Identification of persons based on verbal descriptions
is one of the key skills of police work. This includes
identifying suspects, but also locating missing persons,
identifying a person needing help in a public assist call, or
finding and helping a person who is threatening suicide.
Correct identification can lead to reduced loss of life,
reunions of missing persons with their loved ones, and
apprehension of suspects, while incorrect identification
can have terrible unintended consequences for both
officers and civilians.
Identification of persons based on verbal descriptions is one of the key skills of police work. Gathering as much description information as possible immediately following the event—for example, at the point of emergency police dispatch—could substantially improve the accuracy of suspect descriptions, the ability to locate missing persons quickly, and other key outcomes of effective police work. The primary objective of this study was to determine what amount and type of persons description information is collected by...