Universal Translator

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Report Writing

Writing a report narrative should be just like talking to your mother or your girlfriend.  Write in the first person.  I received a call from Dispatch.  I arrived at the scene.  Start at the beginning and continue to the end.

Write the report as you experienced the events.  I spoke to the witness, she told me what she saw.  I than spoke to the victim, he told me what happened to him.  Simply write down what they told you.  Use quotations if they say anything especially important.

Reports should either not use police codes or the code should be explained in the text.  If your agency changes codes, or you forget the code and have to testify several years later, it's nice to have the definition handy.  The plain English version is also easier for juries, and attorneys as well as judges to understand; that's what the SGT Says.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Report Writing and Use of Force

A long time ago, I arrested a young man for battery on a peace officer and resisting arrest.  I was able to get behind him and take him to the ground.  He was so surprised that about halfway to the ground he shouted "I give up, I give up, and he went limp."  I held onto his arm and rather than body slam him with my knees, I knelt down slowly and handcuffed him without further incident.

On the way back to the police car, other subjects asked him if they should "help" him and he declined their offer.  I put all this in my report.  Later, he and others claimed we had used excessive force while taking him into custody.

I was able to show in my report that there was no need for any significant force because he not only gave up right away, but refused the aid of his friends.  I pointed out he had not sustained any injuries and that since I was at least 100 pounds heavier than him, he would have been noticeably injured had I intended to harm him.  I explained that I only used that force that was reasonable and once his resistance ended so did my use of force, beyond the minimum needed to handcuff him.  The complaint against the offices was found to be false and he was convicted; that's what the SGT Says.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


When a suspect refuses verbal commands to comply with your lawful arrest, they are resisting.  Even if they only step back, pull away, or just stand there and don't comply.  Resisting arrest is not just fighting, it is any refusal to comply with your reasonable instructions to conduct a lawful arrest safely.

Whenever possible, tell the suspect they are under arrest and what crime you believe they have committed, as well as your authority to make an arrest.  "I am a police officer and you are under arrest for burglary."  Verbal commands are important so that later, video evidence, and witnesses can show your actions were lawful and reasonable.

Persons arrested are required by law to submit to arrest.  Running away, pulling away, or arguing are not signs of submission.  When writing your report, insure you include that you told the person they are under arrest.  Include the nature of their resistance.  "I grabbed the suspects right wrist to handcuff it and he violently jerked it from my grasp."  Make certain your report is complete so that there is no question your actions were reasonable; that's what the SGT Says.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Patrol Car

We need a purpose built police car.  There have been some attempts but they were too ambitious.  A purpose built police car needs several feature to differentiate it from regular cars but it need not be so different that it can't be based on a regular car.

It needs a superior cooling system to keep the engine cool even when sitting parked and idling on a hot summer day.  It needs superior air conditioning, even on a hot summer day in a parked car the inside of the vehicle should be cool, right away, not after driving around for thirty minutes.  We wear body armor and if we have to wait for the car to cool down, we are sweaty before the air conditioning works.

There must be a superior braking system.  The car has to stop on a dime, and do so in all kinds of weather and terrain.  The car must have superior handling, even on wet or even icy surfaces.  The inside of the car should be large enough for the biggest police officers.  They have to be extra wide so we can get in and out with all the gear on our belt.  The front and two front doors should be bullet proof so we can use our car for cover on a high risk traffic stop and expect the car to provide decent protection; that's what the SGT Says.

Sunday, January 4, 2015



People have been protesting the police use of deadly force.  They protest when the suspect is unarmed saying that he could not pose a threat when he has no weapon.  They protest when the suspect has a gun, saying there was no need to shoot.

They protest when the suspect shoots at the police, saying that the police should have shot the gun out of his hand.  They protest when the officer is hit, even killed, saying that police need to die.  The protesters don't care for reason, for logic, or facts.

We still have a job to do.  We still have to respond to calls and help the helpless.  We also have to take care of ourselves and to take care of each other.  We must decry the politicians who support those who are anti-police; that's what the SGT Says.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Traffic Direction at Night

When out in the street wear your yellow reflective traffic vest.  A dark police uniform is very difficult to see, especially at night.  A dark blue uniform is almost black and very hard to discern. The yellow traffic vest is highly visible.

Have a second flashlight on your person.  You need to have two because only a flashlight will allow you to see in the dark.  A flashlight can be essential for directing traffic in the dark.  It can let others see you better than without one.  It can get driver's attention.  I have a traffic cone for mine that allows it to display the light as a lighted tube.  Very good for traffic direction.

Position your police car to provide light, protection and direction.  The emergency lights can give warning to approaching traffic.  Your spotlights can help to light up a road hazard.  Your vehicle can block a lane and help keep you from getting run down.  Use your tools, that's what the SGT Says.