Philadelphia police use art to train crime scene investigators

police art
“Face 2 Face” by Jr is one of several artworks Philadelphia police will learn to analyze Friday. (Credit: Courtesy Philadelphia Police Department).

Philadelphia police will on Friday hold an “Art of Perception” training seminar at the Police Academy on State Road.

The professional development program trains law enforcement officials to enhance their observation, perception and communication skills by learning to analyze works of art.

Officials said the course – conducted by attorney and art historian Amy Herman in conjunction with Philadelphia police detectives – focuses on the role of perception and observation in analysis.

The skills carry over to investigators’ practices of surveillance, investigation and precise articulation when exchanging critical information.

Officers will perform analyses of George Tooker’s “The Subway,” “Face 2 Face” by JR, Cezanne’s “Life with Apples,” Diane Arbus’ “Two Ladies at the Automat,” “The Cello Player” by Thomas Eakins and Rene Magritte’s “Not to be Reproduced.”

The “Art of Perception” program was first conducted within the New York City Police Department and has since expanded to other local law enforcement agencies.

The technique is also used to train Navy Seals and members of the FBI.


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