Molly O’Neal

San Jose Police Officers’ Tutorial on Letters of Apology Concerns Public Defender

Two San Jose police officers run a company called Third Degree Communications, which recently offered fellow cops some unusual tips on how to gain evidence through letters of apology. (Graphic by Kara Brown)

The San Jose Police Department’s duty manual serves as a bible of sorts when it comes to the rules and regulations for officers. In the 756-page tome that lays out procedures and protocol, five pages are dedicated to interviews and interrogations of witnesses and suspects. Nowhere in the duty manual, however, is there any mention of an interrogation technique that is now receiving criticism from the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s office and local defense attorneys: letters of apology.