4. It’s only part of the picture. You also need to learn
the theory and principles behind the job.
5. You need to be aware that OJT can keep you stuck
in outdated practices that no longer serve your
Criminal justice report writing is an excellent
6. Outdated writing practices live on in some reports:
Passive voice (Jones was arrested instead of I arrested
Avoiding names (Victim 1, Suspect 2)
Third person (This officer instead of I or me)
7. Criminal justice professionals no longer believe
that these practices (third person, passive voice,
avoiding names) guarantee integrity and
Your character and commitment determine the
kind of officer you will become.
8. Another outdated practice is repeating information
you’ve already typed into a template on a laptop.
If you’ve already recorded the date, time, location, and
nature of the call, you don’t need to write a traditional
opening sentence: On June 29, 2010, I, Officer Lakme
Singh #1452, was dispatched to 101 Oak Hollow Lane
on a domestic disturbance call.
9. Relying too much on OJT can also keep you from
adopting newer strategies.
Bullet style is a prime example.
10. Bullet style offers many advantages when you’re
writing your reports:
more effective organization of facts and ideas
11. Bullet style is covered in the next PowerPoint in
Have you noticed that all these PowerPoints
12. OJT can also perpetuate outdated, inefficient
language that does not belong in a professional
13. Here are some expressions that don’t belong in
I ascertained (I saw or I heard)
the abovementioned suspect (use the name)
answered in the affirmative (said yes or nodded his
in close proximity to (near or close to)
14. You can learn more about updated word choices in
PowerPoint 12 in this series.
16. Of course you must comply with the practices your
job requires. But:
you should look for opportunities to advocate a
more up-to-date approach
you should keep your new skills sharp
you should be prepared to introduce appropriate
changes when you attain a leadership position
17. To Learn More:
Criminal Justice ReportWriting is available in softcover
($17.95) from www.Amazon.com and in a variety of ebook and
Apple formats (Kindle, Nook, SONY etc.) for $11.99 from
www.Smashwords.com. Read a free sample online!