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Report Writing Law Enforcement II
Objectives The student will be able to: Define the different types of reports and their functions. Identify what makes a good police report. Investigate a burglary case and write a report on it. Compose a report on an aggravated robbery case as part of a multiple choice test. 2UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.
Observation An important skill in law enforcement Keen observation allows for effective description A report might begin in the squad car and end in the Supreme Court UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.3
Purpose of Reports They provide a source of information while police carry out an investigation ◦ Allows passing of the case from one officer to another ◦ Provides factual record eliminating duplication ◦ Is a requisite for the proper preparation and presentation of a case to the district attorney and to the court UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.4
Purpose of Reports (continued) Help a department stay organized ◦ The memory system of a department ◦ Written, permanent record of all department business Are an administrative necessity; most official forms of communication are completed using reports UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.5
Purpose of Reports (continued) Other purposes ◦ The basis for maintenance of identification and criminal records in Austin ◦ Aid in recovery of lost or stolen property ◦ Contain information used to apprehend criminals ◦ Used in civil suits ◦ Provide factual data to combat ill-advised or unreasonable demands on police ◦ Furnish information to the news media UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.6
Initial Reports Arrest reports Incident reports ◦ For documentation purposes only Offense reports ◦ Begin the investigation of criminal matters Initial reports ◦ Written by the assigned officer covering the initial investigation, which lay the foundation for the whole case UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.7
Supplemental Reports All reports other than the initial report Written by an officer, other than the one assigned, about his or her participation in a particular case Concerned with follow-up work performed by inspectors, detectives, or investigators Submitted in connection with the investigation by specialists such as fingerprint technicians, photographers, drug lab analysts, etc. UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.8
Attachments Crime scene photos/sketches Notes Other documents filed with the case report UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.9
Styles of Reports Narrative ◦ Most widely used ◦ Written in a logical manner or sequence Chronological ◦ Events written in order of occurrence ◦ Time element is of prime importance Specialized ◦ Summary of reports about specialized law enforcement and police problems ◦ May be either narrative, chronological, or both UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.10
Essential Report Qualities Clear and complete sentences Proper grammar Detailed descriptions UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.11
Rules for Description Describe things without assuming Use vivid language Look for distinguishing marks, color, size, shape, texture, location, type, etc. Paint a picture of a place with words UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.12
Rules for Description (continued) Describe people ◦ From top to bottom ◦ Include characteristics Manner of speaking, walking, moving, etc. ◦ Items they are carrying Four Corners Rule ◦ “If it's not on the page then it did not happen.” UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.13
Four Requisites Factual – detailed correctness Clear – distinct and unconfused Complete – having no deficiency Concise – expressing much in a few words UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.14
Questions to Ask and Answer Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.15
Essential Components Date Time Location Kind of call Description of surroundings Description of vehicle Description of suspect Chronological order UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.16
Preparation Organize your evidence and information Check with dispatch for updated data Log in the evidence Begin the report UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.17
Writing Type of call Case number Date and time of the report Date and time of the offense Type of report (offense or incident) UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.18
Writing Caller information Name Date of birth Race Sex Hair and eye color Height Weight Driver’s license number UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.19
Writing The victim/complainant’s complete address and phone number The victim/complainant’s employer The employer’s phone number Location of offense Who it was reported by (complete information) UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.20
Writing Employer contact information Number of witnesses, number of suspects, etc. The incident or offense Probable cause or “MO” The report writer, time, and date Supervisor’s approval Stolen property entered by dispatch into the computer (over $2000 value only, or stolen vehicles) UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.21
Vehicle/Evidence Information Listing (stolen, recovered, abandoned, etc.) Type (make, model, year, license plate, state of registration, VIN) Value Condition Other Remarks UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.22
Weapons Description Quantity Appearance Caliber Serial Number Model Value UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.23
Burglary Information How the suspect entered the home ◦ Home Accessible (unlocked) ◦ Forced Entry ◦ Inside Job How the suspect left the home UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.24
Summary Restate “MO” (see example) State dispatched or on view Describe the crime scene Tell the story Identify yourself as the reporting officer (R/O) (not your name) Use R/O in the rest of the report Identify victim, suspect, witnesses in the report Pictures of everything taken No pronouns used UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.25
Resources Federal Law Enforcement Training Center The Calendar for Law Enforcement Training UNT in partnership with TEA, Copyright ©. All rights reserved.26
Report Writing Law Enforcement I. Copyright © Texas Education Agency All rights reserved. Images and other multimedia content used with permission.
Report Writing Notes Answer Quiz Questions with these Notes.
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