Sample of how to create a police incident report

Written by dan ketchum
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Sample of how to create a police incident report
Some police departments use paperless incident reporting. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

While arrest reports detail arrests made by police, incident reports contain details of crimes, disturbances or police responses to citizen calls. Most police departments have templates for incident reports, meaning that officers need only fill in the blanks and include a factual narrative description of the event. The specifics of police incident reports vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but most reports share some basic features.

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  1. 1

    Note the type of incident, such as "burglary" or "disturbance." Use the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook to accurately classify the incident.

  2. 2

    Note the date of the incident---including day of the week, month, and year---and the exact time the incident occurred.

  3. 3

    Record the address at which the incident occurred.

  4. 4

    Include the name of the reporting officer, her division and her identification number.

  5. 5

    Note the victim's full name, his address, phone number, race, sex, birth date, identification number and relationship to the suspect. Do the same for the suspect, noting his relationship to the victim. Record identifying features of the suspect. Note the employer information of the victim and suspect, including employer contact information, job position and work hours. Include this information for all victims and suspects involved in the incident.

  6. 6

    Write down vehicle information---such as vehicle year, make, model and number plate number---if applicable.

  7. 7

    Fill in any additional information on your department's incident report template. Additional info may include case number, information about weapons used, point-of-entry description and information and value of stolen items.

  8. 8

    Write a concise and completely factual summary of the incident in question. In chronological order, record the events of the incident, including who was involved, what they did and what they said. Include the interactions and statements made by the responding officer or officers. This narrative must describe the location, details about security and weaponry and a description of the actions of the suspect. Most incident reports keep the summary length at about one paragraph, but the incident will determine the necessary length. Don't include information you've already covered, such as time, address and date. Always refer to the victim and the suspect by name, such as Victim Johnson and Suspect Washington.

  9. 9

    Sign the incident report and get it approved with the signature of your superior.

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