Motivational Interviewing for Campus Police

How often do you find yourself handling minor in possession, open container, intoxicated individual, loud party complaint or any other alcohol related violation? Sometimes? Most of the time? All the time? If a large percentage of your shift is spent on alcohol related calls, why not be proactive and tackle the cause? College drinking behavior.

College drinking is extremely widespread:

About four out of five college students drink alcohol.

About half of college students who drink, also consume alcohol through high risk drinking.


The consequences of drinking include:

Death: 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related, unintentional injuries.

Assault: More than 690,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.

Sexual Abuse: More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

                                                                                *NIAAA, 2015

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Do your fellow officers consider you a “talker?” Do the individuals say “thank you” after you issue them a citation? Have you developed the ability to find what motivates individuals in order to gain cooperation? Or spent hours studying the art of interviewing and interrogations?

When verbally gaining cooperation or compliance from an individual, you are in fact accessing their own internal motivation and strengthening that motivation to comply.


As a police officer, you are already a skilled communicator and adding motivational interviewing to your toolkit will take your skills to the next level. You will not only gain compliance, but you will help jump start individuals towards changing their behavior- long term!


Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change. The style and concept has been used since the early 1980’s and through numerous studies it has proven to be effective in reducing drinking. Motivational interviewing has produced results as high as a 69% reduction in drinking!

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do you know why i pulled you over


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