In addition to being a decorated law enforcement officer with 15 years of experience in investigations, you are also a member of a regional professional membership organization for law enforcement officers.
At next year’s annual conference, you will be conducting a training for which members can receive continuing education credits. The topic of your training is “Probable Cause v. Reasonable Suspicion: How Do We Train Our Officers?” This is a “train the trainer” event, in that the bulk of the attendees at your workshop will be training officers who will take these techniques back to their agencies to use as they train their new officers on these constitutional issues.
Your job is to put together a PowerPoint presentation that will utilize contemporary case law and other resources to provide a training presentation to the attendees. The objective of your training is to help attendees learn how to differentiate between probable cause and reasonable suspicion. Essentially, your job is to provide these trainers with the tools to return to their agencies and make these concepts and issues clear to their officers. Effectively presenting this information can be the difference between a case being dismissed for lack of probable cause, and a deserving criminal defendant being prosecuted effectively.
Your training should address, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:
- A definition of search and seizure
- A discussion of who the Fourth Amendment regulates
- A discussion of the reasonableness clause and the warrant clause of the Fourth Amendment
- A definition of probable cause and of reasonable suspicion, and a discussion of the current state of the law on probable cause and reasonable suspicion
- At least 2 different fact scenarios to illustrate the steps in the decision-making process for an officer in determining whether probable cause or reasonable suspicion exist
- A discussion of the current state of the law in stop-and-frisk
- A discussion of the consequences to law enforcement for violating the Fourth Amendment (such as the exclusionary rule or civil or criminal liability)
- Any other information you believe important to convey in training on this topic