QUESTION: What do police say about working with psychics?

ANSWER: This page looks at the issue of psychics working with the police from the police and FBI perspective. This is what they feel psychics should understand about this business and what they need from psychics.
A lot of psychics talk about wanting to work with police, but few actually seem to succeed. The problem can be multileveled. Drawing on the comments of FBI agents and police (who have requested anonymity) here are some basic things to keep in mind if you want to succeed. They are broken down by the following stages:
  • What to be aware of before you get involved;
  • The initial approach to whatever agency you feel your information needs to go to.
  • Your first contact with the law enforcement agent or agents;
  • How to maintain a good working relationship after they agree to work with you;
  • What to remember after the case is solved.
So, let's start at the beginning. Say you had a strong psychic flash or dream about a case, or heard of a situation (kidnapping/murder/other) that you really feel you could help with and you want to volunteer your aid. What do you do?

Before You Get Involved:
Recognize that law enforcement agents unusually don't really understand how you work. What they know is how they work. Understand who you are going to be working with. Key points include:
  1. They may be drastically overworked and have little time to talk to you.
  2. They can't afford publicity when they screw up.
  3. Many have a military background and are very disciplined. Often they are conscientious, matter-of-fact, logical, thorough, and work long, hard hours (many crimes are best solved in the first 72 hours).
Another crucial point to recognize is that this is not a chance for you to practice your gift! It has real life ramifications. Failure matters. Don't get into this unless you already have a lot of experience and a good track record. Know your own strengths--what you can and cannot do well. Be clear about this. It's important.

Also, recognize that you may be a suspect until they clear you. This is not a fun situation to be gotten into lightly. Be aware that it's a lot better if they contact you than the other way around. If you contact them the problem is:
  1. They may not be interested.
  2. You may be polluted (biased) because of what you have read in the papers.
  3. You may become the prime suspect if you do too good a job. This can cause them to waste valuable time and resources on investigating you (not to mention cause you potential grief). It's much better if they are the ones to contact you. It's far less suspicious to them and means they were interested enough in what you might say not to immediately write you off. If you feel strongly that you have valuable information and they haven't come to you, consider whether you would be better off turning in a witness form, which is sometimes a safer method of passing on psychic information.
First Contact:
You may have about five minutes to explain what you can do for them in plain terms and offer to help. Sell yourself, but don't try to push anything down their throats. Let them come to the conclusion that it's a good idea to talk to you. Tell what training you've had and from whom and list any success stories of other cases you're been involved in. Make sure they understand the shortcomings of psychic information. Be honest about it. Expect a likely reaction (they'll laugh at you). Of course, if you have information that they have kept private, you may get grilled. IF they do work with you, they'll be very tight-lipped about what they have.
If They Agree to Work With You:
  • Assure them of confidentiality. They hate it to get out that they are using psychics. You don't talk about it to anybody EVER. Keep your word.
  • Be ready to work hard. Trying to get helpful psychic information for the police can be both emotionally and physically draining. Interview sessions can go on for hours.
  • Be timely. This not only means showing up on time for meetings with your contact in law enforcement, but in doing what you need to to come up with useful information in a timely manner.
  • The police want usable information that will help them solve the case. Be specific. Don't speculate or elaborate. It isn't helpful.
  • Communicate, but don't harass. These are busy people. Only touch bases if you have something of value to offer or they ask to hear from you.
  • Be professional. This may involve:
    • Dressing as a professional (a suit and tie are not a bad idea for men; dress appropriately for the situation if you are a woman).
    • Having a professional demeanor when you are with them.
    • Using professional stationary for letters or reports.
    • Always give them a cleanly typed report from a good computer printer (not dot matrix). NEVER give law enforcement hand-written documents or reports.
  • Any information you pass on to law enforcement should sound objective and factual.
  • Don't let your ego get involved. Remember you are there to help them, not the other way around.
  • Be willing and able to stop if the police won't use the information. There are times when it truly is best for both sides if you just walk away.

The FBI Perspective on Psychics
Being fortunate enough to know an ex-FBI agent, I was able to get their particular perspective (quoting off the record) on what they want from a psychic. Much of this is similar to the general comments above, but bears repeating:

"What I would say for the most part is that law enforcement officers, including FBI agents, especially those in Violent Crimes and Gang squads, are extremely busy. They don't want to waste their time. They might consider an offer from a psychic who wants to help on a case -- with skepticism. I would say as a former FBI agent, I would be looking for a psychic to tell me, in an short time, what they can do to help me with a case. Perhaps they give me a quick bio on other cases they have assisted with and success stories. I have an open mind, but other's might be married to their investigative techniques. However, everyone is usually open to help if the case has gone stale. 'So, What can you do for me?' would be my first question to them."

"Professionalism, really the standard stuff. With FBI agents they will be looking for someone put together. If you go in with your sandals and retro 60's hair due you would raise some eye browns and probably lose credibility. Us standard business sense, first impressions are important."

"Confidentiality. Most law enforcement agencies will require some sort of background check to work with them and this takes time. Also, they'll need some sort of disclosure noticed that you won't blab about what your working on. Trying to do this early on would be a good idea, so you're ready to go when it comes time to work a case. Check with what the law enforcement agency you want to work with requires."

Accuracy. When working with law enforcement this is critical. The facts, Ma'am and only the facts. These cases go to court. Agents have to testify on the information, sometimes long into the future. Be accurate, write everything down in the format they require. A willingness to do this will be important."

"What to Avoid? - Lengthy speeches! Again, these agents are busy, get your pitch and information down to a quick, concise format. You'll have their attention for about 60 seconds-- at best, if you want to keep it, sell yourself in the way they need you to do it."

My source added one more comment: "The FBI is very aware of bad PR." So, if you want to work with these people make sure that you won't draw the wrong kind of attention their way. Respect their needs, provide a service, and you have the change to build a mutually satisfying long-term relationship.

Good Books
To learn more, I recommend the reading following two books:

  • Psychic Criminology: A Guide for Using Psychics in Investigations by Whitney S. Hibbard, Raymond W. Worring, and Richard Brennan. This is the 2nd edition of this book. It's a terrific resource whether you're in law enforcement and want to know about parapsychology and how to work with psychics, and for psychics to understand the mind set of the police.
  • The Blue Sense: Psychic Detectives and Crime by Arthur Lyons and Marcello Truzzi. This out-of-print book was one of the earlier works you could get that talked about psychic detectives. It includes a number of interesting case histories.

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