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Bad Report Writing Examples

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  • Bad Report Writing Examples

    I'm preparing lesson plans for a couple upcoming report writing classes. I'd like a few examples of bad report writing that has made it into your agencies reports. Let me know what you got. Here's one of mine:

    From an unattended death report: "The patient was under the doctor's car for some time."

    Thanks!

  • #2
    One we had... "I called the Captain to let him know what I got."
    In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

    In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

    Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.

    I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.


    The opinions given in my posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bpd_103
      I'm preparing lesson plans for a couple upcoming report writing classes. I'd like a few examples of bad report writing that has made it into your agencies reports. Let me know what you got. Here's one of mine:

      From an unattended death report: "The patient was under the doctor's car for some time."

      Thanks!
      "Sicks munc ugoh I kudnt spel trupre. Now I ahm wun."
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      Sully - IAM Rand - JasperST - L1 - The Tick - EmmaPeel - Columbus - LA Dep - SgtSlaughter - OneAdam12 - Retired96 - Iowa #1603
      - M1Garand

      (any BBQ and Goldfish Pond member may nominate another user for membership but just remember ..... this ain't no weenie roast!)



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      • #4
        Cirica 1987...

        The Chief's nephew came to work with us. I wrote his reports for a while. finally the day that I told him he had to do it himself. I had him recount the details of the event to me then told him to get ready to write while I dictated. When he finished I checked it out.

        "Upon my arrival" was written as: A pon my arivel...

        It was a loooooooooong day!!!

        Good news... his LEO career was very short. He now cuts grass for a living.

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        • #5
          ...........deleted.............
          Last edited by Frank Booth; 12-03-2006, 03:58 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Frank Booth
            If you're giving a class, how about telling them to use first person...It's the 21st century and you don't have to refer to yourself as "writer" anymore....You can actually just say "I".
            I do & I will.

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            • #7
              My favorite report writing story concerns a case taken by a very senior officer who was working for a rookie sergeant (me) who had ten years less time on the job than the officer. The case dealt with a comventional sexual assault, with a female victim and a male suspect (why I need to clarify that will become obvious in a moment). The report was one very long sentence that included the passage "the suspect forced the victim to perform cunnilingus on him" (the big word wasn't spelled correctly). I read this several times to make sure I had it right, then took it to him and said, "Al, I don't think this is anatomically possible." He got very upset with me and asked me if I was going to give him time off to attend English classes at college. I asked him if this is what the victim actually told him. He replied, "Well, I can't put what she really said in the report." When I asked him what she had said, he told me, whispering, "He said he made her go down on him." I said, "Then say that. Everyone will know what she meant, and if there's some doubt, it will come out in testimony."

              The moral here: don't use the big word unless your are certain of its meaning.

              By the way, when I taught the sex crimes unit in criminal investigation, I put the following terms on the board and then explained the meaning of each one, because I knew that most students would never admit that there was something about sex they didn't know. How many do you know?
              1. Adultery Sex by a married person with a partner who is not his or her spouse.
              2. Fornication Sex by a person who is unmarried.
              3. Sodomy Any sex act other than penile-vaginal intercourse.
              4. The infamous crime against nature An archaic term for sodomy, but the name of a statute on the Nevada books when I was in the academy in 1979. I was the only one in class that would ask what it meant.
              5. Buggery Anal sex. This is still a common English curse word, e.g "Bugger all," or "Bugger off."
              6. Fellatio Oral sex performed on a man's penis.
              7. Cunnilingus Oral sex performed on a woman's vagina.


              Drag your cursor over the space after each term to see the definition.
              Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Tim Dees
                How many do you know?

                4. The infamous crime against nature -- An archaic term for sodomy, but the name of a statute on the Nevada books when I was in the academy in 1979. I was the only one in class that would ask what it meant.
                All except #4. Never heard it called that!

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                • #9
                  Hey Tim, while you're here. Sheriff needs help with his Profile. For some reason it's jammed up and he can't change his details. Thanks

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                  • #10
                    Crimes against nature is actually still on the books here in Virginia. Even the rookies here in Virginia are familiar with the statute, as it's discussed in the academy:
                    § 18.2-361. Crimes against nature; penalty.

                    A. If any person carnally knows in any manner any brute animal, or carnally knows any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he or she shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony...

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                    • #11
                      In normal conversation is what I meant.

                      Much easier to say "sodomy" then to say "crimes against nature".

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                      • #12
                        I just kicked back a report to the rookie the other day with:

                        "One party complaint of paint to the buttocks" AND No, it wasn't a crime against nature incident!
                        "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                        Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                        Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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                        • #13
                          Can't quote it exactly but here it goes......

                          Mrs Doe came home from work at 5pm and parked her car in the apartment lot. When she came out the next morning, you guessed it, car gone.

                          The People's Republic of Massachusetts

                          Communications | Technology | Social Media
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                          • #14
                            'Saw drunk, arrested same'
                            Deputy Buck Savage
                            “This life’s hard, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.”

                            George V. Higgins--The Friends of Eddie Coyle

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                            • #15
                              This was relayed to me in the academy.

                              An officer dicated a Use of Force report explaining how he had hit a suspect in the leg with his baton. The person typing the report heard, "I struck the subject in his shin with my baton." But the typist wrote, "I struck the subject in his chin with my baton." One little letter turned this into a deadly force encounter.
                              Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

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