Report Writing Basics & PC Information Gathering

From Masq

So you want to write a report. Good! We'll cover some basics to keep in mind.

It really is simpler than you would think. No. Really. All you need to do is keep in mind, When, Where, Who, What, How, and Why. It IS that simple. So we will discuss basic formats. Many APD Veterans already use them. One thing I have heard is "Damn how do I start it?" This sounds like a cliche`, but really, start from the beginning! I am going to give a VERY light basic start of a report with some details within it as an example.

The basic format to this is in example is:

On January 12th, 2005. At approximately 1700Hrs. (when, ALWAYS time approximate) At the Corner
 of Central and University. (where) Joe Schmo (who) was stabbed seven times by an ice pick. 
(what and how in this case). This officer arrived on scene to find Mr. Jealous Husband, standing
 over the victim wielding the Ice Pick. He was crying out. "You Shouldn't have fucked my wife!
 You motherfucker!" (The why)

Now the above is an incomplete case file. I wanted to show the basics for it. What else goes into a report? Note: Mr. Jealous Husband's speech was used in quotation marks. Use them for important statements. Get it word for word. Anything a subject says while you speak with them, that is directly important to the case you should quote. Now if you speak to John Doe on why he shot and killed a store clerk and he goes.... "Nice suit. I'd like to get one of those for court, tell my lawyer where to get one." That's not needed.

Anything that implies guilt, or is an important FACT as presented by who you speak with -- that should be quoted. "Well, he said He'd kill me if I whistled", "Fuck you pig! I don't have to tell you shit. Go ahead arrest me for obstruction, I'll fucking kill you!" Etc, etc.

Feel free to summarize what you RP'd with the subject. Sometimes less can be more. Just make your report CLEAR and CONCISE. How do you know? It's a matter of back to WHO WHAT WHEN WHY WHERE HOW. The why is subjective. AVOID PUTTING PERSONAL OPINIONS/VIEWS in Reports. It can come back to haunt you. Use creative report writing if you must. Mainly avoid the words "I Think".

Hope this starts to help. More to come