Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Accuracy

A police report should be written with the intent to provide the most accurate presentation of the facts of the case as possible. Different agencies have policies that may vary but in my opinion officers should have every opportunity to obtain all information necessary to write a full and complete report of events.



Sometimes multiple officers are at the scene of an event. It can be very helpful for the officers to discuss the nature of the event so that they can insure the greatest accuracy in their report. Sometimes there is video of an incident. I think it is a good idea for officers to review the video or even listen to dispatch recordings to help them to remember the incident. Often in the stress of a major incident it is easy to get items out of sequence or to fail to take notes as the event happens. Sometimes it can be helpful if a third party, such as a supervisor, discusses the event and assists with the report. Officers often fail to include important details, not because they are trying to be deceptive but because they either can’t remember or don’t realize they are important.



Major incidents can be very complicated. It can be easy to become confused and to mistake facts, people, timelines and events. Often after an event it can be difficult to remember many details. Sometimes details become clearer after reflection for a little while. The people deserve the most accurate and correct reports possible. I am in favor of making that happen; that’s what the SGT Says.


2 comments:

*Goddess* said...

Do you have to write reports on everything that happens, like traffic stops, too, or just accidents/incidents? And who is responsible for reading them after they're written?

Bunkermeister said...

The ticket itself acts as the report and on the officers copy is a little diagram and spaces for comments.

Generally only crimes and significant traffic accidents require a report. Some accidents get a log entry with dispatch, who hit you, where, when, etc.

Each agency will vary on the specifics.