Interviewing and Survival Strategies (I.S.S) is the approach of Steven Varnell LLC, a professional training organization. We are a company on a mission to provide innovative training to all officers to assist them in their profession. Comprised of professional trainers, we combine cutting-edge ideas with expertise and practical experience to criminal justice professionals worldwide. We believe in our training provided to law enforcement, corrections, government and corporate security firms in the areas most needed such as; Interviewing and Interrogations, Behavioral Understanding, Threat Recognition, Analysis of Statements, and Officer Safety and Survival Strategies. Research into the newest techniques and safety tactics are continuous and introduced into the class criteria. We strive to create new standards and never except the status quo. We trust these advanced training strategies as the benchmark of excellence. Each of our classes are specifically created by our staff to provide best practices to each attendee.

Steven Varnell LLC is in addition to training, a Consultant Group. We provide to our Clients, strategies in Interviewing, Interrogations, Polygraph Examinations, Document Analysis, and Officer Safety/Use of Force issues. Our background assures Clients that we will provide services to assist in bettering their abilities to present sound strategies of the Interviewing and Interrogations process or identify weaknesses within statements. We are used in various types of investigations both from the Government and Private Sectors. More information is available about Consultations at the bottom of this site.

                                                                                 President, Author,Certified Trainer, and Consultant

Steven C Varnell is a law enforcement-training specialist. As a certified instructor by the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, he taught police topics to his own and numerous other city, county, state, and federal agencies. Steve is a certified Interviews and Interrogations and High Liability instructor. As an adjunct instructor for St Petersburg College, he taught police agencies throughout the country at every level, courses in interdiction, officer safety, patrol, interviews, interrogations, behavior analysis, and written statement analysis. 

Steve has received recognition by nearly every federal, local, county, and state law enforcement agencies. He is the only law enforcement officer to receive the Officer of the Year award in Hillsborough County, Florida three separate times for his work in drug investigations. He received a commendation award by the International Narcotic Officers Association, presented at Reno, Nevada in 1993. He is also the recipient of the annual ASIS International Law Enforcement Recognition Award (2006) for his work in narcotics investigations.

 Steve authored seven books; Criminal Interdiction, Tactical Survival, Behavior Analysis and Interviewing Techniques (BAIT), Statement Analysis – An ISS Course Workbook, The Complete Interdiction and Survival Strategies, Eliciting Effective Interviews and Interrogations, An ISS Course Guide and Advanced Interviewing.

Steve consults with Industry Groups and Corporations to assist in Interviewing and Statement Strategies. He has assisted Agencies with analysis and question development including strategies for effective interviewing.

Steve is a continuous student in the field of interviewing, interrogations, behavioral recognition, written statement analysis, and officer safety and survival. His persistent research of techniques tested worldwide is the foundation for his ability to present the most practical information available providing the real-world knowledge that instruction of this nature demands.

 Certified Trainer and Consultant

Jorge Santamaria is a retired Florida State Trooper, advanced law enforcement training instructor, polygraph examiner and provides Judicial Security for the Middle District of Florida. He attended Saint Leo University in the Tampa Bay area while working as a Florida State Trooper, a career he began at the age of nineteen.

Jorge held the position of Felony Officer assigned to Florida’s contraband interdiction team, beginning in 1991. Prior to taking on the position of Felony Officer, he had become a Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission certified instructor. Under this certification, he served as an adjunct instructor for Law Enforcement Training at the Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy, Hillsborough Community College and Saint Petersburg College.

Jorge has had the honor of handling two K-9 partners, “Zorro” and “Fonzo”, promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant, became one of only five Polygraph Examiner’s for the department and retired with the honorary rank of Lieutenant before becoming a Special Investigator and entering Judicial Security.

Jorge has received countless awards and recognition for his success in major drug cases in state and federal jurisdictions across the country. The Florida Highway Patrol recognized him for his ability to conduct interviews and interrogations leading to confessions of major crimes to include information on a five-year-old cold case murder investigation. Additionally, he was featured on local television for several major insurance medical fraud cases that led to the closure of a local medical clinic and several arrests he also appeared on the Dr. OZ show as part of a study showing the effects of over the counter med’s and driving.

Jorge teaches leaders and organizations survival, interviewing and interrogation, behaviors and deception among many other topics. Additionally, he is an active speaker at conventions and training seminars around the country and the Caribbean for law enforcement and the corporate world. His passion for law enforcement and his love for life drive his motivation to continue studying, perfecting and teaching self-leadership with each topic, in hopes of creating a more peaceful future for generations to come.

Steven Varnell

President, Author and Trainer

Jorge Santamaria

Law Enforcement Trainer

Classes are available from 1-5 days.


   1)         Behavior Analysis and Interviewing Techniques (BAIT) (24 hours)

   2)         Statement Analysis for Law Enforcement (24-40 hours)

   3)         Eliciting Effective Interviews and Interrogations (24 hours)

   4)         Officer Safety/Survival (16 hours)

   5)         Conflict Resolutions (8 hours)

   6)         Self-Leadership (8 hours)

   7)         Advanced Interviewing (40 hours)

Course Descriptions:


Behavior Analysis and Interviewing Techniques (B.A.I.T.) is a process of effective criminal recognition, investigative interviewing, and an essential interrogation format in information extraction. Everyone wants a better grasp of behaviors. It is the cornerstone of the profession. Every officer will conduct an interview with each encounter. B.A.I.T. is a requirement to develop enhanced skills so attendees are more efficient, effective, and observant. As part of our comprehensive curriculum, B.A.I.T. stresses issues and develops skills of officer safety, behavioral and verbal response recognition. You will discover how to be in-action and learn the verbal and nonverbal responses to stimulus. You will discover the concepts and methods of effective and rapid behavior recognition, interviewing, and interrogation techniques. These techniques draw upon the safest, universally accepted, and researched systems we can deploy when conducting any type of interview.

A wide variety of techniques, role-play, video examination, and behaviors demonstrate these effective measures.

Upon completing the course, you will have a better understanding of Verbal and Nonverbal Behavior; Rapport Building; Attention; Stress Recognition and Control; Preventing False Confessions; an Introduction of the techniques that form the basis of our I&I approach; and more. B.A.I.T. is the foundation of our investigative strategy and should be mandatory for everyone regardless of position.

You should attend if you are involved in public encounters. These include traffic stops and roadside interviewing, criminal investigations, supervisors, administrative staff, and corporate interviewing.



Statement Analysis for Law Enforcement (S.A.L.E.) is the second mandatory process of our investigative strategy. It covers the classic methods of deception detection for every form of communication. S.A.L.E expands the information with the most current research available from the law enforcement and scientific communities. This detail results in a unique learning experience. It brings together techniques for a comprehensive deception detection process unlike any other taught. The attendee will examine various types of statements including actual criminal, civil, investigative, and witness statements. Most investigators end their I&I with the statement because they do realize the hidden information that exist. S.A.L.E. is the method to continue your investigations by showing how to take the I&I to the next level. We know it will expand your questioning ability to a level never achieved. Learning to analyze a narrative is a required and invaluable skill for every officer.

Upon completing the course, the attendee will have a better understanding of Text Analysis; Statement Dissection; Understanding Syntax; Segmentation Markers; Negations and Oppositions; Passive Voice; Transitional Wording; Balance and more.

There is no better way to learn than with this hands-on opportunity.

Each attendee shall receive a copy of Steve’s Book, Statement Analysis, an ISS Course Workbook, and a handout. Officers can utilize these to continue their skill maintenance long after the class.


Eliciting Effective Interviews and Interrogations (EI2) is the third and final class in or investigative strategy. As such, EI2 is the class that takes you into the interview room or “the box.” It examines conciliation techniques to extract information from a person wile minimizing confrontation. You will learn to recognize behaviors and evoke mental stimulations of witnesses, victims, and suspects.

Eliciting Effective Interviews and Interrogations incorporates what we believe are the most effective strategies by focusing on the verbal and non-verbal aspects of interviews and interrogations. It will test the attendee in Statement understanding and enhance the I & I techniques toward a successful conclusion regardless of attendee experience.

It is an accumulation of techniques from psychiatry to polygraph to skill set trained interrogation experts. The format is the culmination of decades of experience and research on the most practical aspects of I&I.

You will learn how to detect verbal and non-verbal deception, determine truthfulness, examine the real meaning of rapport, understand stress and anxiety, learn to set up their interview room, how to ask effective questions, prevent false confessions, understand the use of influence, have an effective I & I strategy to apply to any situation and much more.

This course concludes with an entire day exploring the complete I&I format and each attendee will receive a copy of Steve’s book, Eliciting Effective Interviews and Interrogations, An ISS Course Guide. Steven Varnell has utilized, researched, instructed, and wrote on conciliation techniques for decades. A wide variety of methods, role-play, video examination, and behaviors demonstrate these effective measures. There are pre and post strategies to show the advancements made as well as practical validation.


Officer Safety and Survival is a unique course unlike anything currently taught because its focus is with all levels of officers. It encompasses a comprehensive curriculum that stresses issues related to officer safety and survival. Considering the unacceptable high numbers of line of duty deaths and injuries, our number one goal is to develop enhanced officer safety skills so the attendee is more observant, understanding and safety conscious.

Attendees will be introduced to the concepts and protocols associated with the most current and unique tactical techniques designed for today's officer. These techniques incorporate the safest, universally accepted strategies that officers can incorporate when engaged in patrol and confrontations. Attendees will receive information regarding a wide variety of encounters, each examined and dissected, to learn how to perform their duties safely and survive in the worst situations.

Upon completing the course, the attendee will have a better understanding of Traffic Stop Safety; Pedestrian Encounters; Foot Pursuits; Hands On Encounters; Tactical Firearms; Knife Defense; Training Issues; TCCC concerns and much more.



We see almost nightly on the news the conflicts between the public and those sworn to protect them. Conflict Resolutions (CR) helps to answer the root cause of these conflicts and transitions this understanding into resolutions or de-escalations. Steven Varnell has developed the CR class to assist law enforcement officers by utilizing his expertise in behavioral science and interviewing.

This class takes a realistic approach to de-escalation. This course provides the psychological and sociological aspects of what happens to the human mind under stress and provides realistic resolutions that can allow de-escalation to occur. It also provides a realistic understanding that not all conflict resolutions are obtainable without some use of force.  

Attendees to the CR workshop will learn why the problems exist by exploring the responsible mindsets and the techniques to rectify them, words and phrases to use and not use, and specific de-escalation techniques based on scientific data. Become a better law enforcement officer with the simple understanding of precise communication’s tactics. This course will assist every level of law enforcement from the street cop on patrol to the public information officer and staff.  


This course explores leadership for both law enforcement and corporate personnel in the 21st Century by examining what works and why. This exciting and inspirational class looks at current issues that affect today’s employees and leadership. The world seems to be changing around us but in the end, we are still dealing with people. The attendees will learn about new innovative trends that are producing thriving results.

Jorge Santamaria has designed this class with tomorrows leaders in mind, utilizing a multitude of research studies from around the world on methods that have proven success in the formulation of great teams and highly productive employees in today’s society. Our leaders need to be sharper now more than ever, especially where the potential for catastrophic results is part of the environment. This course covers topics such as; That “Leadership” Thing, Familiar Leadership Styles, Courageous Self – Leaders, Motivation & Attitude, and Effective Listening, among many more!

 All members of law enforcement, not only supervisors, should attend this course. It will demonstrate how  self-leadership skills build successful officers, partners, squads, and agencies.



This class incorporates the Eliciting Effective Interviews and Interrogations class and the Statement Analysis for Law Enforcement class. This gives the attendees the advantage of seeing how the Behaviors transition into the Interviewing and how Statement Analysis for Law Enforcement examines the documents for specific issues for follow up questioning and determinations from the written format. The last day is the all-encompassing Interviews and Interrogations development process that brings the entire class together. The training follows the strategies to use in any investigative format. Day 1 is I&I Behaviors, which explores and demonstrates behavioral determinations for effective deception detection. Day 2 presents five different interviewing techniques, so the attendees can extract important processes from each for option selections for when a single process fails. Examination of the newest research into various techniques explores and confirms the effectiveness of the processes. Days 3 and 4 are the Statement Analysis for Law Enforcement class to demonstrate how to further the investigation from the statements received. Day 5 Is the essential class that explores the entire I&I process including how to conduct a successful I&I, question development, interrogation processes and more.

This intensive interviewing strategy format enhances all police officers’ abilities to conduct successful discovery practices. Each attendee will receive a comprehensive handout and Steve’s books, Advanced Interviewing. The nature, scope, and goals of each curriculum focuses on successful I&I. To ensure compliance to these pursuits, each curriculum incorporates research, case studies, analysis, contemporary trend analysis, and tactics proven reliable from years of successful field application and consistent research.

Provided are a variety of instructional techniques to all of the classes including lecture, interactive discussion, illustrations, video scenario critiques, PowerPoint presentations, and demonstrations. This multi-faceted training strategy provides an enhanced level of attendee understanding and recollection of the number of innovative approaches they will learn in the class.


 The techniques I learned in that class has helped me get more confessions from people I interview.

Jerry Sutton Public Safety Center, Franklin, NC -- "The course is solid and founded in experience."  "Excellent!" "Very good class, please bring it back!" "Great speaker and very important topics." "Great first hand experience."

NESPIN - "Great instructor!!" "Fantastic training" "If this trainer develops any additional course I would attend those also" "I like that the instructor had actually done the job" "beneficial and eye opening in the areas of drug interdiction and tactics"

Metro-Dade Sheriffs Office, Miami Fl - "A lot of research went into the preparation of this class" "Instructors very informative and taught great" "Excellent Instructor" "Great view points" "Experienced and knowledgeable"

Manatee Technical Institute, LEO Training Center, Bradenton Fl - "Excellent Training and Instructor.", "This training should be required for mandatory retraining."

Amarillo Community College, Amarillo Texas - "I had to drive 700 miles round trip for this class and it was more than worth it!" "Thanks, Great Class, Great Instructor, Cannot wait for another class from them."

West Texas - "I just wanted to tell you thank you for your time teaching this class and giving officers experience.  I believe the outcome would have been different without the information gained." 

Boston PD - "I just wanted to reach out and say thank you again for providing such great training to my partner and I. We put the techniques to good use these past few months and have come up big!

Connecticut SP - Thanks again for the class.  Enclosed are some photos of our success which you guys were the start of.

New Hampshire - "Thanks for your help, the information I learned in your course has increased my drug arrest activity on patrol for my agency."

CBP - "Thanks for a great course"

DEA and FBI - "These classes should be mandatory training for everyone. I learned more in a few days with you than I was ever taught."

"I've read Varnell ... so I know there is something to Statement Analysis."

"For any officer's Library. If you ever do interviewing or even citizen encounters this is the book for you to have. Excellent read"

"one of the best books I've read in a long time...easy to understand and Steve backs up what he is preaching. Good read for Veteran and Rookie Cops!"

"Excellent book full of experience and tips."

"This book is very authoritative on the subject of detecting deception."

"It's now on my own "Recommended Reading List" for investigators, therapists, human resource professionals, sales, and other professionals who need to know the difference between truth and deception."

Consulting Clients - "We love your work."

"This will help my attorney."

"Thanks for the help in our investigation. I will order another interview."

  Proud teaching partnership with:





  NEVADA HIDTA - Post Certified Training






 Proud Member of the NDIA




 Current Scheduled Classes for 2019

  • El Paso, TX February 11- 13th, 2019 Behavior Analysis & Interviewing Techniques - Sponsored by HIDTA
  • Meridian, MS February 20-22, 2019 Behavior Analysis & Interviewing Techniques- Sponsored by RCTA
  • Columbus, Ms March 12-14, 2019 Behavior Analysis & Interviewing Techniques - Sponsored by RCTA
  • Meridian, Ms March 26-28, 2019 Statement Analysis for Drug Law Enforcement - Sponsored by RCTA
  • El Paso, TX April 2 -4, 2019 Statement Analysis for Law Enforcement - Sponsored by West Texas HIDTA
  • Franklin, Ma May 8 - 10, 2019 Behavior Analysis and Interviewing Techniques - Sponsored by NESPIN
  • El Paso, TX May 20 - 24, 2019 Advanced Interviewing - Sponsored by West Texas HIDTA
  • Franklin, MA June 4 - 6, 2019 Statement Analysis for Law Enforcement - Sponsored by NESPIN
  • El Paso, Tx June 12-14, 2019 Conflict Resolutions and Officer Safety & Survival - Sponsored by HIDTA
  • Tupelo, Ms July 8 - 12. 2019 I&I w/ Statement Analysis for Drug Law Enforcement - Sponsored by RCTA
  • Gonzalez, La July 17-19, 2019 Statement Analysis for Drug Law Enforcement - Sponsored by RCTA
  • Birmingham, Al July 22-24, 2019 Behavior Analysis and Interviewing Techniques - Sponsored by RCTA
  • Madison Co, Ms August 13-14, 2019 Report Writing - Sponsored by the Madison Co SAO
  • Franklin, MA August 12-13, 2019 Officer Safety and Survival - Sponsored by NESPIN
  • Gallatin, Tn September 4-6, 2019 Statement Analysis for Law Enforcement - Sponsored by RCTA
  • Tupelo, Ms September 9-10, 2019 Officer Safety and Survival - Hosted by Tupelo PD
  • Tupelo, Ms September 11-12, 2019 Officer Safety and Survival - Hosted by Tupelo PD
  • League City, Tx September 23-25, 2019 Behavior Analysis and Interviewing Techniques - Sponsored by RCTA
  • Franklin, MA October 1 - 3, 2019 Eliciting Effective I&I - Sponsored by NESPIN

Books published: 

You can find all of my books at Amazon or any book retailer.

EI2 handout.pdf EI2 handout.pdf
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 In addition to training, we offer cutting-edge consulting

Steven Varnell LLC Consulting designs, assist, and provide analysis for your corporate sales/HR practices or any other investigative concerns. Our staff will work with you on scene or from our home base near Tampa Florida. We have the staff and experience required to assist you with your specific needs. We believe in our training and examination abilities to provide instructions or analysis of your current practices or give directions towards improvement. We are always self-examining to guarantee our innovative practices meet or exceed current research in the corporate areas of sales enhancements, interviewing practices, behavioral understanding, and Officer Safety / Use of Force Issues. In addition, we can provide law enforcement, prosecutors, and law firms clarity and veracity of reports in Interviewing, Interrogations, document analysis and Officer Safety and/or Use of Force,

We combine cutting-edge ideas with expertise and practical experience to provide training for your personnel. This training will enhance their abilities to conduct effect interviews, understand behavioral reactions, recognize sale enhancements, dissect a written document and the issues of Use of Force as it relates to Officer Safety..

We combine decades of experience to provide you with the help needed to understand the truth or deceptive practices and issues of safety as it relates to uses of force. We will spend the time necessary to analyze and provide you information to understand what is deceptive or lacking in their activities and demonstrating the non-issues that often cloud our judgements into believing there are issues.

Our staff has experience in interviewing, interrogations, sales, research, polygraph, banking, criminal investigations and issues concerning officer safety and uses of force. Included are an author and researcher of interviewing and interrogations, document examinations, behavior analysis, and high liability instructor. An interviewing process has beendeveloped by our team and taught nationwide. Another is a certified polygraph examiner, insurance fraud investigator, and high liability instructor. Together there are 55 years of combined law enforcement experience and 40 years of instructional background. We have experienced banking personnel with vast sales experience. We have assisted in investigations involving fraud, embezzlement, suicide, missing persons, homicide, sales enhancement strategies, document analysis, interviewing strategies, uses of force and more.


 Interviewing and Survival Strategies

Steven Varnell, LLC.


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