Notice the difference in length between the original version and the improved version, and ask yourself: Is all this unnecessary verbiage a good use of a highly trained officer’s time?
From the original report:
Writer pulled to the south of the vehicles, facing southbound, in order to protect the scene. Upon exiting the patrol vehicle, writer made contact with the male, later identified as Johnathan Manziel. Not knowing the details of the incident, Mr. Manziel was instructed to turn around, so that a protective pat down for weapons of his person could be conducted. The male complied and asked if he was being arrested. Writer informed him no and conducted the pat down, which did not reveal any weapons. Writer informed the male of the calls the Avon Police Department received; concerning a female being pulled into a car after an argument At this point, Mr. Manziel briefly explained that he and the female passenger, later identified as his girlfriend, Ms. Colleen Elizabeth Crowley, were coming back from downtown Cleveland and were arguing. Mr. Manziel was asked if he was injured during the argument, in which he stated he was not. Writer then went to check on the welfare of Ms. Crowley.
Writer made contact with Ms. Crowley and asked her if she was ‘OK’ or if she was physically injured. Ms. Crowley responded that she was OK’ and that she was fine. The female standing next to Ms. Crowley, later identified as Ms. Lauren Clarke, advised that she was a witness and would be standing by in her black SUV to speak to an officer.
I parked south of the vehicles to protect the scene and patted down the male, later identified as Johnathan Manziel. He cooperated, and I did not find weapons. I told him I had stopped him because of calls to the Avon Police Department about a female being pulled into a car after an argument, and he was not being arrested. He told me he was not injured during the argument.
I interviewed Ms. Crowley, who told me she was not hurt.
The female next to Ms. Crowley, later identified as Ms. Lauren Clarke, said she was a witness.
Here’s one more example of unnecessary wordiness. Compare these two versions:
Mr. Manziel was asked if he was injured during the argument, in which he stated he was not. ORIGINAL
Mr. Manziel told me he wasn’t injured during the argument. BETTER
When you write a police report, don’t spray meaningless words all over the computer screen! Make every word count.
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Criminal Justice Report Writing by Jean Reynolds
“It will definitely help you with your writing skills.” – Joseph E. Badger, California Association of Accident Reconstructionists Newsletter