There are two common types of interviews conducted by the police in order to help the public: 1) Emergency phone call “interviews” which take place between an operator/dispatcher and a public caller and 2) Police interrogations. Both types of interactions are recorded, and both are often converted into hard-copy transcriptions. As members of the public, many of us take these services for granted; however the transcription of these interviews is critical and they become legal evidence which we can use for our own protection.
Depending on your location in the world, emergency phone numbers vary. One of the most popular numbers to call is 911. This number (for police, medical, and fire assistance) is used in Canada, the United States of America, Fiji, Paraguay, Jordan, and several countries in Central America and the Caribbean. Other common emergency numbers in Europe and Asia are 112 and 999.
It’s fairly common knowledge that calls to local emergency numbers are recorded. This happens for a number of reasons, but the most obvious one is that each call is full of evidence which may be required by the police or a legal department at a later time. Not everyone agrees that these recordings are sometimes considered public record—being broadcast for the world to hear—but the main intent is to inform, protect, and document a witness’ testimony.
Police Interrogations and Interviews
Police also create other recordings to help the public—suspect and witness interviews. These interviews are equally important as those mentioned previously, if not even more crucial. When a crime has been committed, police do everything they can to request interviews with critical key witnesses or to apprehend suspects for thorough questioning. Interviews are most often recorded with audio and video and then later converted into a document by transcription service providers.
When a transcription company creates hard copies of recorded police interviews, legal teams chomp at the bit to gain access to that evidence. If admissible in court, those transcriptions have immense legal ramifications which can have an incredible impact on the prosecution or defense’s case. If it weren’t for recorded police interviews, there would be a staggering lack of evidence in court. As a result, there would be fewer guilty parties in jail.
Receiving an Interview Transcript
Did you know that members of the public have the right to submit a public-record request? By completing the necessary paperwork or submitting a letter of request, individuals can begin the process of acquiring a copy of a transcription. There will likely be an associated fee, but this will vary depending on which types of records are being sought after and how lengthy they are.
Powerful Public Assistance
Having the knowledge that police interviews can protect and defend the innocent is powerful. Today’s technology empowers us and enables law enforcement to more easily work with the public and keep us safe. The fact that transcriptionists get to take part in this great community service is icing on the cake.