Report Writing for Law Enforcement Professionals From Dispatch to the Courtroom

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1/15/2016
  • Publisher: Pearson

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A holistic approach to the intricacies of the criminal justice report writing system.

Report Writing for Law Enforcement Professionals: From Dispatch to the Courtroom documents all aspects of the criminal justice system, from arrival at the scene of an incident to the presentation of the written report in court, and provides the tools, resources, and practical exercises to master the skill of professional criminal justice report writing. With a focus on the universality of the criminal justice system regarding reports, the authors demonstrate how the basic concepts of report writing cut across criminal justice career fields, from patrol officers to correctional officers, and provide instruction in all aspects of the criminal justice profession that relate to writing a professional criminal justice report. Practical features make the concepts clear, among them The Right Way to Write sections emphasizing the essential writing principles; video scenarios that allow students to apply their observational skills, take notes, and write case reports; practical exercises that reinforce the concepts at the ends of the chapters; examples of forms and documents most commonly used by law enforcement professionals.


Report Writing for Law Enforcement Professionals is also available via REVEL™, an interactive learning environment that enables students to read, practice, and study in one continuous experience. Learn more.

Author Biography

Ken Morris was employed in the criminal justice profession for over 28 years. Prior to my retirement in 2002, I was serving as the Patrol Division Commander for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.  As the Patrol Division Commander, I exercised supervision and control of 106 sworn and civilian employees.  Additionally, while working with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office I have worked every detention position from “floor deputy” to warden. I have a comprehensive understanding of both the law enforcement and correctional aspects of the criminal justice system. I have incorporated both of those aspects of the criminal justice system into this textbook.  I have done consulting work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, The National Institute of Corrections, and the Department of Justice.  In 1999, I took a 15 month leave-of-absence from the Sheriff’s Office and worked as a United Nations Peacekeeper (Police Officer) in Kosovo, Yugoslavia.  I attained the rank of station commander of the third largest city in the province before returning back to work for the Sheriff’s Office.


Michael Merson joined the United States Army in January of 1991 and served in the Military Police Corps until March of 1998. In was in the United States Army where I first started writing police reports for crimes committed on the various army post where I was assigned. I left the U.S. Army after nearly seven and half years of service and was hired by the Colorado Springs Police Department. While working for the Colorado Springs Police Department I was assigned to the patrol division, traffic division, the neighborhood police unit, the commercial vehicle unit, and the evidence cadre. I also was assigned to the Major Accident Unit and on occasion trained new officers while in patrol. I have also served as the Interim Director of the Pikes Peak Regional Law Enforcement Academy. I previously served as a Citizen at Large for the El Paso County Community Corrections Board for three years where I reviewed thousands of police reports written by correction officers, parole officers, probation officers, police officers, and sheriff deputies.  

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Reports, the English Language, and Police Jargon 1

Chapter 2 The Art of Note-Taking 18

Chapter 3 The Parts of the Narrative Case Report 31

Chapter 4 The Basics of English Grammar 40

Chapter 5 First Officer on Scene 49

Chapter 6 Types of Reports 61

Chapter 7 Traffic Summons/Tickets and Crash Reports 81

Chapter 8 Types of Statements 112

Chapter 9 Misdemeanor Crimes Involving People and Property 126

Chapter 10 Felony Crimes Involving Property 133

Chapter 11 Felony Crimes Against People 143

Chapter 12 Documentation of the Use of Force 153

Chapter 13 Probable Cause Affidavits, Arrest Warrants, and Search Warrants 167

Chapter 14 Miscellaneous Forms 180

Chapter 15 Correctional Forms and Reports 194

Chapter 16 Putting It All Together 205

Appendix: Sample Forms 213

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