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Police Reports

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Police Reports A Critical Tool ... Police patrol operations getting better but we are worse about writing about it! Reports should not be written in a second language! – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Police Reports


1
Police Reports
  • A Critical Tool
  • Primary research material The New Police Report
    Manual by Devallis Rutledge

Images from Microsoft Corporation
2
WHATS THE PROBLEM?
  • Police patrol operations getting better but we
    are worse about writing about it!
  • Reports should not be written in a second
    language!
  • We have always done it that way. Why?

3
Whats Wrong?
  • Too brief or long
  • Ambiguous
  • Conclusionary
  • Miss important facts
  • Overemphasize the trivial
  • Vocabulary is stilted
  • Absurd word use
  • Unnatural
  • Awkward
  • Unconvincing

4
What are reports supposed to do?
?
COMMUNICATE!
5
What should they not do?
?
  • Try to impress
  • Try to amuse
  • Confuse
  • Show off vocabulary

6
They should tell you
WHO can testify to WHAT!
Not help the defense!
7
It is not enough to be good at the apprehension
of criminals...
You must be good at helping CONVICT them as well
8
Our objective is
to Communicate Information
9
Report writing is part of the job
So let's work SMARTER not HARDER!
10
Natural Artificial
  • The way we talk to friends
  • The way we communicate
  • Simple, to the point
  • The way we talk to impress
  • They way we confuse
  • Complicated, indirect

11
What to leave out?
  • Profanity
  • Radio Code talk
  • Slang
  • Offensive language
  • Unfamiliar language
  • UNLESS QUOTING!

12
What is your Target Audience?
  • THE JURY!

13
What are the best reports?
  • Clear
  • Correct
  • Convincing

14
Reports that use
  • Unclear
  • Confusing
  • 3 words
  • That must be deciphered may be considered

Deceitful!
15
Objectivity is not our GOAL! Subjectivity is OK!
Our objective is
to Communicate Information
16
Your L.A. teacher WAS WRONG!
At least about POLICE REPORTS
17
YOU MUST USE
I ME
18
Dont Use
  • Assigned officer
  • Report preparer
  • Responding officer
  • Rather
  • USE I AND ME!

19
Increase your Credibility
Write Readable
Staightforward Accounts
20
Label Suggestions
  • Dont substitute labels for names
  • Victim 2
  • Dont add labels to names
  • Subject Evans
  • NEVER use subject
  • You may use suspect

21
Who before What
First tell WHO
then WHAT was done
Who before What
Who before What
Who before What
22
Use Sketches
to help with memory
23
Reports Made Easy
  • Everything is based on fill in the blank.  In
    truth, every report is the same, with exception
    to the names, dates, places and times.  You just
    need to learn the format.

24
Reports Made Easy
  • On 021505 at about 0730 hours, I, Officer. B.
    Thornton, was dispatched to 7601 Schomburg Road
    regarding a possible burglary.  Upon arrival, I
    was met by Dr. James Arnold, principal, who
    explained that the entrance doors to the office
    had been forced open, causing damage to each door
    and the lock.  Dr. Arnold also explained that the
    front office had been ransacked.  I requested the
    assistance of detectives and identification
    technicians.  This case will be forwarded to the
    Burglary/Theft Unit of the Detective Division. 
    Case remains under investigation.  

25
Reports Made Easy
  • Start with that and fill in the blanks with date,
    time, location, witness and example of the
    incident.  All reports start with the date, time,
    who, where and what he/she did.   Also, each
    supplementary report only deals with one
    particular aspect of the investigation, whether
    it is an interview of a witness, collection of
    evidence at the scene, etc.     

26
Police Reports
  • A Critical Element
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