Four Types Of Police Reports

Type of report
Type 1
No action is
taken

Officer's Role

Information
required

Challenges

Look, listen,
and write

Record what
happened
before you
arrived

Accuracy,
professionalism,
and
completeness

Look, listen,
write, and
investigate

Record what
happened, plus
the results of
your
investigation

Demonstrate
that procedures
were followed,
and include
results of your
investigation,
even if they were
negative

Look, listen,
write,
investigate,
and take an
active role in
resolving the
situation

Record what
happened, plus
the results of
your
investigation,
plus the nature
of your
intervention
(arrest?)

Three stories
must be blended
in your report:
History (what
happened before
you arrived)
Developing
story (what the
you saw and
heard)
Your story (how
the you handled
the incident)

Initiate the
investigation
and follow
through

Tell why you got
involved, what
happened, the
results of your
investigation,
and the outcome

Probable cause
may be an issue.
Justify your
involvement, and
document that
you followed
procedures
correctly

(includes
incident reports)
Type 2
A reported
crime requires
investigation

Type 3
A reported
crime requires
investigation
and
intervention

Type 4
You (not a
citizen) set the
case in motion
yourself

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