Basic Report Writing Course

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Indiana Law Enforcement Academy,Basic Report Writing Course. Table of Contents,Table of Contents Page 2,Chapter 1 Introduction to Course Page 3. A A Message to New Officers 4,B Why Develop These Skills 5. C General Course Objectives for Students 6,D Overview of Course syllabus 7. Chapter 2 Class Assignments Page 9,A Due for Hour 1 No Homework Due.
Read Introduction to Police Report Writing Hour 1 10. B Due for Hour 2 No Homework Due,Read Accurate Words material Hour 2 11. C Due Before Hour 3 Homework 1 2 3 4 13,Read Brevity material Hour 3 15. D Due Before Hour 4 No Homework Due,Read Written Statements Hour 4 17. E Due Before Hour 5 Homework 5 6 18,Read Completeness material Hour 5 19. F Due Before Hour 6 No Homework Due,Read Psychological Aspects Hour 6 20.
G Due Before Hour 7 Homework 7 8 9 21,Read Arrest Reports Hour 7 23. H Due Before Hour 8 Homework 10 11 25,Read The CYA Class Hour 8 26. I Read Wrapping It All Up Hour 9 28,Chapter 3 Preparing for the Exams Page 29. A Course Study Guide for Multiple Choice Exam 30, B Checklist Study Guide for the Written Final Exam 32. C Glossary 33,D Student Quick Reference Outline 34.
Chapter 4 Starting a Writing Improvement Program at Your Dept Page 38. A Philosophy and Approach 39,B A Five Step Program 40. C CYA Writing Your Way Out of a Career ending Situation 45. D A Report Writing Critical Case Checklist 48,Appendix A Sample Arrest Reports Page 49 A 1. Appendix B Course Report Forms Page 53 B 1,Session 209 et seq. Indiana Law Enforcement Academy,Basic Report Writing Course. Introduction to,A Message to New Officers,Why Develop These Skills.
Course Objectives for Students,Overview Syllabus,Table of Contents 3. Indiana Law Enforcement Academy,Basic Report Writing Course. A MESSAGE TO NEW OFFICERS, Most police officers new or veteran do not like to write Officers are by nature action oriented They are. guardians sentinels and warriors But what good are you as an officer if you save a woman from a deranged. boyfriend who kills her the following day because your report was insufficient to keep him in jail What good is. apprehending a bank robber when your report brings into question what should have been a pristine chain of. custody or a rock solid justification for seizing crucial evidence In short what good is the authority given you if. you cannot fulfill its purpose, When you take the oath you accept a mission That mission is to save lives and help people You must become. more than you are now to accomplish this You come into the occupation with abilities given you at birth but. these are not enough, You must start by developing these simple abilities first into skills and then into full talents Consequently some.
things you must accomplish early in your career require much Learning to write high quality reports is one of. those things Drive and desire are more important here than prior education or initial ability Most new officers. can absolutely master the skills needed for becoming highly competent report writers. The fact is that the skill set for becoming a top notch police report writer is considerably different than for. becoming a novelist technical writer or journalist A new officer need not be an English major or Ph D to be a. highly successful police report writer capable of sending many robbers thieves and murderers to prison. A ROADMAP FOR SUCCESS, Unfortunately rules and practices on such things as split infinitives use of gerunds dangling participles and a. host of other scary sounding terms were originally made to help writers organize and understand the English. language However these rules often become heavy anchors to the average writer There is a point at which. rules made to understand concepts seem to become more important than actually writing Perhaps the best. advice is just to begin writing with as they say a clean slate. At the other end of the process we complete our reports thinking that we know exactly what we have said rather. than truly perceiving what we have actually written An officer must proofread every official sentence he writes. If this is done in an honest detached manner without infusing a bunch of preconceptions and prejudices we. can usually hear or feel most of the grammatical or logical mistakes we have made even if we do not know the. technical names for these mistakes, Revising your report is the key to good report writing If something does not sound just exactly right or reads a. little bumpy CHANGE IT, Of course other writing challenges also loom large for new report writer but relatively simple solutions several. of which we will discuss in class are often available as well When officers finally realizes that content is the. important element for writing really good police reports then officers can become the stellar report writers that. their departments need,Session 209 et seq,Table of Contents 4. Indiana Law Enforcement Academy,Basic Report Writing Course.
Why Develop These Skills, On the previous page we discussed why officers should develop their report writing skills to benefit the. profession Beyond progressing law enforcement as a profession officers often have a difficult time. justifying to themselves why they should make the effort to develop in this demanding area Everyone is. aware that we write reports 1 to document the facts of an incident Reports are also worthwhile for 2. refreshing memory and 3 for encouraging professional demeanor you must report on yourself how you. performed at an incident, However these three reasons are not generally the reasons that motivate new officers to put extra effort. into creating better reports There are nevertheless at least three other reasons that are highly relevant. for creating really good reports even as viewed from a new officer s perspective These are. 1 Good reports help protect officers from civil liability public ridicule unjustified. discipline and termination, In today s culture of questioning everything police officers are routinely called. on the carpet for their actions Two officers with equally high level tactical. skills or decision making abilities will not likely be evaluated as equally. creditable by jurors or the media if one exhibits low level writing skills compared. to another s high level skills The old saying that If it wasn t written down it. didn t happen might more accurately be stated If it wasn t written down it. didn t happen that way, 2 Consistent proper bragging within an officer s routine reports is probably the best. technique for obtaining early promotion or special duty assignments or for. recognition from prosecutors and judges, Many times police officers perform at very high levels on the street but their.
exemplary responses are not recognized by supervisors because officers so often. work alone or with other officers of their own rank The only way most. supervisors learn of these events is through the officer s own report Bragging. does not need be boastful but it should constantly demonstrate that the officer is. competent sensitive and aware of all legal requirements. 3 Good reports help keep officers out of court, Although going to court may be exciting the first couple of times an officer is. subpoenaed an officer quickly finds that sitting in a witness room for hours after. a midnight shift just to have the case continued is less than rewarding A good. report tells a defense lawyer that this officer will likely hurt his client if put on. the stand A bad report tells a defense attorney that this is just the kind of officer. he wants to put on the stand,Session 209 et seq,Table of Contents 5. Indiana Law Enforcement Academy,Basic Report Writing Course. General Course Objectives for Students, At the end of this course the student will be able to. Identify several important reasons for creating high quality reports PO12. Identify what types of information should go into field notes and why PO 3. Take sufficient accurate field notes for a major felony violation PO 2. Write reports that identify crucial issues and then focus a reader s attention on. those issues PO 1 4, Satisfactorily address all the legal requirements when writing for that particular.
type of case PO 5 6 7 10 11, Write an effective and legally sufficient narrative for an evidence log PO 9. Assist a witness in producing a written statement using a format and approach that. maximizes the effectiveness of that statement PO 8. Write a legally sufficient probable cause affidavit for arrest as well as for a search. warrant PO 5 6, Construct a quality arrest report for a complex felony violation using a common. word processing software and a style that is effective for that type of case PO 1. Use an accepted technique for organizing and sequencing a complex arrest report. Incorporate a number of format and writing techniques that make reading a report. and finding facts easier e g subdividing a report using headings incorporating. a lead in sentence etc PO 1, The above POs numbers reference the full Performance Objectives for the course listed in the Instructor. Manual and elsewhere,Session 209 et seq,Table of Contents 6. Indiana Law Enforcement Academy,Basic Report Writing Course.
Overview Syllabus,For the Tier I Basic Report Writing Course. The Student Manual for the Basic Report Writing course can also be found on your issued table or on line at. the following address www in gov 2506 htm, For those who benefit from watching a presentation in addition to reading about a subject there are several. links provided in this manual that have video presentations on these subjects Mouse over this link while. holding down the Crtl Control button on your computer and then click on the link If this does not work. you may have to copy and paste the link address into your internet browser. Class Hour 1 Class Synopsis This first class introduces students to the teaching approaches used. in this course and to the final examination requirements and video and the skill of note taking as well as the. Mind Mapping technique for organizing a report, Class Hour 2 Class Synopsis This lecture stresses using only the literal meanings of words i e. what we call the Accurate Words concept a difficult undertaking It also points out how words and phrases. can be misleading The final portion of this class focuses on the homework assignment which begins. developing the ability to use precise detailed descriptions by correcting and improving a supplied Evidence. Log The Final Exam Grading Scale will also be shown during this hour. Complete Homework Assignments 1 2 3 4 after Class Hour 2 see pages 13 14 of this. manual The student must read pages 1 16 and page 33 before Class Hour 3. Due Dates Generally, Each homework assignment unless a different time is given in class is due on the Monday evening after the. previous class session For example if the class session is scheduled for Friday June 6 20xx then the. homework assigned is due on Monday June 9 20xx The printed hardcopy homework assignments should. be submitted in the Homework tray at the secretary s window by the instructor offices Do not forget to. staple you homework sheets together and place your Academy ID number on all pages of your. homework assignment Students should always keep a copy of their homework assignments on their. computers in case a submission is lost, Students may use their department forms for completing homework assignments or the ILEA standardized.
forms in Appendix B of this manual The ILEA forms are also available on the computes in the computer lab. After log in at the computer lab click the Basic folder on the desktop Then click the Report Writing Forms. Class Hour 3 Class Synopsis This class will review in detail the principles discussed in the. Accurate Words lecture since those principles are the most abstract of the entire course Several issues will be. addressed using examples from the students submitted homework papers The Brevity lecture will then. focus further on how to write Dense reports This class is not as abstract as the previous hour but does. continue to concentrates on packing as much information into a small area as possible. Table of Contents 7, Class Hour 4 Class Synopsis After presenting a number of techniques in Hour 3 students are. given an opportunity to practice these techniques by writing a formal Witness Statement as part of their. homework assignment which requires a student to tightly focus a witness s account of an incident and to. present this account in an effective efficient manner There will also be a review of a sampling of the. students prior homework assignments during this class especially the Evidence Log. Complete Homework Assignments 5 6 after Class Hour 4 see page 18 The student must read. pages 19 20 before Class Hour 5, Class Hour 5 Class Synopsis This fifth class hour will briefly review the principles discussed in. the Brevity lecture The Completeness lecture is then presented It is very legalistic and will focus on correct. content when writing affidavits for search and arrest warrants. Even though this class is quite different from the previous classes much more of a nut and bolts class this. class also demonstrates that the Brevity and Completeness concepts are not totally opposed to each other In. short brevity does not equal inadequate and completeness does not equal wordy Content is particularly. report tells a defense lawyer that this officer will likely hurt his client if put on the stand A bad report tells a defense attorney that this is just the kind of officer he wants to put on the stand Session 209 et seq Table of Contents 5 Indiana Law Enforcement Academy Basic Report Writing Course General Course Objectives for Students At the end of this course the student w ill be able

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