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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 120641 Find in a Library
Title: Police Reports Must Be Reader Based
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:37  Issue:9  Dated:(September 1989)  Pages:66-69
Author(s): M Miller; P Pomerenke
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 4
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Police officers' written reports, often more important than substantive actions taken in the field, should be reader-based.
Abstract: While police officers are trained extensively in legal processes, human relations, and specific technical procedures, they are largely evaluated on their communication skills. Police reports contain the facts surrounding an incident, and these reports should be prepared with the writer's audience in mind. The Illinois Police Training Institute teaches the importance of good report writing and emphasizes that all law enforcement functions involve maintaining records. The Institute's training manual for report writing is known as POWER (plan, organize, write, evaluate, and rewrite). Police officers must insure that their reports are accurate, detailed, exact, and objective, and they must analyze who the audience will be. They must also identify the different interests of each audience and determine the functional differences of each. Well-written reports can be helpful within a police department and also to a department's public relations. Such reports can create a favorable impression with the news media by showing police competence and credibility. It is recommended that skills in writing reader-based police reports be included in all law enforcement and criminal justice training programs.
Main Term(s): Police reports
Index Term(s): Illinois; Police report writing training
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