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Is slow and illegible handwriting a serious barrier to a career in law enforcement?

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  • Is slow and illegible handwriting a serious barrier to a career in law enforcement?

    Hello all,

    I have just graduated college and have been working full time for a large corporation as an accountant for almost a year now. I have always wanted to pursue a career in Law Enforcement, but I also have both slow and virtually illegible handwriting.

    For the most part this is a non-factor in my career, however, unless I bring a computer to any given meeting I am only able to write down the most high level details covered (e.g. key topics, crucial deadlines, etc.). I would imagine computers are not consistently available to police officers when they are writing reports or taking statements, this leads to be concerned that I won't be able to record things to the level of detail necessary for the job.

    If I cannot improve my penmanship significantly, would it still be realistic and responsible for me to try and become a police officer or even a reserve officer when I know it's possible that I could miss something important due to this?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Arrowheadfan View Post

    If I cannot improve my penmanship significantly, would it still be realistic and responsible for me to try and become a police officer or even a reserve officer when I know it's possible that I could miss something important due to this?

    Thanks!
    In a word -----------------NO


    There are hundreds of times in a day you need to jot down notes, write statements for signatures, and maybe write down directions for citizens.

    Besides---------------you would never make it through the academy unless you could legibly write
    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

    Comment


    • #3
      I would say go for it. Does it really matter anymore? Sorry lost my train of thought, if you really want to become an officer, get your *** in gear and learn how to write legibly. Seriously it's not that hard.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have to maintain my hand written field notes for 5 years at a minimum in most instances. Does that give you some idea of the importance of hand writing in the job?
        I miss you, Dave.
        http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

        Comment


        • #5
          Functional illiteracy is a significant barrier to employment. Even if you are hired (and somehow make it through an academy), you will be released from probabation for being too slow and having an unacceptable work product.

          Comment


          • #6
            I am grateful that in 7th grade, I had shop class which included industrial drawing. We had to learn block letter printing. To this day, almost approaching five decades later, I still cannot dram a "0" unless I use one stroke to make the left half, lift my pen from the paper and then make the right half. My FTO's were blown away by the look of my hand-written product. Times have, obviously, changed and computers have taken over (in most agencies) the report end of things. Still, most personal notes, field interview cards, and moving citations/summonses are hand-PRINTED.

            If I can't read your writing, and more importantly the courts can't read your writing, what good are you to the system?

            If you needed to speak Spanish, you'd seek a program to teach you.

            If getting a better job required you run an under eight minute mile, chances are you'd get to the track and get your mile in under eight minutes.

            If writing faster, and LEGIBLY is a boost toward getting the job of your dreams...find a coach, practice on your own. 30 minutes at a shot. Research how draftsmen used to print...because that's probably computerized, too, these days.

            If you want the job, find a way!
            "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.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have always struggled with my handwriting but it is at least legible. It ain't pretty though. We're writing all the time. Get a book on how to improve handwriting; if this is something you're serious about, apply yourself to improvement.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mookster View Post
                I have always struggled with my handwriting but it is at least legible. It ain't pretty though. We're writing all the time. Get a book on how to improve handwriting; if this is something you're serious about, apply yourself to improvement.
                ACTUALLY legibility means very little as far as I am concerned in my NOTES. If they get subpoenaed into court I am going to be there to read them..................not my problem if an attorney or judge can't---they are MY NOTES.

                However the ability to write other products does matter & more importantly the ability to write QUICKLY is extremely important
                Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                Comment


                • #9
                  I had a chief threaten to give me crayons for my citations unless I improved my writing...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    For my entire career with LASD I wrote thousands of reports and every one was written in pencil, printed in block letters... To this day I still print every thing I write and the only time I write in cursive is when I sign my name on a check...
                    Retired LASD

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's gonna be a problem. A lot, if not all, agencies will require you to fill out an application by hand. If they can't read your application....
                      Officer Jay McGuire, Minneapolis Park Police EOW 5/14/2009 age 11
                      Among Texas' finest
                      Deputy Andy Taylor, Llano County SO EOW 5/9/2005
                      Senior Deputy Jessica Laura Hollis, Travis County SO EOW 9/18/2014
                      Darren H. Goforth, Harris County SO EOW 8/28/2015

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                        In a word -----------------NO


                        There are hundreds of times in a day you need to jot down notes, write statements for signatures, and maybe write down directions for citizens.

                        Besides---------------you would never make it through the academy unless you could legibly write






                        Read this over a few times, and decide how badly you want to join our ranks. A whole lot of people have had to learn to write legibly. I'm one of them, and I did it almost fifty years ago.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My handwriting sucks big time. I have been hired by 2 separate departments with my crappy handwriting.

                          I would say work on improving it. Maybe even look at taking a class or something to improve it. If handwriting is your biggest problem then I say you dont have much to worry about.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In the academy, there is going to be lots of handwriting. On the street, yeah, most cops these days have computers for the reports, but you're still going to be in someone's house or on a scene writing in a little notebook. You're going to have to write quickly, too, because you don't want to be constantly asking a witness/victim to repeat themselves. Also, depending on the agency, you may be handwriting citations.

                            See if your local CC offers a class on handwriting.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm sure I've killed several forests with all the paper I've generated in 25 years on the job.
                              Today's Quote:

                              "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
                              Albert Einstein

                              Comment

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