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  • Practice report writing

    Hello Sir or Ma'am, I will be in BLET academy in Jan and I have been trying to get ahead of the game. In addition to studying the amendments, the constitution and case law, I've been practicing report writing. I am an EMT, so I figured a patient care report (PCR) is similar in format to a police incident report (IR or PIR) as far as the intro and the "who, what, when, where, how, why". Tell me if this report is okay and what could I have done and/or said differently. What's pertinent and what's not. (Report posted below). Thank you in advance
    Last edited by Bamberrydude; 12-02-2020, 01:44 PM.

  • #2
    ​​​​​​​"On 11/22/20 at 1930 hours unit 008, on board Ofc. Berry 361, responded code 2 to a residence at 275 Pryor Street for a domestic dispute. Upon arrival this Ofc. met with initial caller Tiffany Cobbs. Complainant T. Cobbs stated that at 1900 hours her boyfriend mark began arguing with her over cooking dinner. She stated that he became irate because she did not fix dinner following his return home from work. Per complainant, a verbal altercation ensued for approximately 10 minutes. There was no physical harm or damage to property per complainant. Ofc. 361 noted no evidence of property damage or physical harm by visual observation. T. Cobbs stated that she called the police to have her boyfriend removed from home, but he left just as she called. T. Cobbs stated that her boyfriend has a history of violence and had been arrested two years ago for battery against her. She suspects that he may return and attempt to cause harm. T. Cobbs noted that her boyfriend only visits the home and does not live with her. T. Cobbs was advised by Officer 361 to keep suspect out of the home and to get a TPO ASAP. Tiffany Cobbs was then advised to call CPD in the event of any domestic disputes following my encounter. Officer 361 left complainant with an incident number, business card and was advised to call 911 in an event of an emergency. EOR". 

    Comment


    • Aidokea
      Aidokea commented
      Editing a comment
      Paragraphs, dude...paragraphs...

    • Saluki89
      Saluki89 commented
      Editing a comment
      Use full names and last names vs he or she. Don't speak in 3rd person, just say I after you've introduced yourself. Don't use acronyms unless you've already
      spelled it out and then show the acronym like Chicago Police Department (CPD).

      You should talk to a SA or ASA on what they like to see since they will need a solid report to go off of. It wouldn't hurt to ask the public defender as well since they often times will be the ones nitpicking your work.
      Last edited by Saluki89; 12-06-2020, 01:32 PM.

  • #3
    Originally posted by Bamberrydude View Post
    ​​​​​​​"On 11/22/20 at 1930 hours unit 008, on board Ofc. Berry 361, responded code 2 to a residence at 275 Pryor Street for a domestic dispute. Upon arrival this Ofc. met with initial caller Tiffany Cobbs. Complainant T. Cobbs stated that at 1900 hours her boyfriend mark began arguing with her over cooking dinner. She stated that he became irate because she did not fix dinner following his return home from work. Per complainant, a verbal altercation ensued for approximately 10 minutes. There was no physical harm or damage to property per complainant. Ofc. 361 noted no evidence of property damage or physical harm by visual observation. T. Cobbs stated that she called the police to have her boyfriend removed from home, but he left just as she called. T. Cobbs stated that her boyfriend has a history of violence and had been arrested two years ago for battery against her. She suspects that he may return and attempt to cause harm. T. Cobbs noted that her boyfriend only visits the home and does not live with her. T. Cobbs was advised by Officer 361 to keep suspect out of the home and to get a TPO ASAP. Tiffany Cobbs was then advised to call CPD in the event of any domestic disputes following my encounter. Officer 361 left complainant with an incident number, business card and was advised to call 911 in an event of an emergency. EOR".
    Too many acronyms and abbreviations in that report..........yep I realize there are only a couple, but I still don't know what code 2 means at CPD or what CPD is.................

    Plain language in ALL communications should be used for clarity
    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


    • Retired96
      Retired96 commented
      Editing a comment
      Iowa, out here in Calif. code 2 is urgent but not code 3 red lights and siren. I came on LASD in 1970 and code 2 was used often but I don't think its really used now days

    • Iowa #1603
      Iowa #1603 commented
      Editing a comment
      OH yes, I know. but the problem is that is NOT what it is elsewhere
      We used code 3 as routine, code 2 as urgent lights and siren and code 1 as officer needs help. The ambulance service in my town Code one was routine code two as urgent and code 3 was lights and siren

      That is why the norm now is plain language.

  • #4
    Originally posted by Bamberrydude View Post
    "On 11/22/20 at 1930 hours unit 008, on board Ofc. Berry 361, responded code 2 to a residence at 275 Pryor Street for a domestic dispute. Upon arrival this Ofc. met with initial caller Tiffany Cobbs. Complainant T. Cobbs stated that at 1900 hours her boyfriend mark began arguing with her over cooking dinner. She stated that he became irate because she did not fix dinner following his return home from work. Per complainant, a verbal altercation ensued for approximately 10 minutes. There was no physical harm or damage to property per complainant. Ofc. 361 noted no evidence of property damage or physical harm by visual observation. T. Cobbs stated that she called the police to have her boyfriend removed from home, but he left just as she called. T. Cobbs stated that her boyfriend has a history of violence and had been arrested two years ago for battery against her. She suspects that he may return and attempt to cause harm. T. Cobbs noted that her boyfriend only visits the home and does not live with her. T. Cobbs was advised by Officer 361 to keep suspect out of the home and to get a TPO ASAP. Tiffany Cobbs was then advised to call CPD in the event of any domestic disputes following my encounter. Officer 361 left complainant with an incident number, business card and was advised to call 911 in an event of an emergency. EOR".
    Get rid of "stated that" and use "said".

    Get rid of "that" in general.

    ​​​​​​​
    If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.

    -George S. Patton

    Comment


    • #5
      Just as a side note - was this event worthy of a report? As written, it describes no crime and no implied threat, just an argument. While agency standards may vary and granted and one department I used to work for had us write paper on everything, even when we did nothing. Yet for another agency this would only have been an entry in the patrol log or CAD system - Civil disturbance, gone on arrival, no crime.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

      Comment


      • #6
        Are your reports required to be third-person ("This Ofc. met"/"Ofc. 361 responded")? Ours are written first-person ("I responded"/"I met").

        Make sure you know the elements of the applicable laws/ordinances and address them in the report. If you're not able to establish any violations but still need to write a report per policy, it's important to document why you felt the subject's actions didn't meet the standards for a violation. In the incident described, it could qualify as a Disorderly Conduct in my area, but you would have to establish the victim was disturbed by the behavior.

        Good job on the the prep work for academy.

        Comment


        • #7
          I'll use this space to note a common correction I make when reviewing other people's reports: Improper use of 'myself'.

          For example:
          Officer Smith and myself contacted the subject.
          The suspect ran from Officer Smith and myself.

          Boring grammar rules about reflexive pronouns aside, a good general rule is to remove the other party from the sentence. Would you say "Myself contacted the subject" or "The suspect ran from myself"? I hope not, and if so, you need more help than I can offer here.

          In general, the word 'myself' should not be used in report-writing, as it's most common appropriate use is when you're referring to yourself as both the subject and object of the sentence: I taught myself how to swim.

          And that's as word-nerdy as I'm going to get.

          Comment


          • #8
            Originally posted by Former12
            I think a DUI report is much better template imo. This is just part of my DUI report that I could recite. There's obvious grammatical and spelling errors because I tried to recite a stop I once made.

            On 12/04/2020 0323 hours, I officer Former12 was on routine patrol in the 300 block of Cotton Street. At this time I observed a red Honda CRV later determined to be driven by Mr. Ray Charles, was traveling the wrong way on a one way street. The flow of traffic is permitted only west bound, Mr. Charles was traveling east bound on Traverls St. I activated my emergency equipment and initiated a traffic stop on the aforementioned vehicle. Mr. Charles disregarded my lights and sirens and traveled approximately one mile before he pulled over to the right. In doing so Mr. Charles front right tire made contact with the curb, causing the tire to go flat.

            Upon making contact with Mr.Charles at the driver side window, I immediately noticed a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from within the vehicle. Mr. Charles had blood shot glassy eyes. I asked Mr. Charles for his License, registration and proof on insurance. Mr. Charles began retrieving the requested document sand while doing so I asked Mr. Charles if he knew why I had stopped him and why did it take him so long to pull over. He said he had no idea why I stopped him and didn't notice I was behind him. Mr. Charles handed me his fishing license, registration and proof of insurance. I asked him why he had given me his fishing license to which he replied, "You said license, you didn't specify which license so I gave you the only one I had." I said to Mr. Charles that he was correct and and apologized for the ambiguous claim, I then clarified and asked him to provide me his drivers license. Mr. Charles said he dropped his license in the crack between the center console and his seat. I asked Mr. Charles how much he had to drink tonight and he said, " I just came from the bar". I replied, "Ok so you've been drinking?" To which he replied, "I didn't say that, all I said was I just came back from the bar". I asked Mr. Charles to recite is abc's starting with the letter B and ending with P. Mr. Charles refused and said he was late for dinner. I then proceeded to ask Mr. Charles to step out of the vehicle to continue my investigation.

            While exiting the vehicle Mr. Charles used the weight of his body to close the door. While standing outside he leaned against his vehicle. I asked Mr. Charles to stand on the sidewalk and he refused because he was experiencing leg pain. I asked what happened to his leg and he replied, "I hurt it while driving".



            Well that's all I've got.
            This is the "Ask a Cop" section, and your profile says you're not a cop. If you're not a cop or a retired cop, you have no business posting here...

            Comment


            • #9
              Please always keep in mind that the more you put in a report, the more a defense attorney will have to question. Keep the report brief and to the point. Extraneous detail will only give ammo to the defense.

              Comment


              • #10
                You WILL learn how to write in the academy. Don’t try and start now without their guidance.

                No. A PCR is not the same.

                Review the use of proper grammar and English. You have issues.
                Now go home and get your shine box!

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by Bamberrydude View Post
                  "On 11/22/20 at 1930 hours unit 008, on board Ofc. Berry 361, responded code 2 to a residence at 275 Pryor Street for a domestic dispute. Upon arrival this Ofc. met with initial caller Tiffany Cobbs. Complainant T. Cobbs stated that at 1900 hours her boyfriend mark began arguing with her over cooking dinner. She stated that he became irate because she did not fix dinner following his return home from work. Per complainant, a verbal altercation ensued for approximately 10 minutes. There was no physical harm or damage to property per complainant. Ofc. 361 noted no evidence of property damage or physical harm by visual observation. T. Cobbs stated that she called the police to have her boyfriend removed from home, but he left just as she called. T. Cobbs stated that her boyfriend has a history of violence and had been arrested two years ago for battery against her. She suspects that he may return and attempt to cause harm. T. Cobbs noted that her boyfriend only visits the home and does not live with her. T. Cobbs was advised by Officer 361 to keep suspect out of the home and to get a TPO ASAP. Tiffany Cobbs was then advised to call CPD in the event of any domestic disputes following my encounter. Officer 361 left complainant with an incident number, business card and was advised to call 911 in an event of an emergency. EOR".
                  Did you attempt to make contact with Mark? How do you know he wasn't a victim of a crime?

                  Avoid jargon like "code 2." The person reading your report may not know what that means.
                  "Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned."

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Our department was different. We had a narrative, which is what the public saw and the investigative which wasn't for public view. Here is an example: Narrative - At 0100 hrs on 12-11-2020, I was dispatched to 123 Joe St., Anywhere, Texas in reference to a theft. At 0101 hrs I arrived and met with the victim. She told me that between about 12:30 AM and 12:45 AM on 12-11-2020 unknown offender(s) unlawfully appropriated her property located at the above location, which is her residence. She told me that she would like to file criminal charges against anyone found responsible for the theft, and she provided me with a signed prosecution affidavit. The victim also told me that she valued the loss due the the theft at $200.00 and that her loss is not covered by insurance. I had Department Dispatch Office enter all information in reference to the stolen item into NCIC/TCIC computer system under NIC#1234567890.

                    The investigative - The victim told me that she arrived home on her bicycle which she had left parked unsecured against the handrail of the steps of the front of her house at about 0030 hrs on 12-11-2020 before going inside. She normally secures her bicycle during the night, but that she didn't this time because she had to take a bathroom break. She arrived shortly thereafter her break at about 0100 hrs on 12-11-2020 and found that her bicycle was missing from her property. She didn't hear nor see anything unusual during the time or after the theft and she has no suspect(s) in mind.

                    After I give the information provided by the victim, I then start giving my information. - Upon my initial arrival, I quickly obtained a description of the victim's bicycle and searched the local neighborhood with negative results. I arrived back on scene shortly thereafter and conducted my investigation. The victim's front yard has no surface to record foot or bicycle tracks due it being all grass. The victim had no video cameras, and I was unable to canvass the neighborhood due to the early morning hours. I was unable to locate any workable evidence at the scene.

                    So the whole idea is that you want a very minimal and sterile narrative report so victims won't be revictimized due to having too much personal information released, and then the details are put int the investigative where criminal justice types only have access. Also, when you write an investigative, you are writing to a detective. Since he/she wasn't there, you want to paint a good picture of the event so they can better follow up. Of course, this was a minor investigation, but it very common. If it had occurred during the day, you would have put information like obtaining canvass information which is neighbors or other witness information you obtain. Now that video cameras are so common, you will likely have to add that information too. If you obtain video, you may have to upload it into the report like our system or submit it into evidence depending on the media.

                    If you make an arrest, the narrative has to have the outcome of the offender. So the last or one of the last lines on the narrative would be: At 0400 hrs on 12-11-2020, the offender was booked into the Anywhere County Jail under warrant#1234567 with a bond set at $500.00.
                    Last edited by angeredmgmt; 12-12-2020, 04:27 PM.

                    Comment

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