Good cop/bad cop


Good cop/bad cop

Good cop/bad cop, known in British military circles as Mutt and Jeff (from an American newspaper comic strip of that name) and also called joint questioning and friend and foe [See the declassified CIA "Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual" (1983), pp. 26-27. [http://www.gwu.edu/%7Ensarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB122/CIA%20Human%20Res%20Exploit%20H0-L17.pdf] ] , is a psychological tactic used for interrogation.

It involves a team of two interrogators who take apparently opposing approaches to the subject. The interrogators may interview the subject alternately or may confront the subject at the same time.

The 'bad cop' takes an aggressive, negative stance towards the subject, making blatant accusations, derogatory comments, threats, and in general creating antipathy between the subject and himself. This sets the stage for the 'good cop' to act sympathetically: appearing supportive, understanding, in general showing sympathy for the subject. The good cop will also defend the subject from the bad cop. The subject may feel he can cooperate with the good cop out of trust and/or fear of the bad cop. He may then seek protection by and trust the good cop and tell him the needed information.

The technique is easily recognised by those familiar with it, but it remains usefulFact|date=February 2007 against subjects who are young, frightened, or naïve. Experienced interrogators assess the subject's level of intelligence and experience with the techniqueFact|date=February 2007 prior to its application.

Parody

In a first season episode of MADtv (episode #114, Feb 17, 1996), a sketch centered around the "good cop, bad cop" theme featured two police officers (played by David Herman and Artie Lange) attempting variations of this tactic while interrogating a suspect. Finding that the more traditional method was failing to produce results, the pair then assumed the roles of "confused cop, nauseous cop", "opera cop, werewolf cop", "Jackie Gleason cop, Ricardo Montalban cop" and finally "sauntering cop, shimmying cop".

In the "Simpsons" episode "The Boy Who Knew Too Much", Principal Skinner and Groundskeeper Willie interrogate Lisa Simpson with the "good cop/bad cop" method, but they keep arbitrarily switching, which amuses Lisa. This scene is often cut in the syndicated version of this episode. Also, in the "Simpsons" episode "Mother Simpson", Selma Bouvier flirts with Bill Gannon by saying "You sure you don't want to play 'good cop/bad cop'?"

In the Steve Martin movie "The Pink Panther (2006 film)" the protagonist, Inspector Clouseau, attempts to play both the good and bad cops, which leads to thoroughly confusing his subject, but the technique works nonetheless.

On an episode of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" in a sketch, Ryan and Colin are dishwasher repairmen whose previous jobs were a good cop, bad cop duo. episode|date=July 2008

On an episode of Reno 911!, Deputy Garcia suggests trying a technique called "good cop/ black cop" with Deputy Jones. This leads to a fight between the two men.episode|date=July 2008

On an episode of Third Rock from the Sun, Dick asks officer Don if he can come along to an interrogation at the police station: Don says that "it's against every regulation I can think of...so don't tell anyone" and lets Dick come. When they get there, Don asks Dick to go to the interrogation room with him, so they can "play a little good cop/bad cop". However, the suspect stubbornly refuses to give up information, and they end up having repeated interrogation sessions with him. This leads to first Dick and Don switching who is the "good cop" and the "bad cop", but soon, Dick and Don themselves get into a heated arguement: "both" of them want to be the "bad cop". This leads into a running argument that "everyone always wants to be the bad cop" and it is not exciting to be the good cop. This inability to agree on who gets to be the "bad cop" leads them to compromise, in that they will "both" be the "good cop"; this fails miserably as it amounts to each of them telling the suspect "I really want to be your friend", "and I want to be your friend too". Don then angrily dismisses that there can be no such thing as "good cop/good cop". Ultimately, both of them just decide to be the "bad cop" at the same time, bursting back into the interrogation room shouting at the suspect "I'm angry!" "and I'm "really" angry!"

On the April 23, 2003 South Park episode "Lil' Crime Stoppers", the good cop/bad cop tactic was used in a trial to make Butters confess about stealing a doll. Eric Cartman played as the bad cop and Kenny McCormick as the good cop. Eric Cartman kept asking questions aggressively while on the other hand, Kenny McCormick was trying to calm him down.

In The Dark Knight, when the Joker is in a darkened police interrogation room he refuses to give up information, Comissioner Gordon tells him that if he's going to be obstinate, Gordon will need "a cup of coffee". The Joker then says "Ahh... the good cop/bad cop routine?" Gordon replies "not exactly", and closing the door as he leaves, he turns the lights on, revealing that the Batman is standing directly behind the Joker. Batman proceeds to beat the Joker; the parody lies within the gross over-emphasis of Batman taking the "bad cop" role.

References

[http://www.empoweringparents.com/cop-parenting.php Good Cop/Bad Cop Parenting]


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