Interview / Interrogation Rooms


May 21, 2009




April 8, 2023

Sheriff of Monroe County


  1. PURPOSE: To establish standard procedures for the safe, effective use of interview / interrogation rooms used throughout the county.


    1. Interview/interrogation room designation: These are rooms used primarily for interview/ interrogation.

    2. Authorization for use of the room: Any deputy wishing to use an interview/interrogation room to conduct an interview/interrogation as part of an investigation must obtain permission from the supervisor, or his/her designee, who controls access to that room.

    3. Items kept in the room: Only items that assist the deputy should be kept in the room, e.g. tables, chairs, writing materials, tape recording equipment, etc. Items that can be used as potential weapons shall not be kept in the interview/interrogation room.

    4. Search of room prior to use: Deputies using an interview/interrogation room to conduct a suspect/detainee/prisoner interview/interrogation shall conduct a security inspection of the room prior to its use. Officers should look for and remove any item(s) that could be used as potential weapons.

    5. Search of suspect/detainee/prisoner: The interviewing deputy is responsible for the safety of all persons involved in the interview/interrogation including the safety of the suspect/detainee/prisoner. The suspect/detainee/prisoner will be pat-searched prior to the interview/interrogation. Training for deputy accountability for the suspect/detainee/prisoner is conducted during the Field Training Officer program.

    6. Property belonging to suspect/detainee/prisoner: Any property taken from the suspect/detainee/prisoner prior to, or during the pat search, shall be placed in a secured area or given to another deputy for safekeeping

    7. Separation of male, female and juvenile suspects/detainees/prisoners: Male suspects/detainees/prisoners shall be kept separate from female suspects/detainees/prisoners. Adult suspects/detainees/prisoners shall be kept separate from juvenile suspects/detainees/prisoners.

    8. Weapons control: It is recommended that deputies secure their firearm and less-lethal weapons prior to entering the interview/interrogation room. If the deputy chooses to keep his/her firearm

      and/or less-lethal weapons on his/her person, the deputy should position him/herself so that the firearm or less-lethal weapon is not within ready access of the suspect/detainee/prisoner.

    9. Suspect/detainee/prisoner/ control: The deputy may only use handcuffs as a temporary restraint during the interview/interrogation to maintain control of the suspect/detainee/prisoner. The officer shall not secure the suspect/detainee/prisoner to a fixed object.

    10. Number of officers present during interview/interrogations: No more than two deputies should be present at any one time during an interview/interrogation.

    11. Monitoring/Recording the suspect/detainee/prisoner: The suspect/detainee/prisoner should be kept under continuous observation while he/she is in the interview/interrogation room. Video monitoring can be used as long as the deputy watching the video monitor can maintain continuous observation without being distracted by other tasks and can immediately respond to a request for assistance. If the suspect/detainee/prisoner cannot be continuously monitored, a deputy or other agency member shall be present in the room with the suspect/detainee/prisoner. The officer or agency member shall receive verbal affirmation from the suspect/detainee/prisoner that they are “okay” and are not in need of water, a restroom, etc. If they are being monitored through video equipment. All rooms are continuously video/audio recorded through the arbitrator recording system which automatically uploads to the server. Uploaded files have to be classified by the investigator to link to incident.

    12. Access to water, restrooms, etc.: The interview/interrogation room shall have reasonable access to restrooms and water. The suspect/detainee/prisoner shall be afforded reasonable breaks in the interview/interrogation process to gain access to water, restrooms and other needs.

    13. Escape prevention: Deputies shall be diligent in taking the necessary precautions to prevent the suspect/detainee/prisoner from escaping. Allowing the suspect/detainee/prisoner access to the restroom, water, etc. may present the possibility of an escape attempt and the deputy(ies) should take precautions to prevent it.

      Deputies should also be aware that persons who accompany the suspect/detainee/prisoner to the location of the interview/interrogation room, also present security risks.

      In the event of a medical or other emergency situation, i.e. floods, power failure, etc., the deputy(ies) shall take precautions to secure the suspect/detainee/prisoner to prevent an escape.

      In the event of a fire, the deputy(ies) shall evacuate the building with the suspect/detainee/prisoner following the posted evacuation route.

    14. Summoning assistance: Deputies should not conduct an interview/interrogation alone. However, if it becomes necessary to conduct an interview/interrogation with only one deputy in the interview/interrogation room, a second deputy and/or any additional deputies shall place themselves in a position to be able to see and/or hear what is occurring in the interview/interrogation room.

      Any deputy, in the interview/interrogation room, who needs assistance may use his/her “Officer Down” feature on his/her assigned portable radio. Deputies may also use a predetermined verbal/visual signal to summon assistance from other officers present.

    15. Non-designated interview/interrogation room: When areas are used for interview/interrogations that are not solely used for that purpose, the deputy shall take into consideration all of the issues/concerns presented in this directive.