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Criminal Justice 9: How Helpful is OJT?


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Criminal Justice 9: How Helpful is OJT?

  1. 1. CRIMINAL JUSTICE REPORT WRITING THE HOW AND WHY Part 9 How Helpful Is OJT in Writing a Police Report?
  2. 2. CRIMINAL JUSTICE REPORT WRITING THE HOW AND WHY Part 9 How Helpful Is OJT in Writing a Police Report?
  3. 3. OJT (On-the-job-training) is one of the best ways to acquire the skills and knowledge required for success in a career. But…
  4. 4. It’s only part of the picture. You also need to learn the theory and principles behind the job. And…
  5. 5. You need to be aware that OJT can keep you stuck in outdated practices that no longer serve your profession well. Criminal justice report writing is an excellent example.
  6. 6. Outdated writing practices live on in some reports:  Passive voice (Jones was arrested instead of I arrested Jones)  Avoiding names (Victim 1, Suspect 2)  Third person (This officer instead of I or me)
  7. 7. Criminal justice professionals no longer believe that these practices (third person, passive voice, avoiding names) guarantee integrity and objectivity. Your character and commitment determine the kind of officer you will become.
  8. 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 Another outdated practice is repeating information you’ve already typed into a template on a laptop.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. 9. Relying too much on OJT can also keep you from adopting newer strategies. Bullet style is a prime example.
  10. 10. Bullet style offers many advantages when you’re writing your reports:  speed  efficiency  grammatical simplicity  more effective organization of facts and ideas
  11. 11. Bullet style is covered in the next PowerPoint in this series. Have you noticed that all these PowerPoints employ bullets?
  12. 12. OJT can also perpetuate outdated, inefficient language that does not belong in a professional report.
  13. 13. Here are some expressions that don’t belong in your reports:  I ascertained (I saw or I heard)  the abovementioned suspect (use the name)  answered in the affirmative (said yes or nodded his head)  in close proximity to (near or close to)
  14. 14. You can learn more about updated word choices in PowerPoint 12 in this series.
  15. 15. One question remains: What should you do if your agency or institution hasn’t updated some of its report-writing requirements?
  16. 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. 17. To Learn More: Criminal Justice ReportWriting is available in softcover ($17.95) from and in a variety of ebook and Apple formats (Kindle, Nook, SONY etc.) for $11.99 from Read a free sample online!
  18. 18. Find FREE report writing resources online at