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Writing Reports

Put It in Writing

Your written product is often the single most tangible evidence of the work that you do, and if your readership falls off, it will result in unfiled cases, lackluster evaluations, and a generally all-around crappy reputation among your co-workers.

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Tips for Successful Gang Prosecutions

Police officers must have a pristine file, a file that if read by anyone gives all of the information the prosecutor needs.

Never Settle for Just Good Enough

Detectives build their case on your preliminary report. Prosecutors decide whether to move forward with the case based on your report. Insurance companies, probation officers, and others will use your work product to help them with their roles. Pay attention to the details; it will pay off in more ways than one.

Proofread Your Reports

Once you have labored over a lengthy report, stop if you can. Grab a coffee, sit back down and read it as a neutral party, from the 10,000-foot level. Try to disassociate yourself from your product and read it critically. Don't give it a quick blush over; read it.

An Officer's Most Potent Weapon

Do you believe the maxim that the pen is mightier than the sword? I do. Even though most departments use a work station and software to prepare reports, writing ability is honored among those in the criminal justice profession.

How to Master Report Writing

Whenever anyone talks about report writing, images of my academy class and the boring report writing segment always comes to mind. What I didn't know then, but know now, is just how important report writing really is.

Will I Get Sued?

Years ago when I was attending my police academy recruit training, one of the many questions my fellow recruits and I pondered was: Will I get sued? In my case, the answer turned out to be, "Yes." And several times at that!

Report Writing Tune-Up

One of the most ignored aspects of our work is report writing. But it shouldn’t be. Whether we are patrol officers or investigators, we write reports each and every day. And these reports stay with us from the day we write them all the way through the court process and beyond.

The Generic Report

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.

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The Dreaded Report: We Must Do it, So Why Not Get it Write?

"We're not report takers.  We're the police."

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