Report Writing for Law Enforcement and Corrections Professionals, 1st edition

Published by Pearson (January 15, 2016) © 2017

  • Ken Morris
  • Michael Merson


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  • A holistic approach provides students with much more than simply the details of how to fill out a criminal justice report. Instead it provides a comprehensive guideline that documents all of the aspects of the criminal justice system, from the arrival at an incident to the presentation of the written report in court.
    • Includes the tools, resources, and practical exercises to master the skill of professional criminal justice report writing.
  • Video Scenarios give readers context for the assignments that ask them to apply their observations skills take notes, and then write a case report.
    • The hands-on approach gives students real-world applications to the concepts in the text.
    • The software and forms are a valuable resource in ensuring that the correct information for a crime or other situation is collected and is placed in a specific location on the report form.
  • The Right Way to Write sections focus on the specifics of HOW to approach professional law enforcement writing and emphasize the essential writing principles to help guide students through the report writing process.
    • Each chapter is examined in matters germane to writing skills and strategies necessary to accomplish the task of professional law enforcement writing.
  • Practical exercises at the ends of chapters reinforce the concepts and provide realistic and challenging exercises for the student.
    • The text presents an all-inclusive system of report writing characterized by following a methodical process from arrival at a crime scene to presentation in court.
  • Examples of forms and document most commonly used by law enforcement professionals are presented and explained. (Throughout the text and in the Appendix.)

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.

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

Ken Morris was employed in the criminal justice profession for over 28 years. Prior to his retirement in 2002, he served as the Patrol Division Commander for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.  As the Patrol Division Commander, Ken exercised supervision and control of 106 sworn and civilian employees.  Additionally, while working with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office he worked every detention position from “floor deputy” to warden. Thus, Ken has a comprehensive understanding of both the law enforcement and correctional aspects of the criminal justice system. Ken has incorporated both of those aspects of the criminal justice system into this textbook. Ken has done consulting work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, The National Institute of Corrections, and the Department of Justice.  In 1999, Commander Morris took a 15 month leave-of-absence from the Sheriff’s Office and worked as a United Nations Peacekeeper (Police Officer) in Kosovo, Yugoslavia. Ken 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. It was in the United States Army where he first started writing police reports for crimes committed on the various army posts where he was assigned. Michael left the U.S. Army after nearly seven and a half years of service and was hired by the Colorado Springs Police Department. While working for the Colorado Springs Police Department, Michael was assigned to the patrol division, traffic division, the neighborhood police unit, the commercial vehicle unit, and the evidence cadre. Michael also was assigned to the Major Accident Unit and on occasion trained new officers while in the patrol division. Michael has also served as the Interim Director of the Pikes Peak Regional Law Enforcement Academy. Additionally, Michael has previously served as a Citizen at Large for the El Paso County Community Corrections Board for three years where he reviewed thousands of police reports written by correction officers, parole officers, probation officers, police officers, and sheriff deputies.  

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