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Four Types of Police Reports

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You can write reports more confidently and efficiently when you recognize that there are four basic types of reports. Learning their special characteristics and requirements of each type makes the writing process much easier.

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Four Types of Police Reports

  1. 1. Four Types of Reports Type of report Officer’s Role Information required Challenges Type 1 No action is taken (includes incident reports) Look, listen, and write Record what happened before you arrived Accuracy, professionalism, and completeness Type 2 A reported crime requires investigation Look, listen, write, and investigate Record what happened, plus the results of your investigation Demonstrate that procedures were followed, and include results of your investigation, even if they were negative Type 3 A reported crime requires investigation and intervention Look, listen, write, investigate, and take an active role in resolving the situation Record what happened, plus the results of your investigation, plus the nature of your intervention (arrest?) Three stories must be blended in your report: History (what happened before you arrived) Developing story (what the you saw and heard) Your story (how the you handled the incident) Type 4 You (not a citizen) set the case in motion yourself Initiate the investigation and follow through Tell why you got involved, what happened, the results of your investigation, and the outcome Probable cause may be an issue. Justify your involvement, and document that you followed procedures correctly

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