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Don Howell

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Interviewing Sexually Motivated Offenders
Don Howell  More Info

Interviewing Sex Crime Victims
Don Howell  More Info

About the Huntington Beach Police Department

The Huntington Beach Police Department is made up of more than 220 sworn police officers and over 120 civilian employees. Their careers range from Patrol, Detectives, Jail and Parking Control Officers to civilian positions such as Records Clerks, Dispatchers and C.S.I Investigators to name a few.  These individuals are responsible for protecting over 194,000 residents and 11 million visitors to Huntington Beach every year. All 32 square miles of the city and 8.5 miles of beaches are patrolled by the police department using cars, quads, motorcycles, and helicopters. The Huntington Beach Police Department employees are committed to serving the community with honor.


The Huntington Beach Police Department is organized into three divisions: Investigation Division; Uniform Division; and, Administrative Operations Division. Each division is made up of bureaus which have distinct duties to respond to the needs of the citizens and the Department.


The Administrative Operations division is headed by a Captain. This division is responsible for the Communications Bureau, Personnel Bureau, Support Services Bureau, and Budget Bureau. Communications encompasses the 9-1-1 center for the police department. Personnel are responsible for the testing and hiring of employees at the department. Support Services consists of the Training unit, the Alarm office, and the support services unit responsible for vehicle, computer, and building maintenance. The budget bureau involves both payroll and accounting.


The Uniform Division of the Huntington Beach Police Department is headed by a Captain. It, like most municipal and many state and county law enforcement agencies, is the largest of the three divisions and has the greatest number of personnel assigned to it. There are officers assigned to the Uniform Division. Within the Uniform Division is the Patrol Bureau, Traffic/Aero Bureau, and Special Enforcement Bureau. The Patrol Bureau is the most visible unit and consists of the officers seen in police cars, on foot beats, and on the beach quads. Patrol officers are assigned geographical areas known as beats. The city is broken down into 12 beats to allow sufficient coverage 24 hours a day. This assignment is for an entire deployment which allows the officer to become familiar with and address community problems. The Traffic/Aero Bureau consists of motorcycle officers, helicopter operations, parking control officers, and the crossing guard details. The Special Enforcement Bureau is made up of officers assigned to Directed Enforcement, Special Enforcement (such as Downtown Main Street or Bella Terra areas), Neighborhood Enhancement, and the Neighborhood Watch and Volunteer programs.


The Investigations Division of the Huntington Beach Police Department is also headed by a captain.  This division is comprised of General Investigations, Records, Jail, and Narcotics/Vice/Intelligence. The General Investigations Bureau is broken down into three units: Crimes Against Persons, Crimes Against Property, and Bunco-Forgery. Each unit handles the investigation of crimes relevant to their assignment. The Crimes Against Property unit is also responsible for the Property unit, which maintains control of all evidence and property booked at the department, and the Scientific Investigation Unit, which consists of fingerprint technicians, a criminialist, and the police photo/imaging specialist. The Records unit maintains reports, is responsible for subpoena/warrants, handles word processing/transcription services, and offers counter services, such as vehicle releases, report requests, and fingerprinting. The Jail is responsible for the booking/release of detainees, the housing of pre-trial arrestees, and inmate workers. The Narcotics/Vice/intelligence Bureau is responsible for the investigation of crimes involving narcotics, gangs, prostitution, and terrorism among other duties.




Don Howell graduated with honors with a degree in Police Science and Administration. He spent 25 years as a police officer for two different agencies in Southern California cities. Don is retired from the Huntington Beach Police Department.  As a detective for more than 15 years, he specialized in the investigation of sexual assaults and child abuse. He is a court certified expert in these areas and is a highly sought after consultant to agencies on complex cases. As a consultant to the California Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and training (P.O.S.T.), Don was considered to be one of the best in his field and was selected to assist in making a teleconference course on rape investigations.

According to the book description of Sex Crime Interviews Simplified, "This book is a combines the author's two sex crime interview books, A Guide to Interviewing Sex Crime Victims and Interviewing Sexually Motivated Offenders, all into one easy-to-read guide.  

Part I: Interviewing children is a lot easier than most people think. The trick is to modify your approach with the age of the child. This book takes you through some simple steps for interviewing the littlest victims to teenagers, and then on to adults and senior citizens. Identifying false reports, understanding the difference between M.O. and fantasy, report-writing and working with social workers are also covered 

Part II: Taking the mystery out of interviewing sex offenders is what this part of the book is designed to do. This book will improve your interviewing skills by explaining in simple terms what sex offenders do, why they do it, and using their behavior against them during your interview. Sex offenders are the most fascinating criminals law enforcement deals with. Learn how to confidently deal with them for more confessions and convictions."

According to the book description of Interviewing Sexually Motivated Offenders, “Sex offenders are the most fascinating criminals law enforcement deals with. Taking the mystery out of interviewing them isn't difficult. Replacing the complex psychological definitions with a working understanding of how sex offenders think and act is the key to improving your interviewing skills. Combine this with the five trademarks of the actual interview and you have a new interviewing strategy that will increase your confession rate. This is not magic. Instead it approaches interviewing the sex offender from a different direction or perspective, to allow you to identify the offender's behavior and use it to your advantage.”

According to the book description of Interviewing Sex Crime Victims, “Strongly endorsed by John Walsh, the host of America's Most Wanted, and recommended by law enforcement professionals, social workers and educators, this book presents a step-by-step formula for interviewing sex crime victims, particularly children. The non-threatening method of interviewing children shown in the book is quickly becoming the "standard" for these difficult investigations. This book introduces the "team" approach to sex crimes investigation, demonstrating the success of blending law enforcement officers and social workers, working together to solve the crime and protect the victim.”

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