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CRIMINAL JUSTICE REPORT
WRITING
THE HOW AND WHY
Part 6
Objectivity in Police
Reports
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REPORT
WRITING
THE HOW AND WHY
Part 6
Objectivity in Police
Reports
Objective vs. Subjective
 subjective refers to your opinion
 objective refers to impartial facts
Subjectivity (opinions, conclusions) is not
appropriate in a criminal justice report
What makes a report objective?
 It includes factual information only
 It records what you saw or heard, and
nothing else
 It excludes your thoughts, opinions,
hunches, guesses, and suspicions
Why is objectivity important?
 It demonstrates your professionalism
 It increases your credibility in a court
hearing
 It facilitates investigations and
prosecutions
 It eliminates the need to defend your
thinking processes
What does objectivity look like?
subjective objective
sloppy faded shirt, torn sleeve,
brown stains
defiant stared straight ahead,
didn’t answer questions
afraid lips trembled, hands shook
drunk failed two sobriety tests
reckless 45 mph in a 20 mph zone,
drove through a stop sign
crazy zigzagged along the
sidewalk, talked to herself
Avoid subjective statements. Instead, quote
exactly what suspects and witnesses say:
 not threatened but “I’ll kill her if she
comes back here”
 not confused but “I don’t know why he
did that to me”
 not disrespectful but “You ain’t my
father, and I ain’t listening to you”
Avoid conclusions. Record only what you saw
and heard:
 not suspicious but “walked rapidly and
looked behind him six times in less than
a minute”
 not dangerous but “clenched his fists
and shouted”
 not filthy but “roaches, urine, and dishes
with moldy food”
Subjectivity comes from your commitment to
integrity, not verbal gimmicks:
 I is just as objective as this officer
 Lucia Caruso is just as objective as
Victim 1
 Sam Wiley is just as objective as the
abovenamed suspect
To Learn More:
Criminal Justice Report Writing 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!
Find FREE report writing
resources online at
www.YourPoliceWrite.com

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Criminal Justice 6: Objectivity

  • 1. CRIMINAL JUSTICE REPORT WRITING THE HOW AND WHY Part 6 Objectivity in Police Reports
  • 2. CRIMINAL JUSTICE REPORT WRITING THE HOW AND WHY Part 6 Objectivity in Police Reports
  • 3. Objective vs. Subjective  subjective refers to your opinion  objective refers to impartial facts Subjectivity (opinions, conclusions) is not appropriate in a criminal justice report
  • 4. What makes a report objective?  It includes factual information only  It records what you saw or heard, and nothing else  It excludes your thoughts, opinions, hunches, guesses, and suspicions
  • 5. Why is objectivity important?  It demonstrates your professionalism  It increases your credibility in a court hearing  It facilitates investigations and prosecutions  It eliminates the need to defend your thinking processes
  • 6. What does objectivity look like? subjective objective sloppy faded shirt, torn sleeve, brown stains defiant stared straight ahead, didn’t answer questions afraid lips trembled, hands shook drunk failed two sobriety tests reckless 45 mph in a 20 mph zone, drove through a stop sign crazy zigzagged along the sidewalk, talked to herself
  • 7. Avoid subjective statements. Instead, quote exactly what suspects and witnesses say:  not threatened but “I’ll kill her if she comes back here”  not confused but “I don’t know why he did that to me”  not disrespectful but “You ain’t my father, and I ain’t listening to you”
  • 8. Avoid conclusions. Record only what you saw and heard:  not suspicious but “walked rapidly and looked behind him six times in less than a minute”  not dangerous but “clenched his fists and shouted”  not filthy but “roaches, urine, and dishes with moldy food”
  • 9. Subjectivity comes from your commitment to integrity, not verbal gimmicks:  I is just as objective as this officer  Lucia Caruso is just as objective as Victim 1  Sam Wiley is just as objective as the abovenamed suspect
  • 10. To Learn More: Criminal Justice Report Writing 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!
  • 11. Find FREE report writing resources online at www.YourPoliceWrite.com