This 8-hour course is designed to teach officers how to write quality reports. This course is designed for the report writers that desire to hone their skills and gain a better understanding of clarity and organization in report writing. The people being hired into Law Enforcement and the people already in Law Enforcement have all of the necessary skills to write incident reports. It is not the purpose of this course to "hammer" students to death with "English Grammar" as a means of trying to improve their writing skills. The problem is not their grammar skills; the problem is the correct use of the skills they already have. Incident report writing is different from other types of writing such as administrative reports, research reports, creative writing, position papers and expert opinion reports. In fact, when properly taught, incident report writing is easier than other types of writing. This course concentrates on the major element of a report that helps the writer to achieve proper chronological organization. Once this element is properly learned, everything else falls into place. This course is taught using examples from real reports. The "Time Line Model" enables the student to organize the report with little effort. There has yet to be a student that could not easily grasp the techniques and write excellent reports. The "Time Line Model" is an easily learned, step-by-step process to police report writing that will insure a perfect report the first time, every time, all the time. The students will learn the skills and concepts necessary to write quality reports the first time and the put these skills into use by writing reports in class.
The student will receive instruction and training in the concepts, practices, and techniques necessary to accomplish the following student performance objectives:
- Define the three parts of a report narrative as "Introduction", "Story", and "Other".
- Describe the introduction of the report.
- Describe the information that is written in the story of the report.
- State that tangents should be avoided when telling the story of the report.
- Describe the type of information that should go into the Aother@ section of the report.
- Describe how to convey opinions and suggestions to the investigator assigned to a case.
- Identify the two parts of the follow-up report as the summary and the story.
- Identify the two types of information found in an arrest affidavit as the "crime" and the"probable cause statement".
- Define true chronological order.
- Identify the "detective model", "witness model", and "multiple story model".
- Describe how the investigative process confuses the report writing process.
- Describe where times are placed on a time line.
- Describe what to do when you do not know the time an elevent occurred.
- Describe where supplemental information is listed in relationship to the time line.
- State what information should go first on the time line when organizing a report.
- State what to do with information when the writer does not think it is important.
- State how people, places, and things should be located in the report.
- Describe how specific a writer should be when locating people, places or things in a report.
- State the advantages and disadvantages of using the time line model.
Writing the Report From the Time-Line
- Describe how to write the report from the information on the time line.
- Define the term concise.
- Describe the procedure for handling facts that are unfavorable to the case.
Construction of the Report
- Gather information from a scenario presented in class, construct a time line and write a report for submission.
- The student will participate in group exercises to write and review a report based on class room scenario
- The student will be graded on in class reports on a pass/fail basis.