An Incident Report about Travis Reinking

On April 23, Travis Jeffrey Reinking was captured after a 34-hour manhunt. Reinking, who is 29 years old, is the suspect in a mass shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee. Four victims were killed and four others were injured. You can read more at this link.

Nearly two years earlier, in June 2017, police were called to a public swimming pool in Tremont, Illinois when a 27-year-old Travis Reinking jumped into the water wearing a pink woman’s housecoat. He then exposed himself to the lifeguards, who called police. Shortly afterwards, Reinking brought an assault weapon to a nearby business. Again the police were notified. No charges were filed.

If you’re working on your report writing skills – or you teach or supervise officers who are learning to write reports – I have a challenge for you. Read and evaluate the report (posted at this link) about the swimming pool incident.

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My comments:

This is a concise and professional report. The officer wrote straightforward sentences and used everyday language.

I have a few suggestions:

  • Omit “on the above date and time
  • Use active voice consistently. Here’s an example of a sentence in passive voice:

After this incident at the pool I was contacted by an employee of J&J Crane Co on Baer Road.  PASSIVE VOICE

After this incident at the pool, an employee of J&J Crane Co on Baer Road contacted me.  ACTIVE VOICE

  • Passive voice presents a potential problem in one of the sentences in the report: “Travis was searched since he had a weapon earlier in the day.” Who searched him? Better wording would be, “I searched Travis since he had a weapon earlier in the day.”
  • Use “of,” not “have,” as a helping verb:

This would of have been right before the pool incident.

  • I noticed a jargon problem in the report: the word advised, which appears four times. Better choices are told, said, and stated. (The report does use told and stated multiple times.)

Overall, though, this is an excellent report.


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