And there’s an important reason for avoiding
passive voice in your reports:
Passive-voice sentences often don’t tell who
did the action.
Passive: Figueroa was arrested.
Active: I arrested Figueroa.
This who-did-what problem is especially serious
when you’re preparing to testify in court.
Suppose, for example, you were working a
scene with another officer. Passive-voice
sentences don’t show what each officer did.
Judy was interviewed. [Who interviewed her?]
Barry was patted down. [Who patted him
One more caution: Don’t assume that every is
or was sentence is passive voice.
The family was on vacation in Acapulco.
The car is a light-blue, 2009 Yaris hatchback.
Peter was sleeping in the back bedroom.
It’s important to follow this rule in every report:
Make sure each sentence clearly shows who
was acting or speaking.
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