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  • paper work

    Good day all, how many hours in a day are you doing paper work, filling out reports ect. I drive close to 13 to 14 hours a day and almost every time I drive pass a LEO they seem to always be writing or typing on the computer. I dont see that many traffic stops unless Im on the freeway

  • #2
    That's kind of the standing joke on the privte website for officers in my agency. If one of us takes a cross country road trip, we count how many of our units we see on the highway in our very large state, then compare it to the number of units we count on the highway in smaller states. The count in smaller states is always much higher than at home, because our guys are saddles with such a hugh amount of paperwork.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


    • #3
      They can be writing all sorts of things. Clearing prior calls from their computer, looking up next call, looking up any info. Or responding to messages sent out. It also varies on the department. Report writing lengths varies in what type of report or how detailed the officer wants to be. Another issue at least in CA is when an officer/deputy or CHP do a traffic stop that must do a DOJ questionnaire that has all the same info has the info needed to clear a traffic stop or any detention. So it's double the work, thanks DOJ.
      I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

      It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.


      • #4
        Varies from day to day, but it is considerable. Good question.
        The amount of time as a patrol officer spent on reports/paperwork was different from that as a detective.


        • #5
          The perception may be different depending on the agency, unit, and shift. Day shift tend to do their reports as soon as they close a call if possible, so they don't get backed up. Night shift might wait until after midnight, because the first half of the shift can get pretty exciting but the back half could be dead.

          Agency policy may allow you to wait up until the last day before your days off; ours is that reports must be done before you leave. I usually follow the former rather than the latter because I generate 10x as many reports as anyone else at this agency. We also don't have an investigations unit so we work all of our own cases, 99% of which are self-initiated. In a case where something really does need urgent documentation (use of force/inevitable complaints) then I try to do it the same day.

          I'd say my ratio of work to paperwork is about 3:1. Really not that bad if you're good at writing. Also our agency policy requires documentation on everything...help someone with a flat tire, jump start a car, stop someone for a tag light, there must be a report written. There are no verbal warning traffic stops allowed, not even if it's the sheriff's wife. Actual case reports are done on a computer. Miscellaneous reports, citations, written warnings, etc are all hand-written.

          And as someone stated above they could be doing other things...some agencies use an instant messaging system, they could be looking up something, responding to an e-mail, watching Netflix, who knows. My agency does not have in-car computers and never will, but each officer has their own private office (office, not cubicle) and a computer to do case reports on.


          • #6
            A lot.....


            • #7
              I probably spend twice as much time on paperwork as I do on the call that generates it.
              "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

              "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet


              • #8
                I do everything within my power to avoid any kind of paperwork


                • #9
                  I never see paper work being done when I watch the live PD tv show. if they did it would make it boring. btw how much paper work done for a simple basic drunk driving arrest ??


                  • Saluki89
                    Saluki89 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Come roll thru my area 2x over and find out

                • #10
                  Originally posted by roadrunner5877 View Post
                  I never see paper work being done when I watch the live PD tv show. if they did it would make it boring. btw how much paper work done for a simple basic drunk driving arrest ??
                  It can depend on the particular stop or incident, department and locality. Basically an incident report, usually at least 2 citations, an Administrative License Suspension and Implied Consent form, booking sheet, impound / vehicle inventory form etc. If an accident was involved you can add a crash report to it.

                  Reporting software can make some of it a little easier but it can still be time consuming. A detailed accurate report can make the difference between getting a guilty plea, a trial or acquittal.


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Tanksoldier
                    I probably spend twice as much time on paperwork as I do on the call that generates it.
                    At least that much sometimes more. I remember the old adage: fifteen minutes of police work and two hours of paper work.
                    You miss every shot you don't take.


                    • #12
                      5-15 minutes of action means 45+ minutes of paperwork basically
                      US Army Veteran
                      The opinions expressed above are not those of any official capacity or agency. Fix yourself.


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by roadrunner5877 View Post
                        I never see paper work being done when I watch the live PD tv show. if they did it would make it boring. btw how much paper work done for a simple basic drunk driving arrest ??
                        A "simple basic drunk driving arrest" involves more paperwork than just about any other case.

                        There are two parts to a drunk driving case- the criminal side, and the administrative driver's license revocation side...and we do the paperwork for both.

                        So from my perspective:

                        Just the administrative side has so many forms, that there is a full-page checklist and a folder to hold them all.

                        The "incident report" (the face page) is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the report itself. In addition to the face page, there is also an extremely detailed report formatted and written from scratch by the officer (no "fill in the box" forms), covering everything from the weather, to the lighting, to the condition of the surface, and on, and on, and on...

                        Then there is the arrestee questionaire, the custody forms, the bail acknowledgement form, and the prisoner property form listing his crap item by item (wallet, EBT card, loose change, extra-small condom, etc...)

                        There is the implied consent forms, of which there are three-the longest one is four pages single-spaced, and has to be read to the arrestee word for word.

                        Then there is the Intoxilyzer checklist, the Intox supervisor form, and the Intox form itself...

                        There is chain of custody reports and lab request forms for blood and/or urine (about half a dozen forms)...

                        There may be a Miranda warning form if I need a statement from them at the end...

                        It just goes on, and on, and on...

                        Even with no citations, motor vehicle collisions, or anything else, a DUI case is extremely paperwork-intensive, and I'd like to think that I know my way around a DUI: apart from having served as an FTO (Field Training Officer) and having ARIDE (Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement) training, I've done (and won) more DUIs than many DUI Task Force officers (officers who only do DUIs and don't have to respond to any other calls for service). Heck, I've won DUI cases where I never saw the offender drive, they refused to participate in the SFSTs (Standardized Field Sobriety Tests), they refused to submit to any and all blood/breath/urine testing, and they gave no statement.


                        • #14
                          As Aidoka stated, an OVI arrests needs more forms and hoops that just about anything else. I expect an officer who makes an OVI arrest to be off the road for two hours.


                          • Aidokea
                            Aidokea commented
                            Editing a comment
                            ...and that two hours is JUST to do the investigation and the paperwork that needs to be done to get to the point that the arrestee can bail out. If the officer is working afternoons (1500-2300 for example), he would then typically type up his report and assemble the folder the next day before sunset.

                            But if the arrestee is not gonna bail, or if it is that officer's "Friday", then he will have to complete EVERYTHING that night before the end of his shift, and that's gonna take about another two hours, for a truly high-quality DUI report.

                            This is a little easier for officers on the graveyard shift (2300-0700 for example), because they can sit down to type after 0300 when things start to slow down.
                            Last edited by Aidokea; 03-06-2020, 12:33 PM.

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