Domestic Violence Report (Type 3)

Here’s a sample domestic violence report that falls into the Type 3 category. (Many domestic violence reports fall into the Type 3 category because the officer becomes part of the story that develops during the call.)

Type 3

Event Officer’s Role Probable cause? Information needed Challenges Special Requirements
Crime requires investigation and intervention You are asked to become involved in a developing event (such as a domestic disturbance) Must be documented if a third party makes the report Story, plus investigation and results, plus your words and actions Three stories must be blended:History (before you arrived)Developing story(what the you saw and heard)Your story (how the you handled the incident).Don’t record your thinking process. If a story is developing when you arrive, be sure to include what you saw and heard as soon as you got there (screaming, crying, shooting).Also note what onlookers told you.

Here’s a sample report:

At 0815 hours on 4 January 2010, I, Officer John Brown #547, was dispatched to a domestic disturbance at 301 Crown Place, Smithville.

I arrived at the house at 0820 hours. A neighbor was standing on the front lawn. The neighbor (Karen Lynch, WF, DOB 3/14/74) said she called the police when she heard screams coming from the house.

I knocked on the front door and called out “Police officer.” I heard a woman’s voice yell, “I hate you! I hate you!” I heard a man’s voice yell, “Shut your trap, you stupid bitch.” No one answered the door. I tried the knob. The door was unlocked, and I entered the living room.

A woman (Jane Brown, WF, DOB 8/15/81) was sitting on the sofa. There was a red mark on her right cheek. Her lips were trembling. Her face was wet, and her eye makeup was smeared. A man (Tim Brown, WM, DOB 11/13/79) was standing over her. His fists were clenched.

I said, “What’s the problem here?” and asked Tim to sit down in an armchair on the other side of the room. Tim told me, “Leave us alone. This is our house. It’s none of your business.” I again asked him to sit down, and he went to the armchair.

Jane Brown told me:

  • She and Tim are married.
  • She came home late from work and rushed to cook dinner.
  • Tim became angry when he came to the table.
  • He said he hated her cooking.
  • Tim threw his pork chop at the wall.
  • She jumped up from her seat and yelled that nothing she did was ever good enough for him.
  • He slapped her on her right cheek.

Tim Brown told me:

  • Jane cared more about her job and spending money than making a nice home.
  • He slapped her and would do it again.

Tim Brown then walked over to the sofa and slapped Jane on her right cheek. He said, “I’m in charge here.”

I told Tim to go into the kitchen and sit down at the table there. He went into the kitchen and sat down. I called for a backup.

Officer Susan Clark #423 arrived at 0835 hours. She photographed Jane’s face with her cell phone camera and handed Jane a victim’s booklet. Jane said she did not need medical attention. Clark explained state attorney procedures to Jane.

I arrested Tim and read him the Miranda warning from my card. Clark and I put him into my patrol car, and I drove him to the station.


4 thoughts on “Domestic Violence Report (Type 3)

  1. Evan

    Hello,
    I like to start my reports with: I, Officer X report that on Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 0900 hours, the X Police Department received an anonymous report of a domestic dispute at 12345 Main Street.

    OR

    If the caller is known:
    I, Officer X report that on Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 0900 hours, the complainant , Mary Smith called the XPolice Department to report that her husband, Joseph Smith assaulted her this morning after an argument at their residence at 12345 Main Street.

    Officer X and I were dispatched to 12345 Main Street to speak with …..

    The opening paragraph sets the stage for the reader. It tells the reader who the writer is, the day, date and time the police were notified, who called, what type of call it was and where the call was.

    I would note Tom’s demeanor, tone of voice, ie screaming, clenched teeth menacing overtures or simply calm and in control etc. Example: Tom suddenly stood up and quickly walked over to his wife. He raised his right arm up and with a full swing, he struck her face with an open hand. He screamed at her saying he was in charge. She fell back into the couch and screamed and started to cry uncontrollably. I saw an instant welt on her left cheek.

    OR

    He quickly slapped her and told her he is in charge.

    I immediately subdued him. I handcuffed him and told him he was under arrest.

    I would also include previous domestic incidents at this residence. Previous arrests etc to show he has a pattern of abuse. Now the court knows this was not a first or even second time incident if that was the case.

    I feel that adding emotional reactions and action descriptors lets the reader feel what the officer saw and what the victim really experienced.

    My reports put the reader at the scene. Let them know what it sounded and felt like to be there at that time.

    I have made scores of criminal arrests in my 26 years and I have only had to testify less than 5 times. If you write a good report and hand the prosecutor a conviction, everyone (except Tom) benefits and we stay out of court.

    Your example report covers the probable cause needed for the arrest but it is cold. The reader may as we’ll be reading a newspaper article on snail migrations.

    And I would question the officers testimony regarding the assault. Really?! He told Tom to go into the kitchen ( where the knives are)? He didn’t immediately place him under arrest to prevent more violence?

    Oh and in Connecticut if you use your cell phone to gather evidence, your cell phone can be seized as evidence along with everything in the phone.

    Reply
  2. Jean Post author

    Thanks so much for the feedback, Evan! I hope visitors to the site read your comments and apply your suggestions. I would note that jurisdictions vary in the way they handle opening sentences. Some agencies prefer not to have the narrative repeat information that’s already been entered elsewhere on the computer. Some supervisors welcome information about emotions (which you stated objectively and precisely – bravo), and others prefer shorter reports with less detail.

    Reply
  3. Jack

    Thank you for the example. I am a police explorer applying for the position of SGT, and one of our assessments is to simulate a domestic violence report. This helped me alot. Thanks again!

    Reply

Leave a Reply