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Eyewitness Identification Resources

On September 30, 2018 Governor Brown signed NCIP co-sponsored SB 923 into law marking a huge step forward in eyewitness identification reform in California and capping a years-long effort by many to get legislation passed in California. Authored by Senator Scott Weiner, the new law, California Penal Code Section 859.7, mandates statewide use of best practices by law enforcement when conducting photo and live lineups. Law enforcement’s compliance with these widely accepted best practices improves the reliability of eyewitness identifications, while their failure to use these practices increases the risk of misidentification and a wrongful conviction. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2020, allowing law enforcement agencies across the state time to train personnel in eyewitness identification best practice procedures.

Below we have included a series of training videos for use by law enforcement agencies in training officers on the best practices in eyewitness identification procedures. These videos are courtesy of the Norwood Police Department in Norwood, MA. Chief William G. Brooks, Chief of the Norwood, MA Police Department, has enjoyed a decades-long career in law enforcement and is a certified eyewitness identification trainer. He is also a member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Committee on Eyewitness Identification and served as a member of the committee at the National Academy of Sciences which examined eyewitness identification research.

Eyewitness Identification Episode 1: General Overview (5:56)

Eyewitness Identification Episode 2: Initial Response (6:51)

Eyewitness Identification Episode 3: Show Ups (4:31)

Eyewitness Identification Episode 4: Photo Arrays (5:04)

Eyewitness Identification Episode 5: Live Lineups (5:35)

“Folder Shuffle” Alternative Methods of Blind Array Techniques (6:50)

Additional Resources