Basic Police Report Writing by Allen Gammage download in pdf, ePub, iPad
This caused him to back away, but he still tried to hit me. Make your report writing better and you'll survive any courtroom challenge. But because of tight uniform and equipment budgets, departments try to recycle damaged gear that should be considered evidence.
Be as clear and specific as possible. Start every sentence with a person, place, or thing. Own Worst Enemies Many times, we are our own worst enemies. Conclusions, guesses, hunches, and other thought processes do not belong in a report.
Talk with other officers about their experiences. This example is much clearer for you and the reader, and it is more detailed. The report did not mesh with what was reported by the witness officer and other witnesses.
Follow the same practice in your reports. You did nothing wrong, but now you are facing a jury, months or maybe years after the fact and trying to explain why you did what you did when you did it. Try to limit yourself to three commas per sentence. His report was lacking, not due to deception, but rather haste.
Practice, learn, and protect yourself. Always strive for clarity. Your reputation can shield you, and it can bury you. Take an English refresher course if necessary.
Talk with defense attorneys about bad reports they've seen. With the advent of video recorders, both in patrol cars and in everyday life, it is imperative that the reporting officers be as accurate and factual as humanly possible in their reports.
Stick to observable facts. The officer who was involved in the use of force lost his job because the agency believed he had falsified his report. More likely than not, if it was a civil trial, the judgment was due to a perception of wrongdoing, rather than actual wrongdoing.