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Police Procedure for Crime Writers

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With Undersheriff Tony Spurlock of the Douglas County, Colorado Sheriff’s Office


We often see how the police investigate crimes on TV and in movies, and we read about their procedures in books, but how accurate are those portrayals? This week we get the real story from one who knows.

Undersheriff Tony Spurlock is a Colorado native who has worked with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office since 1980. He lives in Douglas County with his wife and children. He attended Metro State College and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Session 207.

Undersheriff Spurlock’s experience includes:

  • Instructor for the Colorado District Attorneys Council and County Sheriffs of Colorado
  • Chair of the Colorado Domestic Violence Offender Treatment Board
  • Chair of the 18th Judicial District Victim Assistance Law Enforcement Fund, which provides training funds to non-profits and law enforcement agencies
  • 2002 Officer of the Year for the 18th Judicial District
  • SWAT Commander for five years
  • Leader of the Critical Incident Team of the 18th Judicial District.

Join Undersheriff Spurlock and host Paula B. as they discuss:

  • Where the police start their investigations
  • What kinds of facts they must have in order to make progress
  • How police should handle witnesses
  • How the police sometimes miss important forensic evidence that is available to them
  • What types of forensic evidence the police usually get involved with
  • What some types of more exotic forensic evidence are
  • How easy it is for perpetrators to cover their tracks
  • How detectives trace where weapons and other evidence was purchased or otherwise obtained
  • How long police keep evidence
  • How evidence is stored
  • How evidence is disposed of
  • Who cleans up crime scenes
  • What detectives look for when searching houses and offices
  • Why people commit murder
  • How reliable witness accounts are
  • What to look out for when questioning witnesses
  • Whether he thinks he could commit the perfect crime.

Interviewee: Undersheriff Tony Spurlock
Host: Paula B
Date: January 15, 2007
Running time: 01:03:34
File size: 46 megabytes
Rating: PG