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Departments : The Beat

The Generic Report

Save time and tax money with this handy all-purpose official document.

July 01, 2002  |  by George Eliseo


After several years in patrol, it seemed that at least once a week, I would get a radio call from a person that had some sort of bizarre living arrangement with his ex-wife and her parolee boyfriend or some ridiculous roommate situation involving a circus juggler and a miniature pony. Things that they just don't train you for in the academy.

It got to the point where I had memorized a short speech in which I slowly explained to the confused citizen that the police officer's job was basically finding someone to arrest, arresting them, and then taking them to jail. The police officer did not give guidance or marriage counseling, make children love and respect their parents, scare the neighbors, take the local crazy lady away, or do rent collections.

Of course this explanation never solved the citizen's original problem. And of course the citizen, who is just unable to do anything without the help of a government agency, always demanded a police report just so the incident was "on file." Why a police report being "on file" is some sort of magic ace in the hole for a situation that isn't even criminal in nature and is never going to be given a second glance by a city attorney is beyond me.

I wish "COPS" or one of those other reality TV shows really showed what police work was all about. Could you imagine watching a whole hour of two cops writing a D.V. report? Now that's must-see TV.

So to help out my brother and sister patrol officers, I've come up with a report template. Just fill it out, smile at the citizen, and repeat after me. "Yes, sir. A report will be on file.

Officer's Report

Synopsis-a tweaker/loser/transient was involved in a fight/altercation/relationship with another tweaker/loser/ transient.

Origin-I received a radio call to investigate a citizen's report of a disturbance of some kind. Unfortunately, I was unable to pawn this call off on a trainee.

Investigation-upon arrival, I was forced to listen to the alcoholic/narcotic/psychotic ramblings of the alleged victim and his ex-wife/girlfriend/mother/guardian. I quickly dispelled the idea that I was sympathetic to their plight and that the police department and the criminal justice system did not give a rat's/monkey's/ferret's behind for their particular brand of domestic problem.

I advised the loser/tweaker that his/her problem was a civil/mutual combat/family court situation and directed him/her to the nearest phone.

I then proceeded to my favorite bagel/taco/sushi drive-thru restaurant and procured a free/half-price/full-price meal. I then cleared sometime later when I heard my sergeant/lieutenant/ captain on the radio asking for the section for running a red light.

Background-I have investigated numerous bogus calls for service, including but not limited to: burglar alarms, 911 hang-ups, skateboarders, roadway hazards, transients, ball playing in the street, and non-injury traffic accidents. If a real crime had been committed, I'm sure I would have been able to tell the difference.

Statement-Theloser/tweaker/transient gave me an unintelligible, rambling, drug-induced statement. I was able to discern the following words: "dude," "thrashed," "weed," and the phrase "know what I mean?" Suffice it to say that the alleged victim was injured/robbed/verbally abused by his friend/family/ex-wife.

Evidence-Not worth impounding.

Injuries-All injuries incurred by the "victim" were most likely deserved and/or the result of street justice. He was eventually treated and released at the County hospital and the bill footed by the taxpayers.

Property Damage-The victim's skateboard/Walkman/dog/bicycle was "like, seriously thrashed, dude."

Follow Up-The Bogus Crimes Unit was contacted and a seasoned investigator was dispatched to take over the case/crime scene/combo plate.

Related Reports-See my last bogus report.

George Eliseo served 11 years as a patrol officer for the San Diego (Calif.) PD before retiring in 2000.

Tags: Crime Reports, Writing Reports


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