Company and Staff

Interviewing and Survival Strategies is the development of Steven Varnell LLC, a professional training organization. Comprised of professional trainers, we provide expertise and practical experience to criminal justice professionals worldwide. We are widely recognized for our ability to provide training to law enforcement, corrections, government and corporate security firms in Behavioral Understanding, Threat Recognition, Interviewing and Interrogations, Analysis of Statements, and Officer Safety and Survival Strategies. Research into the newest techniques and safety measures are always under evaluation and introduced into the class criteria. This benchmark of excellence makes these advanced training strategies the most current coursework into the inner-workings of the mind and its relationship to the courses and much, much more. 


Training Staff:

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

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.







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.


Classes are available from 1-5 days.

   1)           Behavior Analysis and Interviewing Techniques (BAIT) (16-24 hours)

   2)           Statement Analysis for Law Enforcement (16 hours)

   3)     Eliciting Effective Interviews and Interrogations (24 hours)

   4)           Behavior Recognition for Law Enforcement (8 hours)

   5)     Officer Safety/Survival (16 hours)

   6)     Conflict Resolutions (8 hours)

   7)     Self-Leadership (8 hours)

   8)            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 found most effective in information extraction. Considering officers will conduct some form of interview with every encounter, our number one goal is to develop enhanced skills so attendees are more efficient, effective, and observant. As a comprehensive curriculum, B.A.I.T. stresses issues and develops skills related to officer safety, behavioral and verbal response recognition. Attendees learn the concepts and methods associated with effective and rapid behavior recognition, interviewing, and interrogation techniques. These techniques draw upon the safest, universally accepted, and researched systems officers 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, the attendee will have a better understanding of Behavior Analysis; Verbal and Nonverbal Behavior; Rapport Building Skills; Attention Understanding; Behavioral Assessment Interviews; PLC Techniques; Statement Validity Assessments; Cognitive Interviewing; Assessment Criteria Indicative of Deception; Introduction to Statement Analysis for Law Enforcement; Stress Recognition and Control; Preventing False Confessions and more.

You should attend if you are involved in any type of public encounter from the government and public, traffic stops and roadside interviewing, corporate interviewing, to controlled environment interrogations. 


Statement Analysis for Law Enforcement covers the classic methods of deception detection by expanding the information with the most current research available from the law enforcement and scientific communities resulting in a unique learning experience. It brings together numerous techniques taught in both the U.S. and Europe for a comprehensive deception detection process unlike any other taught. The attendee will examine countless statements of all types.

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

There is no better way to learn than with these hands-on opportunities.

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 - 24 hours


         Eliciting Effective Interviews and Interrogations is an examination of conciliation techniques to extract                    information from a person minimizing confrontation. Attendees will learn techniques and strategies to                      recognize and evoke mental stimulations and recognize behaviors of witnesses, victims, suspects and/or                any other informational communication exchanges.

        Eliciting Effective Interviews and Interrogations draws upon the most universally recognized                                     strategies to enhance successful I & I processes. It differs from the all-popular B.A.I.T. class by focusing on             the complete examination of the verbal and non-verbal aspects of interviews and interrogations without the             thorough survival explorations of B.A.I.T. This class will enhance I & I techniques toward a successful                     conclusion regardless of attendee experience.

        Attendees will learn how to detect verbal and non-verbal deception, determine truthfulness, examine the real          meaning of rapport, understand stress and anxiety, how to ask effective questions, prevent false confessions,        understanding influence, and have an effective I & I strategy to apply to any situation. This course concludes          with an entire day exploring the 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.


Behavior Analysis for Law Enforcement is an essential workshop for all levels of law enforcement personnel. Every research organization and law enforcement-training official agrees that early behavioral and speech recognition of stress and anger is the first line of defense for police officers. Nearly every call handled or encounter made is reactionary to the actions of the subject of the encounter. This class demonstrates how and why people react the way they do in these situations. Once an officer recognizes their actions, his or her reactions can initiate faster and better response. This course will teach officers the survival channels of threat recognition and their best survival response.

Attendees will complete the workshop with a better understanding of…

·         Stress and how it affects our mind and body

·         Recognition of both physical and verbal reactions of stress

·         Threat recognition

·         Why we respond and do not often respond to threats

·         And more


Officer Safety and Survival is a unique course unlike anything currently taught because its focus is with the   patrol officer. 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 ultimately 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 the patrol 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; Gun and Ammo; Building Entries; Knife Defense; Off Duty/Plain Clothes; Training Issues; TCCC concerns and much more.


Conflict Resolutions - 8 hours

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.

         Advanced Interviewing - 40 hours

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 same strategies to follow 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, Statement Analysis, an ISS Course Workbook and Eliciting Effective Interviews and Interrogations, An ISS Course Guide. 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. 

          Class Testimonials and Books

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 SPThanks 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."

    Proud teaching partnership with:





  NEVADA HIDTA - Post Certified Training






Proud Member of the NDIA




Steve Varnell at 813.857.4774 

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

The BAIT Handout III.pdf The BAIT Handout III.pdf
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