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- Ch. 6 of Effective Communication in Criminal Justice
- A Criminal Justice Report Writing Checklist
Imagine you are an officer, and you and your partner responded to a possible burglary and took down information. Now you need to write a report.
Review your Incident Facts:
- October 6, 2017, at 0745am
- 1313 Mockingbird Lane.
- Mr. Phil Collins – left to work at 7:00am
- Alarm was set, door locked
- Call from alarm company at 8:15am, police called
- Homeowner arrived home at 9:00am, greeted by Officer R.E. Grubb and myself
- Scene cleared for intruders, homeowner asked to determine if anything taken
- Dell laptop and $40 cash
- Searched for point of entry, aided by evidence technician (ET)
- Footprinton backdoor, fingerprint on countertop, secured by ET
- Incident number 15355 provided to Mr. Collins
- Scene cleared 9:45am
Using the information from the Incident Facts, write a 260-word report that includes the following:
- Who (identification of the person[s] involved)
- What (violation or offense)
- When (time and date)
- Where (location of incident) Why (motive)
- How (method of operation)
- Action taken (end result, outcome, or response)
Consider the following points as you write your report:
- Is the description of the incident accurate?
- Does it give specific details that are both factual and correct?
- Are all elements of the incident properly identified and explained? Did you provide explicit and concise information?
- Did you include all essential information? Is your report well organized? Did you organize the information chronologically?
- Did you include all necessary information to answer the questions who, what, when, where, why, how, and what action was taken?
- Are your conclusions supported? Did you include a full description of the actions on which you based your conclusion?
- Is your report free of errors?
- Did you use the proper format?