Here’s a summary of a recent police report (not an actual police report). Some words and expressions aren’t appropriate for a police report. One word in particular could cause legal problems for the agency. Which word is it – and why?
Officer Kenneth Wu was on patrol in the 400 block of S 11th St. when he observed a citizen walking a brown pit bull dog off a leash. Contact was made with the citizen and he was advised of the City leash law.
The problem is advised, which means counseled or suggested. A pit bull off a leash is a risky situation: they have a reputation for aggression. The officer should have told the owner to put the dog on a leash.
Suppose the owner continued to walk his dog without a leash – and the dog attacked a child. The owner could argue in court that he wasn’t required to use a leash: it was just a suggestion from the police officer.
Advised is not an appropriate term for most law enforcement situations. Use said or told.