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LEARNING OBJECTIVES: List six training elements for investigative duty. Identify seven questions to be asked in investigative operational management planning. Describe the elements to be considered in the assignment of investigative personnel.

While investigative assignments must be based on aptitude and individual desires, all Masters-at-Arms should have knowledge of basic investigation techniques rather than being specially trained investigators. Your training should include, at the minimum, the following:

1. The scope of the Master-at-Arm's investigative responsibility

2. The provisions of the UCMJ that govern investigations

3. Preservation and examination of crime scenes and evidence

4. Rules of search and seizure

5. How to conduct interviews

6. How to write reports


The supervisor of an investigation unit should be able to evaluate performance, eliminate unnecessary jobs, and make sure that the available resources of time, personnel, and equipment are used to maximum efficiency. That is called investigative operational management, and it must be applied properly to allow the investigator to fulfill his or her obligations.

Investigative operational management planning considers the following questions:

1. What is to be done?

2. Why is it to be done?

3. When is it to be done (what priority)?

4. Where is it to be done?

5. How is it to be done (resources)?

6. What is the estimated man-hour time?

7. Who is to do it?

As a part of the planning process, the supervisor considers all foreseeable contingencies and develops plans and SOPs so that the unit is prepared to respond.


People are the most valuable resource available to the investigative supervisor, and they should be used wisely. The supervisor considers the following in the management of personnel resources.

Qualifications. Who is best suited for the mission in terms of experience, training, skill, physical condition, and dependability? The supervisor should assign the task to the right person.

Case Load. The case load is distributed evenly among assigned investigators. Careful planning is required to fit the individual to the task without overburdening the more experienced personnel.

Difficult tasks should be alternated with the more simple so that one or two investigators do not always receive the hardest, most time-consuming investigations.

Pairing Investigators. Efficiency can be greatly increased by properly pairing investigators-the inexperienced with the experienced and the methodical with the compulsive.

Time. The time that is required for an investigation should be considered so that the investigator is allowed a reasonable period to accomplish an investigation. Time is also considered in other ways; for example, does the investigator have sufficient time to rest, or is he or she overworked and subsequently less effective?

Supervision. The supervisor provides central direction to the investigative effort and, above all, assists the investigator whenever and however possible. The successful supervisor thoroughly briefs subordinates on requirements and delegates authority as appropriate.


In this chapter, we covered investigative jurisdiction, major and minor criminal offenses, and security matters that require investigative action. The types of criminal information were defined, followed by an examination of the criminal information process. Next, we looked at informants and their importance to the investigative process, along with a discussion of the techniques used in observation, description, and identification. The terms used in surveillance operations were defined, followed by a discussion of planning, personnel qualifications, methods, and precautions involved in surveillance operations. The difference between an interview and an interrogation was discussed, and the elements of each technique were considered. Finally, we covered investigation of juvenile offenders and the management of internal investigations.

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