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Criminal Justice 2011. Chapter 1: Why We Write Police Reports. Class Name, Instructor Name. Date, Semester. Why We Write Police Reports. Background Police reports document the history of law enforcement Records Management Systems Uniform Crime Reporting Program

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criminal justice 2011
Criminal Justice 2011

Chapter 1:

Why We Write

Police Reports

Class Name,Instructor Name

  • Date, Semester
why we write police reports
Why We Write Police Reports


Police reports document the history of law enforcement

Records Management Systems

Uniform Crime Reporting Program

National Incident Based Reporting System

New York State Incident-Based Reporting Program

the mechanics of writing
The Mechanics of Writing
  • Fill in the blanks
    • Check the boxes
    • Bubble in System
    • Optical Character Recognition
    • Narrative
report writing technology
Report Writing Technology
  • Two primary types:
  • Computers
  • Dictation using recording devices
  • What is out there…
  • Fixed Terminals vs. Lap Tops
  • Special Features
  • Templates
  • Forced Choices
  • Pull Down Menus
  • Grammar Check
  • Spell Check
  • Touch Screen
optical character recognition
Optical Character Recognition
  • G. Tauschek in 1929
  • Translates scanned images of handwritten or typewritten words into computer editable text
  • Useful and effective in entering data into Records Management Systems
  • Better developed tor typewritten text and reports
  • Not so much for printed or cursive handwriting
  • Two components:
  • Dictating
      • Voice Dictation
      • Person To Person Dictating
  • Transcribing
  • Benefits of Dictating
  • Saves time
  • Final product is usually neater more user friendly
  • Use with Automated Reporting Systems
  • Problems with Dictation
  • Poorly maintained equipment
  • Loss of power or weak batteries
  • Background noise
  • Lack of framework for the report
  • Poor cadence and speech by the dictator
automated reporting systems
Automated Reporting Systems
  • Department Synergies
  • Rarely Stand Alone
  • Connect to Dispatch
  • Connect to Automated Records Management
  • Cost Effective
  • Training required for effectiveness
approval process
Approval Process
  • Approval Systems
  • Hand written reports to supervisor
  • On-line systems accessed electronically
  • Centralized Approval
  • Specially trained group of officers and supervisors
  • Rapid and direct training when needed
  • Cadre of experts
  • Frees up other supervisors
need for effective writing
Need for Effective Writing
  • Not all programs get the job done
  • Not all students are created equal
  • Negative reinforcement of training
  • Report writing genealogy
  • Lack of consistency among supervisors
  • Law enforcement free agency
  • Trial by fire
  • The International Association of Chiefs of Police established the Uniform Crime Reporting System in 1929


  • The FBI is charged with managing the collection of crime statistics for the eight Part I Crimes


  • The National Incident Based Reporting System is an attempt to expand the value of the uniform crime reports by including detailed information on an expanded set of crimes


  • It takes two or more people to have an effective dictation process


  • Automated reporting systems almost always depend on supporting systems such as computer aided dispatch and automated records management


  • A solid report review and correction process is key to a successful report writing program


  • Knowing how to write is key to learning how to write a police report



  • A customized spelling cheat sheet is a better option than a dictionary.