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Strategic Interview Workshop July 16

LOCATION: James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center (Howard County Training Academy),

2200 Scott Wheeler Drive, Marriottsville, MD 21104

DATE/TIME: July 16, 2024 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Sponsored by the Maryland Fire and Explosive Investigators Association, this course is designed for fire/arson criminal investigators (CFIs, detectives, and special agents). Strategic interviewing is a vital yet often overlooked component of fire and explosive investigative methods and tools. It is especially useful in proving guilt in arson and bombing cases. This course provides easy and realistic suspect interview techniques to strengthen arson and explosive cases. Throughout the presentation, short video clips from actual interviews will be included as examples of a particular concept.

What You Will Learn:

-How to strategically approach suspect interviews as part of the overall case and reach the “beyond a reasonable doubt” threshold for a criminal conviction.

-How to analyze a situation and whether to use a particular technique.

-Upon completion, the attendee can add these techniques as a "component" of fire and explosives investigative methods and tools.

COST: $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Lunch will be provided.

Class Outline

MODULE I: Introduction and Preparation (Truth seeking, Interview Predicates, Knowing the Elements and Defenses, Recording).

MODULE II: Spotting "Overlooked" Opportunities (Rapport, Miranda, and


MODULE III: Reasoning Themes (Humanizing the Case, De-escalation, Strategic Bluffs, the CSI effect).

MODULE IV: Signs of Admissions (Written Statements, Apologies, Summaries).

MODULE V: Suspect's Lies and Other Admission (False Statements and Courtroom Readiness).


Special Agent Dino Balos (ATF) is a 25‐year veteran Federal law enforcement officer and has presented this course throughout the nation. He has successfully investigated hundreds of cases involving firearms, explosives, and arson violations, many of which were supported by reliable confessions as evidence. He has been assigned to the ATF Tampa Field Division for 9 years. His past assignments include 8 years in the ATF Boston Field Division’s Arson & Explosives Group as well as 3 years at the U.S. Bomb Data Center in Washington DC. Prior to ATF, Special Agent Balos spent 4 years as a special agent for the Office of Inspector General (USDA) in the New York Field Office.

Become a member or register for this training online at

Please contact with any questions or concerns.


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