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NYPD's Detective Rules

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

For the last three years, the New York Police Department has been trying to set in stone the rules, procedures and techniques for being a detective. 

The New York Times reports that the instructional memos are the work of the NYPD's Chief of Detectives Phil Pulaski. Since becoming chief in 2009, he's issued about 85 memos that cover everything from how to surreptitiously collect a suspect's DNA, investigating stolen cell phones and what questions to ask when conducting lineups.

Some detectives complain that the memos sew a culture of distrust between higher ups and detectives, but the police department says they could ensure that certain procedures are applied consistently.

But retired NYPD detective and novelist Edward Conlon said the memos can be impractical and insulting.

“There’s a difference between trying to systematize a way of collecting DNA for example and a memo like the one that went down that said, offensive language is allowed during interrogations,” Conlon said. “I don’t think we need to get permission to curse.

Conlon spoke to WNYC’s Amy Eddings Tuesday.

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Amy Eddings

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Tracie Hunte

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