Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Write It Up

Report writing is one of those tasks that we all have to do at some time in law enforcement. The first thing to do is think about what happened, before you start to write. Then do a brief outline of what you need to say. Use a computer to write your report. If your agency does not write reports on computer, they need to start, right away. Gun, body armor, car, radio, computers; those are the priorities for modern police procurement.

Once you outline the general ideas about what to say, then fill in the details. Write the report as if you are telling a story. Tell it in the first person like you talk. Write as if you were telling your mom or some other regular person about your incident. Don't use police language unless you explain what it is; 459 P.C., Burglary.

When you finish writing, have the computer spell check your report. Read it over and if you are alone, read it out loud. It really helps to catch mistakes. Then print it out and read it again. The printed will allow you to catch things you did not catch on the screen. Then have someone else read it for you. You can't proofread your own work. Then turn it in to the sergeant for approval; that's what the SGT Says.


Protect_and_Serve said...

Cases are not lost in the street. They are lost in the report.

Bunkermeister said...

My officers nearly always do the right thing. Sometimes their reports are so bad it is hard to tell.