Thank you, Amber Burgess Cox! FOUR STARS, BRAVO !!” — Nicole
  • “Awesome topic. Great job on breaking down empathy and explaining how victims/survivors pick up on energy. Us as professionals have to remain professional with clients at all times.” — Jessica



This webinar is part of the JCH Summer School Program. From June 1-August 31, 2023, attendees will receive a certificate of attendance via email about one hour after the conclusion of a webinar.

Want to join us for other Summer School webinars? Check out our Summer School Calendar and register today!



Additional Resources
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After the Webinar: First Responding Officer Duties in Sex Crimes Investigations. Q&A with Amber Burgess Cox
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