Question for Sergeants
I have read about numerous instances of poor quality report writing by police officers and believe that better training is necessary. What would you consider to be the most immediate challenges facing a group of 15 year veteran officers when learning how to write more effective police reports? Old habits, new technology etc...
Thanks for your input!
No offense, but sometimes the issue is the Sergeants who have old habits, are technology averse, etc.
The biggest problem teaching any fifteen year officer anything is overcoming entropy and habits.
Have to wait for some of the old guys to chime in here. I think Captain America and Keith are just about finished fighting over a bottle of prune juice. They should have some good insights.:peep::bolt:
Old Fart here.:mad:The problems with report writing today/tomorrow/yesterday ,will always be the same.POOR spelling,POOR grammar,. DO NOT use abbreviations,and/or slang."Comp,came home and found his front door busted open",:doh:.To me these are the largest problems,and since the "pupils" are way beyond high school,I fear they are beyond redemption.:(
The one thing I try to impress on my deputies is the fact that in our great nation,a simple report,say,one for a dog crapping on a neighbors lawn,has the POTENTIAL,of going to the United States Supeme Court,and can change laws.
How to correct? DICTIONARY????,how about lil tricks. ie: T(heir)+ heir,meaning a person
Just one example,that IF used could salvage a thousand reports tonight alone.
I'm not a boss, but I do read a lot of reports. More than the average officer does. Bad spelling & grammar are definitely an issue where they are present, but there are far more pervasive problems.
Originally Posted by mavriktu
The biggest trouble that I see with reports is that too many officers don't have a clear understanding of what needs to be in them. Too many cops don't really know how to explain the legal justification for their actions, and just fall back on rote phrases like "officer safety" or "aggressive." A lot of us can recognize problems on the street, but can't meaningfully describe them on paper.
I really don't know how to fix any of that. More training for the guys who rely on prepackaged phrases, I suppose. You can't make someone learn if they don't want to, though.