If You’re Preparing for a Promotion

Most of the time I use this blog to deal with police reports. Today, though, I’d like to venture into another type of police writing: Administrative paperwork.

Below I’ve posted the first paragraph of a cover letter that accompanies a report written by Peter Zimroth, a federal monitor who’s been examining NYPD stop-and-frisk practices. (You can read the entire report here: nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/09/nyregion/document-changes-to-new-york-police-practices-and-policies.html.)

Question: Do you notice anything unusual about the first sentence of this letter?

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Here’s what I noticed: It’s human. Instead of the usual “This is in regards to…,” Zimroth wrote, “I am pleased to submit.”

Workplace writing has changed so that it’s no longer necessary to sound as if you’re an impersonal machine. 

If you have a leadership position in an agency (or you’re hoping for one some day), it might be a good idea to start thinking now about ways to update your writing habits.

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