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Mock trial helps 100 officers, cadets across Florida improve court skills

See News-Journal Crime-Safety blog, Nov. 13, 2013

In the first class format of its type in the 7th Judicial Circuit, Daytona State College’s School of Emergency Services teamed up with the State Attorney for the 7th Judicial Circuit on Nov. 8 to teach area law enforcement officers and Law Enforcement Academy cadets the finer points of testifying in court.

More than 100 practicing law enforcement officers and cadets took part in “Your Day in Court,” a full-day workshop presented by State Attorney R.J. Larizza’s office conducted at Daytona State’s Advanced Technology College (ATC). The officers and students spent the morning learning how to better document crime affidavits and prepare for testifying in court.

“This is the first time we’ve done a mock trial with a team of state attorney prosecutors participating,” said Robin Davis, Daytona State’s criminal justice training coordinator. “Our goal was to provide an opportunity for our law enforcement officers to gain first-hand knowledge in a realistic setting. Our students and the rookie patrol offers gained vital insight into how important testimony preparation is to successful case prosecution. Even for the veteran officers who attended, the day provided a great refresher.”

The mock trial involved a fictitious domestic battery and false imprisonment case led by attorneys acting as prosecutors, defense counsel and judge. Selected officers from the class participated as witnesses and jurors.

At the close of the case, class participants, jurors and attorney’s critiqued each witness and offered tips on how to improve their testimony.

“What I found most revealing was how important the police report is in prosecuting a case,” said Jessica Fowler, who will graduate in February 2014 from Daytona State’s Law Enforcement Academy. “When it’s time to go to court, every detail counts.”

Fellow cadet Carlos Marrero also learned that it’s important for an officer testifying as a witness to be consistent in his or her attitude because jurors pay close attention to courtroom decorum and body language. “But most of all, it’s important to be honest as a witness so you don’t wind up backtracking on the stand.”

It was the first such class format of its type to be offered in the 7th Judicial Circuit, which includes Volusia, Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns counties. Officers from Brevard and Orange counties also participated in the training.


{Nov. 12, 2013}

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Last updated: 2014-09-12T13:58:02.21Z