Eyewitness Identification

It is the purpose of this policy to establish guidelines for eyewitness identification procedures involving showups, photo arrays, and lineups. Erroneous eyewitness identifications have been cited as the factor most frequently associated with wrongful convictions. Therefore, in addition to eyewitness identification, all appropriate investigative steps and methods should be employed to uncover evidence that either supports or eliminates the suspect identification.

Officers shall strictly adhere to the procedures for conducting eyewitness identifications set forth herein, in order to maximize the reliability of identifications, minimize erroneous identifications, and gather evidence that conforms to contemporary eyewitness identification protocols. This policy recognizes that the sequential and simultaneous approaches are both valid methods of conducting an identification procedure and does not recommend one over the other. However, regardless of the method that an agency decides to utilize, the basic procedures outlined in this document should be followed.

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