The David Stringer Police Report

Rep. David Stringer is a former member of the Arizona House of Representatives. He recently quit the legislature after a 1983 arrest report came to light. Stringer had received probation and a community service sentence for allegedly having sex with two boys.

Questions have been raised because the report was expunged in 1990. Stringer went on to become an attorney and teacher, and he passed all background and fingerprint checks.

You can read the full story here:

You can read the report here:

I have three points today.

  1. This is an unusually well-written report. Sentences are straightforward and readable. There’s no jargon, no wordiness, and no passive voice. (Passive voice finds its way into almost every police report I read, so this one truly is exceptional.)
  2. Every police report is important. The officer who wrote this one back in 1983 had no expectation that more than 30 years later, this report would be featured in a national news story.
  3. Police officers are busy men and women who often work long, tiring shifts. Sometimes it’s challenging to find the time to produce a precise and well-written report. The officer in this case had an additional challenge – no laptops were available back then. Congratulations are in order (belatedly!) for a fine example of professional writing.

                                  David Stringer


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