Category Archives: What’s New

I Advise You to Read This

Ralph Shortey is a member of the Oklahoma Senate. On March 9 he was found in a motel room with an underage boy, and Shortey has been charged with engaging in child prostitution. You can read the police report online.

Overall it is a well-written report. Sentences are clear and objective. It is largely free of jargon and written in active voice – even at the end, where many officers fall into passive voice. The officer found a Kindle that may be useful in the investigation. Here’s what the report says:

I later logged the Kindle into property as evidence.  ACTIVE VOICE

But the report also features two common writing habits that need to disappear from police reports.

  1. Inefficiency. In most reports, you don’t need to record your questions. Just write what the victim, suspect, or witness said.

You can see the difference for yourself. Here’s an excerpt from the police report (46 words):

I asked X why he was there in the hotel room and he advised he was just there to hang out with his friend. I asked him what his friend’s name was and he advised his name was Brian, but did not provide a last name.

And here’s the same information, written more efficiently (29 words):

X told me he was just hanging out with his friend in the hotel room. He said his friend’s name was Brian. He did not provide a last name.

2. The other practice is a persistent problem with police reports: Using advised instead of said. It is an annoying habit – and one that can cause problems in official documents.

Said is a proper word that professional men and women use all the time. But for some reason, many police officers think they have to use advised instead. (Advise should be reserved for situations when you give advice, suggest, or counsel someone.)

Would you go to a restaurant and “advise” the server that you wanted a steak? Of course not. But many police officers – too many – write that way.

Here’s one reason why advise is a bad choice. If you climb the career ladder, you’re going to be sending written communications to people who don’t work in law enforcement. They’re going to wonder why you never figured out what advise means. 

And consider this. Serious problems could arise if you write advised instead of told in a disciplinary situation. Suppose someone on your staff has a problem with punctuality. Would you advise her to be on time – or would you tell her?

Do you really want her to argue in a hearing later on that you only suggested that she be on time? You’re going to have difficulty making your case if your written report says that you advised her to be punctual instead of telling her.

Words matter. If you’re an instructor or an administrator, part of your job is to make sure that everyone uses words precisely. Loosey-goosey language habits have no place in a professional workplace. A good starting point is to make sure everyone knows what advise means – and uses it correctly.

 

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Comma Rule 1

Today’s your chance to master a comma rule that you’ll use again and again. (It’s easy!) Picture this situation:

A mayor emails the police chief to ask if she needs to follow up on a rumor about a recent scandal in local government. The police chief sends this response:

No investigation was done.

Would it make a difference if the note included a comma, like this?

No, investigation was done.

Answer: Of course it would. Although the words are exactly the same, the two sentences have completely different meanings. That comma (or lack of it) makes a big difference.

Let’s go a little deeper. How would you explain why the comma is used in the second example? Many people would say it signifies a pause between “no” and “investigation.”

Not helpful! In fact this is a “rule” you’d do well to erase from your memory, for a very good reason: People pause in different places. Serious writers need rules they can rely on 100% of the time. Guesswork is no help.

Here’s the real reason that comma is there: It signifies that “No” is an extra idea. You could also call it an introduction.

And here’s the rule: Use a comma when a sentence begins with an extra idea. (I call this Comma Rule 1. You can learn more at this link, which also explains two other important comma rules.)

Extra ideas are in green:

Jane, your office is on the list for repainting.

Yes, we’re planning to paint your office next week.

However, we can wait for the following week.

If you’re allergic to the smell of paint, you can use another office.

When we’re finished, I’ll text you.

This handy rule covers most of the commas you’ll use in your lifetime – honest! And, as an added bonus, it will keep you from writing fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences.

Let’s take a quick look at an example. (The extra idea is in green.)

While I was questioning Mrs. Volder, Officer Brown was looking for broken glass.   CORRECT.  “While I was questioning Mrs. Volder” is an extra idea. Use a comma.

Now look at this version:

I questioned Mrs. Volder, Officer Brown looked for broken glass.  WRONG

 “I questioned Mrs. Volder” is a sentence. Use a period, like this:

I questioned Mrs. Volder. Officer Brown looked for broken glass. CORRECT

The time you spend studying, thinking about, and practicing this rule will pay off more dividends than almost anything you can do for your writing. That would be time well spent, wouldn’t it?

 

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The Louis Tomlinson Police Report

Louis Tomlinson is an English singer-songwriter and actor. On March 3 he was arrested on suspicion of battery over allegations that he attacked a paparazzi photographer and his girlfriend. You can read about the incident, view video coverage, and examine the police report at this link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4302160/Louis-Tomlinson-s-airport-brawl-revealed-police-report.html#ixzz4b2lgRK7K

The report, written by an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, is exceptionally well written – and worth reading. (There are a few typos, probably due to the time pressure and the length of the report.) Three features especially impressed me:

1.  The officer used active voice throughout the report. (Most officers lapse into passive voice at the end of a police report.)

I then placed Tomlinson under arrest for 243(a)PC.  ACTIVE VOICE

Officer Chen (ID#15054) took several digital photos of the victim’s injury.  ACTIVE VOICE

If questions come up in a court hearing, it will be easy to determine who made the arrest and who took the photos. Many reports omit this useful information. They state only that the suspect “was arrested” (who made the arrest?) and “photos were taken” (by whom?).

2.  The report uses however correctly. Many people mistakenly think that two sentences can be joined with a comma and the word however. Not true! You need a period or a semicolon. 

A portion of incident was recorded by American Airline Security Camera; however, we were unable to review it because it was not located at 400 World Way.  CORRECT

3.  I’m especially impressed by the efficient way the interviews were recorded. Here’s a sample. Notice there’s no unnecessary repetition of “she stated,” “she stated,” “she stated”:

I interviewed W-2 (LYONS, ARLETT) who said the substantial following. She was working as cashier for Starbuck’s. She saw LARSEN takes pictures of TOMLINSON and CALDER. TOMLINSON had his hand out in front of his face to block the camera. Ho then grabbed LARSEN’s leg and throw LARSEN to the ground. At the same time, CALDER tried to walk out from the terminal. However, suddenly CALDER came over and attacked BECERRA HERRERA, ANA (who was sitting on the chair). LYONS believed BECERRA HERRERA was trying to film CALDER. LYONS saw CALDER punched BECERRA HERRERA.

Would I recommend some changes? Yes, even though this is such a superior report.

  1.  There’s no need to write the names in reverse order: Tomlinson, Louis and Calder, Eleanor. The only time you need to reverse names is when you’re making a list in alphabetical order.
  2. I wondered why the witnesses and victims were labeled (W-1, W-2, Vict-1, Vict-2). In my experience, these labels are needed only when real names are redacted from a police report.
  3. The phrase “substantial following” that introduces each interview is awkward and confusing:

I interviewed W-2 (LYONS, ARLETT) who said the substantial following:  AWKWARD

This sentence is more straightforward:

I interviewed witness ARLETT LYONS, who said:   BETTER

Overall, however, this is an impressive police report.

              Louis Tomlinson

 

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Quiz: What Belongs in a Report?

Do you know what kinds of statements belong in a report – and what kinds don’t? Try this report writing quiz, and then scroll down to check your answers.

Instructions: Put an X in front of each statement that doesn’t belong in a report.

___ 1.  The house looked empty.

___2.  All the windows were dark.

___3.  Mrs. Brown was uncooperative.

___4.  Mrs. Brown left the room while I was talking to her.

___5.  Joseph Chang shook his fist at me.

___6.  Joseph Chang defied me.

___7.  I realized what was about to happen.

___8.  I grabbed his left wrist as his left hand moved toward the bat.

___9.  The clerk obviously had no intention of  asking Susan for her ID.

___10.  The clerk did not ask Susan for her ID when she handed him the money for the beer.

ANSWERS
Items marked X are not observable facts and do not belong in a report.

X 1.  The house looked empty. (An opinion, not an observable fact.)

2.  All the windows were dark.

X 3.  Mrs. Brown was uncooperative. (An opinion. Perhaps she didn’t answer your questions because she was afraid, or couldn’t hear you, or she was taking her time thinking about her answers.)

4.  Mrs. Brown left the room while I was talking to her.

5.  Joseph Chang shook his fist at me.

X 6.  Joseph Chang defied me. (An opinion. He might argue in court that he wanted to cooperate with you but couldn’t hear you or understand you.)

X 7.  I realized what was about to happen.  (An opinion. You can’t insert your thinking processes into a report.)

8.  I grabbed his left wrist as his left hand moved toward the bat.

X 9.  The clerk obviously had no intention of  asking Susan for her ID.  (An opinion. You can’t put your thoughts into a report.)

10.  The clerk did not ask Susan for her ID when she handed him the money for the beer.

 

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How Useful is OJT?

OJT (on-the-job training) is how many professionals in many fields learn their jobs, and criminal justice is no exception. Sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes not. It can mean that professionals are still stuck in The Way We’ve Always Done It instead of updating procedures and policies in light of new research and technology.

Police writing is a case in point. Laptops can make report writing much more efficient because officers can enter some of the information into boxes instead of writing out whole sentences. But a sergeant or lieutenant trained The Old Way may not see the benefits of adapting.

The introductory sentence in a narrative is one example. In bygone days, when police reports were written on blank pieces of paper, it made sense to cram as much information as possible into the first sentence: At 0842 hours on 8/07/10 I, Officer Carole Lynch, #547, was dispatched to a burglary at 1512 Carmen Boulevard.

But what if your laptop provides spaces for the time, date, type of call, address, and your official ID? No need to re-enter them. But the tradition lives on in many agencies.

Three features of good report writing are especially prone to be forgotten by officers who learned report writing through OJT:

  • ACTIVE VOICE
    There are still people who believe that officers automatically become more ethical and objective when they write in passive voice (The door was checked for pry marks) instead of active voice (I checked the door for pry marks). If only it were that easy to turn a mediocre officer into a top-notch professional! Sorry. It doesn’t work that way.
  • PERSONAL PRONOUNS
    The same mistaken belief hangs on about words like “I” and “me”: An officer automatically rises to a higher plane when he or she writes “This officer” instead. Think about it for a moment. Can you get rid of bias just by changing a couple of words in a sentence? Again the answer is no.
  • LISTS
    Progressive agencies encourage officers to include lists – rather than sentences – in their reports. Lists are useful any time you have a series of related facts. Instead of writing a paragraph of complete sentences, put the facts (such as stolen items) into a list.
    Lists (sometimes called “bullet style”) are easier to write and more efficient than complete sentences. Other benefits are that lists more compact, easier to organize, and quicker to read–a great benefit when you’re getting ready to testify in court. But there are still agencies that insist that officers write a complete (and time-wasting) sentence for every fact.
    Click here to learn more about lists in reports – and remember that you’re not asked to write the entire report in list format! Lists are only for a series of facts – such as a list of stolen items or facts about a suspect.

If you’re new to law enforcement, of course you should stick to the policies your supervisor or your agency prefers. But at the same time, you should make a resolution to be on the lookout for new and better ways to write reports. When the time comes for you to be promoted, you’ll be ready to show genuine leadership in the area of report writing.

 

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Tom Brady’s Jersey

Today a crime is going to help us discuss apostrophes.

After this year’s Super Bowl, Tom Brady realized that his game jersey was missing from his locker in the NRG Stadium in Houston. The theft made news because Brady told police that the jersey was worth half a million dollars. (You can download the police report here: https://htv-prod-media.s3.amazonaws.com/files/brady-jersey-stolen-1487693415.pdf)

What interests us today, however, are the apostrophes. Here’s the summary from the police report:

On 2/05/17, the City of Houston hosted Super Bowl LI In the NRG Stadium. Shortly after winning the game, New England Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady noticed his game jersey missing from his locker in the Patriot’s designated locker room.

Would you say that Brady was the Patriot’s quarterback – or the Patriots‘ quarterback? The answer is easy if you ask yourself whether you’re talking about the Patriots – or the Patriot.

The team is the Patriots, right? (Not the Patriot!) So it’s the Patriots’ quarterback and the Patriots’ designated locker room. The apostrophes in the report need to be corrected:

Shortly after winning the game, New England Patriots‘ quarterback Tom Brady noticed his game jersey missing from his locker in the Patriots‘ designated locker room.

Although apostrophes befuddle many writers, they’re not difficult at all. Just write the word or name, and put an apostrophe after the last letter.

Tom Brady is the quarterback of the Patriots.

Patriots

Patriots’

the Patriots’ quarterback

Let’s try another one: the victory of Tom Brady.

Tom Brady

Brady’s

Tom Brady’s victory

Here’s one more: Cyrus Jones is the cornerback for the Patriots. Let’s try the uniform of Cyrus Jones.

Cyrus Jones

Cyrus Jones’

Cyrus Jones’ uniform

Looking for the last letter of the word or name will help you place the apostrophe correctly every time.

For more practice with apostrophes, click here.

          Tom Brady

 

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Criminal Complaint against Darrelle Revis

Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has been charged with robbery, terroristic threats, conspiracy, and aggravated assault. You can read the story at this link: http://s.pennlive.com/MS4KEmh. You can read the police report at this link:  http://wp.me/p76x19-2st4 .

The report is well written: professional, objective, thorough. What I’d like to focus on today is efficiency. Even a report as well written as this one can be written more concisely.

Dallas Cousins is one of the alleged victims. Here’s the officer’s interview (278 words):

I first spoke with Cousins who stated that he was walking eastbound on E Carson St when he noticed a male standing at the intersection of S 23rd and E Carson St that looked like the NFL player Darrelle REVIS. Cousins described the male as a black male with a black ball cap, black zip up jacket, and dark colored jeans. Cousins stated that he asked the male if he was in fact Darrelle REVIS and he confirmed that he was. Cousins stated that he was in disbelief stating “No you’re not’ and the male stated that he was in fact Darrelle REVIS. Cousins stated that REVIS began becoming irate and began waving his hands in his face telling him to get out of his face. Cousins stated that REVIS pushed him in the chest and told him to get out of his face and that is when Cousins started recording video on his cell phone. Cousin stated that REVIS began walking away from him headed eastbound on E Carson St while he was recording him. Cousin stated that he wanted to get what REVIS was wearing and his actions on video. Cousin stated that once REVIS saw that he was recording him, REVIS pulled the phone from his hand and attempted to delete the video. Cousin stated that he attempted to get his phone back from REVIS by pulling it out of his hand but was unsuccessful and REVIS threw his phone in the middle of E Carson St attempting to break it Cousins stated that another black male showed up on scene as he and REVIS were arguing over him throwing his phone and Cousin stated and Cousins stated that he believed that he was REVIS’s friend Cousin stated after arguing his phone, the next thing he remembers was getting punched and then waking up to talk to police.

The interview is a long block of text, making it difficult reading if you’re preparing for a court case. And there’s a great deal of repetition: Cousins stated…Cousins stated…Cousins stated.

Here’s the same information written as a list (207 words). Of course you wouldn’t write an entire report in list format! Notice that the opening sentences are written normally.

On 2/12/17 at 0243hrs, I (Officer Burke) was on foot patrol in the South Side Flats when I was dispatched to the intersection of E Carson St and S 23rd St for an assault where two males were knocked unconscious. When I arrived on scene, I spoke with victims Dallas Cousins, Zacheriah Jarvis. and Nathan Watt, who stated that a male named Darrelle REVIS had assaulted them.

I first spoke with Cousins, who stated:

  • he was walking eastbound on E Carson St when he noticed a male standing at the intersection of S 23rd and E Carson St
  • the man looked like the NFL player Darrelle REVIS
  • he was a black male with a black ball cap, black zip-up jacket, and dark jeans
  • the man confirmed that he was Darrelle REVIS
  • REVIS became irate
  • REVIS waved his hands in Cousins’ face
  • REVIS told Cousins to get out of his face
  • REVIS pushed Cousins in the chest
  • Cousins started recording video on his cell phone
  • REVIS began walking away from him headed eastbound on E Carson St during the recording
  • Cousins wanted to video what REVIS was wearing and doing
  • When REVIS saw that Cousins was recording him, REVIS pulled the phone from his hand and attempted to delete the video
  • Cousin tried to get his phone back from REVIS by pulling it out of his hand but was unsuccessful
  • REVIS threw his phone in the middle of E Carson St attempting to break it another black male showed up on scene as Cousins and REVIS were arguing the man was REVIS’s friend
  • REVIS punched Cousins
  • Cousins remembered waking up and talking to the police

Bottom line: Lists make police reports more readable and efficient. I’m seeing lists more often in police reports, and it’s a trend that makes sense.

    Darrelle Revis

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Problems with Pronouns

Grammatical terminology can be intimidating. If you’re told that you’ve made some pronoun mistakes, you might wonder what you should do. Do you need to enroll in an English class?

No! You’ve been using pronouns (small words like he, she, I, they, him, her, we, you) all your life. Slowing down and using common sense can help you make corrections quickly and confidently.

As an example, we’re going to use an incident report just released by the Cleveland Division of Police.

First, some background:

Justin Bieber is a subject in a Cleveland police report about an alleged fight in a Cleveland hotel on June 8. Bieber is accused taking Rodney Cannon’s glasses and punching him three times. Cannon also alleges that Bieber’s bodyguards punched him. The report wasn’t filed until February 14 – more than seven months later – and there have been no charges.

You can read more at this link: http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-news/cleveland-metro/justin-bieber-mentioned-in-newly-filed-cleveland-police-report

The incident report is available at this link: https://www.scribd.com/document/339434580/Bieber-Incident-Report

The report is thorough and objective, and overall the writing is good. Read the excerpts below. Can you spot the pronoun problems – and do you know how to fix them? (Hint: look for the words he and him – and think about clarity.)

VICTIM STATED HIM AND A COUPLE OF FRIENDS WENT TO THE WESTERN HOTEL VICTIM NOTICED A BLACK VEHICLE WAS BEHIND THEM UPON THEIR ARRIVAL AT THE BEST WESTERN VICTIM STATED ALL HIS FRIENDS WENT INSIDE THE HOTEL BESIDE ONE OF VICTIM’S FRIEND AND HIM.

VICTIM STATED WHEN THEY CAME OUTSIDE AFTER ENDING THE NIGHT, VICTIM STATED THAT THE DEFENDER JUSTIN BEIBER TOOK OFF HIS GLASSES FROM THE VICTIM PERSON AND THE VICTIM TOOK A PICTURE OF HIM WITH HIS GLASSES.

My comments:

  • The first thing I noticed was missing periods – and Bieber’s name was misspelled. As the report continued, the periods began to appear. Clearly the officer knows how to use them, and the problem was probably time pressure. Solution: slow down, reread what you’ve written, and make corrections.
  • The next thing I noticed was a pronoun mistake. Can you find it?

VICTIM STATED HIM AND A COUPLE OF FRIENDS WENT TO THE WESTERN HOTEL

Is “him and a couple of friends went” correct – or should it be “he and a couple of friends went”? There’s an easy way to tell: just shorten the sentence. 

VICTIM STATED HIM AND A COUPLE OF FRIENDS WENT TO THE WESTERN HOTEL

VICTIM STATED HE WENT TO THE WESTERN HOTEL    √

VICTIM STATED HE AND A COUPLE OF FRIENDS WENT TO THE WESTERN HOTEL  √

I call this the “thumb rule”: Use your thumb to cover the extra words, and you’ll instantly hear the correct word.

Let’s try the “thumb rule” on another excerpt from the report:

VICTIM STATED ALL HIS FRIENDS WENT INSIDE THE HOTEL BESIDE ONE OF VICTIM’S FRIEND AND HIM.

VICTIM STATED ALL HIS FRIENDS WENT INSIDE THE HOTEL BESIDE HIM.  √

VICTIM STATED ALL HIS FRIENDS WENT INSIDE THE HOTEL BESIDE ONE OF VICTIM’S FRIEND AND HIM.  √

(Of course it should be “one of the victim’s friends and him.” Slow down, and check your writing!)

  • Now let’s look at the clarity issue. “He” and “him” are confusing words in this report because there are two males – Bieber and the victim:

VICTIM STATED THAT THE DEFENDER JUSTIN BEIBER TOOK OFF HIS GLASSES FROM THE VICTIM PERSON AND THE VICTIM TOOK A PICTURE OF HIM WITH HIS GLASSES.

Whose glasses? A useful trick is to break a complicated sentence into two shorter ones. Notice that this rewrite is easier to understand:

THE VICTIM STATED THAT BIEBER GRABBED HIS GLASSES AND PUT THEM ON. THE VICTIM USED HIS PHONE TO TAKE A PICTURE OF BIEBER WEARING THE GLASSES.  √

    Justin Bieber

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Do More Words = Better Reports?

Police academies have always emphasized the importance of brevity in police reports. Officers are busy, and unnecessary words waste not only the officer’s time, but the time of anyone else who might read the report – a lieutenant, judge, district attorney, newspaper reporter, or someone else.

Lately, though, many officers have been writing longer and longer reports.

A report just posted about an incident in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, provides a good opportunity to consider whether longer reports are always better reports.

Two police officers investigated an alarm that went off at a restaurant. The alarm was triggered accidentally, but the restaurant owner had some strong words for the officers who responded. The owner said that his employees have been spitting in the food served to police officers – and he himself was very angry about actions of police officers he had encountered.

No charges were filed.

You can read about the incident and find a link to the reports (there were two officers) at this link.

If you were one of those officers, would you record every detail – or would you include only facts you consider useful and necessary? 

Here, for example, is the first paragraph of one of the reports:

NARRATIVE On 02/06/2017, at approximately 0913 hours, Officer T. Brown ft 1263 and myself where dispatched to Cruisers Grill Located at 317 23 rd Avenue South, in reference to a reported audible alarm. Officer Brown and I arrived and parked on the south side of the building to make our approach along the west side of the building.

No crime was in progress. In this case, is it useful to note where you parked and how you approached the building?

Here’s the next paragraph from the police report:

Contact was made with an employee of the business who advised the business owner, Robert Handmaker, accidentally set the alarm off. While talking to the employee, Handmaker walked up and advised he accidentally set the alarm off. Afterwards Handmaker said, “Do you mind if I talk to you two for a second?”, we replied  “Sure”, and followed Handmaker to his office located on the north side of the building.  ACTUAL REPORT

If you were the officer, would you have written out the conversation in detail – or do you prefer this version?

We talked to an employee, who said the business owner, Robert Handmaker, accidentally set off the alarm. Handmaker confirmed that he’d set it off. Then he asked to talk to us in his office.  REVISED VERSION

The first version is 73 words; the second is less than half that long – 34 words. Do the additional words add useful information?

I’m a strong advocate for brevity and efficiency. In my opinion, officers should be taught how to evaluate a call and determine which information is relevant.

What’s your opinion?

If you were (or are) an instructor in an academy – or a supervisor in an agency – would you encourage officers to write efficient police reports – or do you feel that brevity is no longer an important requirement for police reports?

 

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Corey Coleman

The NFL season is over, but maybe we can take a moment to look at a police report concerning Cleveland Browns wide receiver Corey Coleman. On December 31 four black men attacked a man named Adam Sapp in the lobby of a Cleveland condominium. Corey Coleman was named as one of the attackers. Police later said Coleman was not involved, and no charges were filed.

The police report has been posted at this link. It’s an effective report, but it includes some of the unnecessary wordiness that wastes so much time – and appears in so many police reports. The report keeps repeating “he stated” and the building address: 701 W. Lakeside “The Pinnacle.” (After you’ve put the location in your report, why keep repeating the address?)

SAPP THEN STATED THAT HE IS UNCLEAR OF WHAT HAPPENED NEXT, BUT HE WAS WOKEN UP BY NINA HOMAN IN A STAIRWELL LOCATED INSIDE OF 701 W. LAKESIDE “THE PINNACLE.” SAPP STATED THAT HE DID NOT KNOW/RECOGNIZE ANY OF THE 4 MALES WHO HE HAD THE CONFRONTATION WITH, BUT NINA HOLMAN KEPT YELLING “THAT WAS HIM! THAT WAS COREY COLEMAN! I CANT BELIEVE HE DID THAT TO YOU! I KNOW THAT’S HIM! SAPP STATED HE ASKED “WHO IS COREY COLEMAN?”

Why do so many officers waste time on unnecessary repetition? Officers have told me that they think repetition could be helpful if the case goes to court.

Not true!

Your report should demonstrate that you’re a professional who thoroughly knows the business of a police officer. You need to document exactly what you saw, heard, and did at the scene. Any defense attorney should be able to tell that there’s no point trying to embarrass you or persuade you to back down about what you wrote. It’s all there in your report.

Now think about this. Suppose you were careless, distracted, or forgetful. You made mistakes, either in the way you handled the situation or when you tried to remember what happened for your report How can you salvage the situation?

Will writing “he said” over and over be helpful?

Will repeating the address convince a defense attorney that you’re an officer to be reckoned with?

I think the answer is obvious. Unnecessary repetition is a waste of time that doesn’t solve anything.

Here’s a suggested rewrite of the paragraph you read earlier:

SAPP THEN STATED:

  • HE IS UNCLEAR ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED NEXT.
  • HE WAS WOKEN UP BY NINA HOMAN IN A STAIRWELL IN “THE PINNACLE.”
  • HE DID NOT KNOW OR RECOGNIZE ANY OF THE 4 MALES HE HAD THE CONFRONTATION WITH.
  • NINA HOLMAN KEPT YELLING “THAT WAS HIM! THAT WAS COREY COLEMAN! I CANT BELIEVE HE DID THAT TO YOU! I KNOW THAT’S HIM.”
  • HE DIDN’T KNOW WHO COREY COLEMAN WAS.

                Cleveland Browns

 

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