Every officer wants to write intelligent reports. That’s certainly a worthy goal. Unfortunately, there’s a hidden problem: When you try to write sophisticated sentences, clarity gets lost and errors creep in.
Here are two suggestions for writing sophisticated sentences that enhance your reports:
1. Use a semicolon. This is easy to do! Find two simple sentences in a row that you want to put together. Change the first period to a semicolon. Change the capital letter to lower case unless it’s a word that needs to be capitalized.
Officer Baptiste saw smoke coming from the engine of the car. She called 911. CORRECT
Officer Baptiste saw smoke coming from the engine of the car; she called 911. CORRECT (semicolon)
I searched the basement. Sergeant Rios questioned Mrs. Pallatine. CORRECT
I searched the basement; Sergeant Rios questioned Mrs. Pallatine. CORRECT (semicolon)
2. Try writing a Comma Rule 3 sentence when you use a proper noun (a capitalized name of a person, place, or thing).
First hint: Be sure to use TWO commas. Second hint: Read each sample sentence aloud. You’ll hear the commas. This is easier than you think!
We’ll be working extra shifts when Halloween, a favorite day for pranks, rolls around on October 31. CORRECT
Uncle John, who was a police officer back in the 1960s, says law enforcement has changed dramatically since then. CORRECT
Polk City, a small town in Central Florida, is continuing to grow. CORRECT