Here’s an interesting question: Can you quote yourself in a report? You already know that it’s important to document statements from victims, suspects, and witnesses. But is it ever necessary to write down your own words?
The answer is yes: Officers often quote themselves in police reports. For example, you might record a question you asked, and then write the response. When I worked in the prison system, I sometimes recorded conversations with inmates to show that they had reacted aggressively to something I asked them to do.
Remember not to record your own statements unnecessarily. For example:
“I asked Johnson what time he’d left for work that morning. He told me he’d left at 7:45. I asked if he’d noticed anything unusual. He said everything was normal.” REPETITIOUS
That’s repetitious and time consuming. Just write what Johnson told you:
“Johnson said he’d left at 7:45 and didn’t notice anything unusual.” BETTER
On the other hand, there are a number of reasons you might want to record someone’s response to something you said. Here’s an example:
I said to George, “What were you and Sarah arguing about?” He said, “It’s none of your damn business, you nosy bitch.”
One more point: In the US, periods and commas always go inside quotation marks. There are no exceptions. Take a look at these examples:
Praeter told me he’d been to a bar with friends and had “one or two drinks.” CORRECT
“I never touched her,” Winkens said. CORRECT