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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69663 Find in a Library
Title: Effective Police Field Supervision - A Report Writing Evaluation Program
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:8  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1980)  Pages:212-219
Author(s): A F Carr; J F Schnelle; R E Kirchner; L D Larson; T R Risley
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This evaluation examined the effectiveness of a program designed to meet the goal of achieving large-scale remediation and control of report quality in police departments.
Abstract: Timely performance feedback is the control mechanism of effective supervision. A checklist-feedback evaluation system was adapted to product supervision in police work. The high frequency of incident reports, coupled with sergeants' routine handling of all reports, provided the opportunity to design a formal report checklist evaluation and feedback procedure for the patrol sergeants. The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (Tennessee) was the subject of the report writing program evaluation. Checklists of important report components were developed for each type of offense report--general reports, crime against person reports, and vehicle reports. The major items concerned identification of victims, classification of crime, description of suspects, witnesses' statements, and a narrative of the events in the incident. Implementation of the program employed a multiple-baseline time-series design involving progressive extension of the program at 2-month intervals across the patrol shifts. On the whole error rates in all details were substantially lower following introduction of the program than at any point during baseline. Following introduction of the program, 88 percent of the sampled reports contained two or fewer errors. Before the program began, only 6 percent of the reports displayed fewer than three errors. The program appeared to induce officers to make more thorough preliminary investigations before writing their reports. Thus, product supervision can exert effective control over unobserved performances. The program of frequent report evaluations and immediate feedback from sergeants rapidly and permanently reduced the number of errors in written police reports. Graphs chart the program results, and footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Police education; Police reports; Police training; Staff development training; Tennessee
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