Archive for January, 2016

Courtroom Testimony – Let STOP help

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Ashley Fuller, our Director of Judicial Affairs and Crime Scene Analysis, is the guest author of this post. She has impeccable credentials and many hours of experience working with court officials. I appreciate her willingness to share her expertise on courtroom testimony.

How many of us have terrible flashbacks to our school days every time we think about taking an exam? Our faces become flushed with anxiety and our brain goes on overdrive hoping we’re prepared? When we transport our younger selves to adulthood and face promotion exams or hiring board interviews, those same nerves and fears can surface. Intimidation can step in and those answers, which we just knew were perfect, fade away into the land of “the forgotten.”

Have you ever thought about the court room experience in a similar fashion? You walk into a crowded courtroom and face 12 members of a jury and a judge, a prosecutor, a defense attorney, the defendant (who might have been on your case load) and, potentially, your supervisor. Your swearing-in shines the spotlight on you and your promise to tell the truth (“I hope I remember!” ), and then you sit in the uncomfortable witness stand. You do not trust who’s asking the questions and, most of all, you don’t feel the need to justify the good job you know you did while monitoring the defendant.

I can definitely relate to courtroom nerves. My career has allowed me to spend many hours in court. I was a police officer for more than eight years, and I’ve spent nearly five years traveling across the Nation testifying as STOP’s expert witness for our partner agencies. I may not know the answers as to why a defendant is found guilty or not guilty, but I have developed a way to answer some of the detailed questions about GPS in a way that most judges and juries can understand. I have learned when you understand, not just STOP’s technology but how to explain it to others, your courtroom experience doesn’t have to be nightmare-ish.

We don ‘t want to keep these answers to ourselves. We want to help arm you and your colleagues with the needed tools for success the next time you’re faced with difficult courtroom questions. We have developed courtroom testimony training for agencies that can be a live webinar or in-person at your agency. All of us feel a sense of calm when we are prepared, even if we’re facing the expected.

So, chat with your account manager if the online or onsite training would be helpful for your agency. All of us have enough stressful situations in our lives-let STOP help reduce some of your stress.