Albania: ICITAP Kicks Off Advanced Suspect Interviewing for Narcotics Investigations Course

January 16, 2023

On January 16, ICITAP kicked off the U.S. European Command (EUCOM)-funded Advanced Suspect Interviewing (ASI) for Narcotics Investigations course at the Security Academy in Tirana. ASI was designed by ICITAP staff and is a continuation of the 40-hour basic interviewing course ICITAP provided to all 60 National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Investigators as part of their 2021 and 2022 foundational training.  The non-accusatory, information-gathering P.E.A.C.E model is considered to be best practice and suitable for any type of interviewee (victim, witness, or suspect). The basic course, specifically designed to comport with Albanian law, was met with overwhelmingly positive feedback – from instructors, participants, observers, and the prosecutors (whose cases benefit from the product and provided feedback). ASI is a five-day course repeated for 12 weeks to instruct 60 NBI Investigators and approximately 30 Police Oversight Agency Investigators and will have 8-10 students in each class.  Scenarios that form the heart of the five-day competence-based learning course are case studies inspired by actual narcotic crimes in Albania, consisting of briefing sheets for the lead investigators, paper exhibits, and scripts for three suspects.  Classes will be divided into pairs and each pair allocated a case and tasked with planning their investigation and interviewing three suspects, played by ASP academy students.  Interview preparation and documentation will be reviewed, and each student will learn the proper method to video/audio record interviews utilizing equipment ICITAP purchased which is specifically designed to record law enforcement interviews. ICITAP has provided draft copies of all standard operating procedures (SOP) and course materials to the Director of the NBI, SPAK Chief Special Prosecutor, and DG POA for awareness since their personnel will use or formally authorize the practice of video recording suspects.  Also, the package includes a newly developed assessment form that will be completed by the instructors and will form part of the final grading report for the NBI Director or POA/ASP Personnel Department.

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Updated March 27, 2023