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Abstract

We surveyed 532 U.S. law enforcement officers about eyewitness factors, and how they conduct eyewitness interviews and identification procedures. There were 83 officers from departments that had implemented eyewitness reforms, and 449 officers from departments that had not implemented reforms. Officers from both samples had limited knowledge of eyewitness factors. They also reported conducting interviews and identification procedures in a manner that violated many provisions of the National Institute of Justice's Guide and Training Manual. Although officers in reform departments reported following more correct lineup procedures than officers in non-reform departments, the two groups did not differ in knowledge of eyewitness factors or in their use of proper interviewing procedures. Only 18% of the reform officers and 1% of the non-reform officers had both read the Guide and received training based on it. We discuss the implications of the present study for training U.S. law enforcement officers about eyewitness testimony. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.