Law enforcement reports are generally written about pat events. Accordingly under most circumstances they
should not be written in past tense.
is specific in quantifying an individual’s behavior in the reports due to the
fact that when you but that the subject is being aggressive or combative those
words have different meanings to them to someone else.
The officer writing the report should write the report in first person. Report writing should be similar to
speaking. When you are speaking to a
fellow colleague you would not say “this officer” the third person fly on the
wall report is more cumbersome to write and takes more time rather than writing
the report in first person.
when writing reports that contain statements of others like wittiness or other
officers use third person to refer to the others on the scene. For example
officer smith stated that the weapon belonged to him.
Use complete sentences in your report.
the subject is singular the verb in that sentence should also be singular. If
the subject is plural the verb must also be plural.
Collective nouns are always singular therefore their verbs should also be
Indefinite pronouns are always singular.
use adjective to alter, give additional meanings to modify nouns and pronouns.
Use adverbs to alter, give additional meaning to or modify verbs, adjectives,
and other adverbs.
most words ending in –ly are adverbs. Not, never and very are also adverbs.
when deciding whether to use an adjective or an adverb find the word being
modified. If the word is a noun or pronoun use the adjective, if the word is
and adjective or adverbs use an adverb.
do not use run on sentences, run on sentence’s are sentences that contain two
or more sentences in one long sentence.
Eliminate comma splices comma splices occur when two complete sentences are
joined with commas without connecting words.
uses correct punctuation in your reports.
use apostrophes to show possession.
many people do not understand the rules for using brackets. The general rule in the law enforcement field
is that you not use them in the reports that you will be writing.
using quotation marks on a report can enclose exactly what a person said.
does not use abbreviations in reports that can be confusing to the people that
are unfamiliar with the subject matter.
poor spelling creates doubt about the report.
If any force is used, the report should contain all the specifics of how and
why the officer had to use force.
if handcuffs are used the officer should report that fact.