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Memory Retention

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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Exam Information

The memory section of the exam tests your ability to observe and recall information. During the study session of the exam, you will be given a variety of information to learn and memorize in a booklet. This is a total memory section. Unlike other sections, in which the information is given to you again, scenario information from this section will not be repeated for you on the test. The information will be presented to you in the form of scenarios or short stories similar to the way a police officer receives a call for help. You will be expected to remember the key pieces of information about each of these scenarios and images.

Most of the times the scenario will be from the following three categories.

  • Crime scenes

  • Suspect information

  • Building floor plans

Crime Scenes

In the crime scene section of this memory test, you will be given a scenario. That scenario will include one or two images. After you have looked at the images and read the scenario, there will be a series of questions about the scenario. These questions cover both the image and the information given in the text.

Let's take a look at an example of a test-like scenario and a series of questions that are dependent on the scenario.

Scenario 1

You have been dispatched to 1200 E. 46th Street on the possibility of an armed robbery in progress. The suspect is described as a white male, armed with a handgun. Upon arrival to the scene, you see this:

Based on the scenario just given, let's answer some of the following questions:

  1. When you first arrived at the scene, how many vehicles were parked in the parking lot?

  2. How many customers were inside the business?

  3. Was the robber a black male or a white male?

  4. In which hand was the suspect holding the gun?

  5. What was the street address to which you were dispatched?

Scenario 2

While working on night shift, you and Officer Jones have been dispatched to the scene of a residential burglary in progress at 3421 Central Avenue. A black male has been seen entering a window on the south side of the house. Upon arrival on the scene, you see the following:

Based on the scenario just given, let's answer the following questions:

  1. When you first arrived on the scene, were there any cars parked in the driveway?

  2. Did you see anyone run away from the scene?

  3. What was your dispatch time for the call?

  4. Which other officer was dispatched to the scene?

TIP

Organize information in the form of zones. For example, you can easily divide the armed robbery crime scene into outside and inside the business zones. Then further divide these zones. For instance, you could divide the outside into "people and vehicles," and divide the inside into "customer area and employee area" or "in front of the counter" or "behind the counter." When you have divided your crime scene into zones, concentrate on each zone. For example, for your outside zone, you can look for the following:

  • Who is outside?

  • How many cars in the parking lot?

  • Is someone driving away?

  • Are there any people sitting inside the vehicle?

Then concentrate on the inside of the business. Some of the following questions might help your breakdown of the business's inside:

  • How many people are inside?

  • Is the suspect still inside the business?

  • How many suspects?

  • Are there weapons or no weapons?

  • Description of the suspect?

If the image is clear enough, organize your suspect description. Start from the top of the head and end at the feet. Use the following as a guide when observing a suspect:

  • Head gear

  • Hair

  • Face

  • Shirt

  • Pants

  • Shoes

  • Age

  • Height

  • Weight

You can use a similar approach to any type of crime scene. When you have gathered all the required information, take notes and draw a quick outline.

Suspect Information

As a police officer, you will come across numerous people in your professional life. These people could be victims, witnesses and, most of all, suspects. In addition to meeting people while working your designated area, you will also receive information in various forms. One such form will be a wanted bulletin. These bulletins usually have the wanted subject's photo and the charge that the person is wanted for. In the memory section of the test there is a portion that tests your ability to remember peoples' faces and what they are wanted for. The idea is to replicate a wanted bulletin.

Let's practice this idea. The following four scenarios give you subject faces that are associated with different crimes. After the fourth scenario, there will be questions that rely on your observations of the information provided in all four scenarios.

Scenario 1

The following three subjects are wanted for conspiracy to commit murder:

Scenario 2

The following two individuals are wanted by the financial crimes branch for check fraud:

Scenario 3

The following individual is wanted for domestic violence:

Scenario 4

The following individuals are being sought for firearms-related charges:

Based on the preceding scenarios, answer the following questions:

  1. Which of the following individuals are wanted for domestic violence?

  2. Which of the following individuals are wanted for conspiracy to commit murder?

  3. Which of the following individuals are wanted for firearms-related charges?

  4. Which of the following individuals are wanted for check fraud?

CAUTION

Divide the photos and categorize the suspects by race. For example, in the photos, there is only one white female wanted whose charge is check fraud. There is one Latino male, and his charge is domestic battery. So, if you see a question in the exam about the individual wanted for domestic battery, it will easier to remember that it was a Latino male. Also, if you see a photo of a white female and the question relates to the charge being murder, you know that the answer is false because there was only one female wanted and that was for check fraud. This technique is similar to the common process of elimination technique for multiple-choice questions.

Building Floor Plan

From time to time in your career as a police officer, you will be required to serve arrest warrants, search warrants, or call for a more-specialized unit, such as a SWAT team. Members of SWAT teams rely mainly on the information provided to them by the first arriving officer. One area of crucial information is the layout of the building. By using this correct information, specialized teams can better execute search plans and arrest plans.

Let's practice observing floor plans further. Scenarios 1 and 2 give you some floor plans. Based on these plans, answer the questions that follow.

Scenario 1

Let's look at layout number 1. Figures 3.9 and 3.10 show the first and second floors, respectively, for this layout.

Figure 3.9Figure 3.9 First floor.

Figure 3.10Figure 3.10 Second floor.

You and Officer Brown have been dispatched to 2347 Naomi Street to serve a felony warrant. You entered the residence and searched the house. The wanted subject has not been found. You suspect that the subject might be hidden in the attic. At this point, you decide to call the SWAT team. Upon SWAT's arrival, the SWAT team leader wants to know the layout of the house. Based on this scenario, answer the following questions:

  1. Does this house have a basement?

  2. How many rooms are on the first floor?

  3. How many rooms are on the second floor?

  4. How many windows on the first floor face the north side of the house?

  5. Which corner of the house has the master bedroom? Was it E, W, N, S, NE, NW, SE, or SW?

Answers

  1. No

  2. Four

  3. Six

  4. Three

  5. Southeast

Scenario 2

Let's look at layout number 2.

Figure 3.11Figure 3.11 First floor—scenario two.

Figure 3.12Figure 3.12 Second floor—scenario two.

You have been dispatched to a domestic disturbance. You have made an arrest. Now the prosecutor, who is unable to make it to the scene at the time of the arrest, wants to know the layout of the house. Based on this scenario, answer the following questions:

  1. Which room of the house is located in the southwest corner of the first floor?

  2. Which room of the house is located in the northeast corner of the second floor?

  3. How many bathrooms are in this house?

  4. How many fireplaces are in the house?

  5. Does this house have a garage?

Answers

  1. Living room

  2. Bedroom number 2

  3. Three

  4. One

  5. Yes

CAUTION

Take an organized approach to observing layouts. Start from the front door and imagine that you are walking though the house. Compare the layout with another house that you have visited or even your own house. Use the legend and azimuth that ate provided. Pay special attention to the direction of north. North will not always be toward the top of the page. After you have determined the direction of north, all the other directions fall into place.

CAUTION

Do a memory dump on exam day. As soon as you get the opportunity during the test, draw a diagram while the layout is fresh in your mind. If you remember the legend items, outline them on the paper. There could be several questions, for a single layout. Your diagram will be useful and help you answer the questions.

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