Debriefing involves collecting as much information as possible
from returning search teams, evaluating their findings, and channeling
that information as appropriate.
Debriefing teams will be needed throughout the day as teams continue
to return. Generally debriefers are needed from noon to 7PM.
The Debriefing team consists of an interviewer and a notetaker.
Interview Guidelines, based on those of the Heidi Search Center (See
Interview Guidelines),) provide guidance for the interviewer.
Some training or prior experience is required. At a minimum,
the debriefers should be familiar with the maps of the areas being
searched and the search procedures being used. Debriefers should
remember to take their time, don't rush, be positive, smile, make
the searchers feel comfortable, and thank them.
A professional or experienced search team may be able to debrief
themselves before their interview with the debriefer.
The Debriefing team interfaces with:
- Director and Deputy Director.
- Law Enforcement Liaison - Information collected by the debriefers
may need immediate attention.
- Targeting - Further searches of an area may be indicated.
- Historian (Section
on Historian) - All debriefing forms must be filed.
The Debriefing team needs the following equipment and supplies:
- A secure room with access limited to key personnel.
- Information Control forms. (Filled in from notes taken during
the debriefing. Print on all forms)
- A wall map of the entire search area.
- Tape recorder.
- Office supplies - highlighters, staplers, colored stickers.
Individual search forms, maps, and search team photo should be
collected from returning team leaders.
A Debriefer assigned to the returning team will:
- Elect to interview every member of the team at once, or select
only the team leader.
- Interview individuals with specific or ``hot'' information in
a separate debriefing (if warranted).
- Collect as much specific information as possible about the area
searched and how well it was searched. The team or its leader needs
to identify areas that were not searched, not searched thoroughly,
or areas they feel might need a special search team to look at again.
Ask, ``Would you further search this area?''
- Lead with questions and do not put words in the interviewees
mouth. Ask for their ``gut feelings'' and use their words on the
debriefing form. Let them sketch maps with as much detail as possible.
Indicate any flagged evidence that was marked at the search area
with detailed descriptions.
- Collect and assess any evidence brought back. Package and secure
it appropriately, turning it over to authorities if necessary.
- Attach any notes or maps brought in from the searchers.
- Request that the searchers not discuss any findings or theories
with anybody else.
- Make notes about the mental state of the searchers and screen
for possible counseling needs.
- Plot completed search area on the Master Search Map (Section
on Master Search Map) in the Targeting room.
- Prioritize Information Control forms using the check boxes at
the bottom of form.
- Route Information Control forms through Targeting as necessary
for further search of an area, then to the Historian.