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The Importance of Police Reports and Why and When They Can be Sloppy

published February 13, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 2329 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
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While police officers are given nearly free rein to do their jobs as they think best, they are also expected to document their activities and their responses to public service calls on a continuous basis. Most officers who retire medically do so because of ailments related to their hearts, backs, and knees. But if you were to take an unofficial poll of working patrol officers, I'm sure the most common affliction among them would be writer's cramp! Even the simplest "routine" report may take one hour or more to complete.

 
The Importance Of Police Reports And Why And When They Can Be Sloppy

Some officers may write one or two reports a week and others may have to complete three or four lengthy ones per shift. The number and type of reports usually relate to the area of town where the officer works (high-crime or not), the size of the city or county, and the value the officer s supervisors and commanders place upon paperwork. Some police departments require their officers to write volumes of reports, covering even minor incidents like a stolen bicycle or a lost dog. Other departments are not so particular, and their apparent nonchalance about report-taking may have more to do with antiquated record-keeping systems than with lazy police administrators. From your standpoint as a paralegal, the more complete the records and the more up-to-date, efficient systems the better.
 

If you're curious, here's a short list of the variety of police reports an officer might need to take:

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Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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