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Dealing with reprimands


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  • #31
    my initial assumption is that your errors have been an ongoing thing and it finally put your sarge to the breaking point. Just be thorough in your reports and everyone will be happy including you.

    Theres no point to making a good arrest if the follow up paperwork is junk.


    • #32
      Sounds like you are taking all this information to heart and its helping. A great learning tool I had when I started was a senior investigator (who also had a masters in literature) gave me copies of some of his old reports to read and get ideas from.

      Remember Spell Check is your friend.
      "You can't handcuff me, I'm a college graduate!"


      • #33
        I agree with many of the previous posts, no matter how painful it is; report writing / documenting IS the job. In a couple of years from now when you are in court with a defendant who you can hardly remember, the only record of your actions is the report that was written. The report and your professional testimony regarding the events can be the difference between a defendant going to prison and going back to the street.


        • #34
          Wow some of you are uptight!!!!!

          Dude here it is:

          1. Read it out loud. I am not a smart guy this helps me a lot (if you are alone) or people will think you are a moron. Go slow, read it, look at it a few times.

          2. If you are getting yourself into hotwater and think its a bit over the top go a guy/gal you trust and see what can be done. I dont know what state you are in, but where I am If i get a letter or verbal I take it to the union.
          WHere I am we have some strong unions and dont put up with crap from admin.

          But dude, dates and times and CN or ICR # not right is a big deal. Reports are 90% of what we do. Make em fast and easy but make sure you got the stuff you NEED in them. easy as pie who, what, where, when, how. Did i miss one? haha

          Hey dude I was a cop for 4 years and a SGT asked me if I thought i wrote good reports. I said ahh so so. He told me if i wanted to I could get paid to go to a report writting class. I went with a bunch of cops, it was fun I learned a lot. I am sure you have something like that where you are bro.

          Good luck, but don't take to much Sh** from the brass. We are the street cops we are the ones doing the work, we are the ones who are the saftey net for even them. Don't take it from the dirty brass. But fix what you are doing wrong. For the 15th time. DO NOT TAKE SH** from the BRASS. NONE zero

          Good luck again bro


          • #35
            Originally posted by doublewhopper View Post
            Wow, you guys have given me some excellent insight. I actually feel better about my situation. The kicker is when it comes to big jobs like investigations and big arrests my supervisor is there all the way, even to a fault. I run into trouble on nonsense like squad calls. "person feeling sick, squad arrived and took them to hospital, nothing further". Its only been a couple of times and months/years in between each occurance, thats why I just couldn't understand the blowup. I do understand where he is coming from though, if he wants to take it to the next level in progressive discipline. I just feel like its so meaningless. For christ sake this is the same guy I hunt with and do dip with.
            When people talk of termination for simple mistakes on reports I feel a little bit of disbelief. I have never heard of that. And it scares me a bit. Especially when I see the crazy verbage that they put on their disciplinary documents. I guess there is always tommorow to do a better job.

            From where I sit it seems like your sgt doesnt have much choice. He is trying to get your attention and until he does he has no choice. Remember If you are screwing up reports and he doesnt take corrective action then HE is the one in trouble. Believe me I have had sgt's on my a** as well. They can pick the smallist things to go after, like being 5 min late coming off 10-7 (lunch) but the quality of your reports is not one of these things. It has been said several time here, the quality of your reports are what makes the diffeance when you go to court, and THAT is were you get the conviction.
            Why is it that the further up the chain of command an officer goes, the less of a consept they have of what the job on the street is all about?


            • #36
              Originally posted by mnbulldawg View Post
              Wow some of you are uptight!!!!!

              I don't think they are uptight, I think this isn't their first rodeo and they know the way it really is.

              Good luck, but don't take to much Sh** from the brass. We are the street cops we are the ones doing the work, we are the ones who are the saftey net for even them. Don't take it from the dirty brass. But fix what you are doing wrong. For the 15th time. DO NOT TAKE SH** from the BRASS. NONE zero

              Bad advice. Bad bad bad. It's not a matter of taking crap from anyone if he's in the wrong; which he has admitted he is.

              You can catch all the bad guys you'd like, but if you can't string together enough words to write a good report, you're going to be screwed on the bigger cases.

              And quite frankly, it's not just about you..some of us up from patrol have to read your report and take it from there. If you're not doing your job, you're making ours more difficult.

              I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.


              • #37
                Report writing is crucial to this job. What seems like a trivial error could lose you that good arrest if the case goes to trial.

                Make sure you are looking at this objectively and not personally. Remember, this is his job too.

                I proof read my officers' reports. Some get more attention than others simply because they have a harder time writing reports.

                As far as your reprimand goes, it's just part of the job. There are few of us on the job who haven't been reprimanded for something at some point. It's going to happen. If you make a lot of arrests, then you will no doubt have to write a lot of reports. If you write a lot of reports, then you increase your chances of making a mistake in one of those reports. Spelling, grammar, punctuation...whatever.

                Don't dwell on it.

                Look at it objectively and not personally.

                Buy a Thesaurus.

                Write like you talk. (Minus the cuss words.)

                DO NOT WRITE IN POLICE JARGON!!!! (Say "said" don't say "advised." You never tell your wife that your buddy "advised" you that he was going to the bar after work and wanted you to go with him. When you get back to your buddy you never say that your wife said "negative." If you do, then you have brain damage.)

                If it does indeed turn out to be a personal attack then just remember that he has a boss to whom he must answer. Hopefully you have union protection and you can get it sorted out.

                Good luck!



                • #38
                  I can't say since being out of circulation for over 17 years, is it true that most departments use Microsoft word spell check with their computers for their patrol reports, with that said their are correction made automatically, I carried a Websters dictionary in my briefcase in the stupid bad old days!
                  Take you're time, think real hard of that case, ask you're partner if any, Show the desk Sergeant the report before submitting it!
                  Last edited by Ralph8119; 06-22-2008, 10:38 PM.
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                  • #39
                    I'm the old guy in my squad and in the last batch of new guys there was one with a similar problem. Very motivated, heart in the right place, but errors all over the paperwork. He was getting beat up over it, and stopped by my house one night to ask what he should do after getting reprimanded. He was hurt and feeling betrayed because of all the work he does and getting hit for the clerical errors.

                    My advice, and it seems as though I've given it out a bunch over the years, is the same as a lot of the others on this thread. SLOW DOWN!! The report is CRITICAL. You can keep yourself out of a lot of court and therefore on the road hunting bad guys by writing a clear, concise and chronological narrative with no mistakes. The lawyers look at your report and the professionalism of the report reflects directly on the professionalism of the job you did on the road and will do in court. He is much better now, but he started having another troop or his wife read and correct his reports before handing them in. Wives are great, especially for getting rid of the cop talk!

                    Also, the second part of my advice I learned at a Street Survival Seminar years ago. Simply "Do not love your agency, as your agency CAN'T love you." Love your job, throw on your gear, saddle up and bring it every day. Remember why you took the job in the first place; whatever your personal reason is. That is what you go out there for. Not for the Colonel, the Major, the Captain, Lieutenant or Sergeant. You didn't take this job to make them happy, you took it for a much larger and more important reason or ideal. I'm not saying "f" the brass. You have to play by the policies and rules and such. You are much better off to do your job right, to their satisfaction, cross your t's and dot your i's. Then it is more time to chase the bad guys and less stress without looking over your shoulder.

                    Don't ever be the guy that takes the heat off of everyone else in the squad!! Although every squad should have one of those around.


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