A question for LEOs, report writing?

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perfor8

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I know that here on OSA being a text based platform, we have a pretty good grasp of the written word. Many of us have also done extensive report writing either LE, security or military. My question is how do you train someone not only the importance of writing a report but how to do it? Especially to someone who is a product of the failed modern education system.anyone have any tips or tricks on how to not only gather, but present information in a coherent manner?
Can't be taught. My advice to those that asked was always, "start reading everything you can get your hands on". If you don't read (a lot), you can't write.
 

Gadsden

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If they didn't learn how to write in school they are certainly not going to learn it on the job, at least that's the way I see it. My reports were always written in first person and were as concise as possible with no opinions, just the facts.

The bigger problem I see with the current generation though is, because they rely on texting for practically every interaction they have with another person, they don't know how to talk to anyone face-to-face.
 
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Snattlerake

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Unfortunately for most officers, learning the importance of writing a good report doesn't come until 2 years later when they are in court and having to testify. Figuring out how to get the why to click is going to be different for every person.

As to the second part of the question. If you are talking about sentence structure and general spelling, good luck. The different formal writing formats that have been taught throughout the years help. But this probably not your wheel house and It sure isn't mine.

I've had my rookies start with identifying what crime needs to be documented. Identify the elements and then basically answer the question of how is this element met for each one. Once you get that you can start painting the picture. Who, what, when, where, why, & how. Type it out in Word and have them read it out loud. You read it out loud to them and see if they pick up errors you spot.

Some officers will never type reports that English teachers would call perfect. Admit it we aren't the smartest group of people. We chose this profession over being a fire fighter.
Yeah,
Police report

On 01/22/08 at approximately 0123 hours, I was dispatched to 11612 SW 5th Street, Yukon, Oklahoma to a house fire. I arrived at approximately 0128 hours and immediately saw the house was completely engulfed in flames.

I advised dispatch of this and noticed a man a woman and two children in their bedclothes standing across the street watching the house. I asked if everyone was out of the house and they advised yes, and that no one was missing and all were accounted for. After determining there were no injuries, I identified the family members and verified they were from the house, advising them the fire department and ambulance were on their way.

I then drove to the intersection of SW 5th and .........

Fire department report

House on fire. Drove there. Put it out. Drove back Cleaned truck
 
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Poke78

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Unfortunately for most officers, learning the importance of writing a good report doesn't come until 2 years later when they are in court and having to testify. Figuring out how to get the why to click is going to be different for every person.

As to the second part of the question. If you are talking about sentence structure and general spelling, good luck. The different formal writing formats that have been taught throughout the years help. But this probably not your wheel house and It sure isn't mine.

I've had my rookies start with identifying what crime needs to be documented. Identify the elements and then basically answer the question of how is this element met for each one. Once you get that you can start painting the picture. Who, what, when, where, why, & how. Type it out in Word and have them read it out loud. You read it out loud to them and see if they pick up errors you spot.

Some officers will never type reports that English teachers would call perfect. Admit it we aren't the smartest group of people. We chose this profession over being a fire fighter.
The first paragraph above is central to getting any adult to care enough to improve or gain a skill, i.e. there has to be a clear connection to a desirable outcome. In this case, not being embarrassed in court or a poorly executed report resulting in charges not being filed. Ultimately, it’s a supervisory matter to develop personnel in required skills & the 3d paragraph above is certainly an excellent start towards improvement.
 

John6185

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I've read at one high school seniors paper and could only read at it, I confronted the student and asked them to tell me what it said and they said that they couldn't read it either. I encouraged them to write what they could read and that way others could make it out. Whether he took my advise or not, he graduated.
 

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