Robert Crimo III is the 18-year-old man who confessed to the July 4 killings in Highland Park, Illinois. Three years ago police officers went to his home to check on him. A relative had told police that shooter Robert had threatened to “kill everyone” in his family. The incident report about the visit mentioned “a collection of knives in his bedroom.”
That report is a good reminder that police reports never go away! Something that seems routine at the time can become front page news later on.
I have some thoughts about the report (which is posted below). Overall this is an excellent report: it’s clearly written and thorough. The officers recorded a great deal of useful information.
- The report could be more efficient. After you fill in the spaces on your laptop with the date, time, and other background information, don’t repeat it.
- “Upon making contact” is unnecessary. How else would you have talked to them? The second paragraph should begin with “Robert admitted to being depressed on Monday 9/02/19 and having a history of drug abuse.”
- “Robert was not forthcoming as to the language that he used on Monday” is not specific enough. Was he silent? Did he say that he wasn’t going to answer any questions?
- Here’s another sentence that should be rewritten: “After speaking to Robert E. Crimo III’s father, it was learned that the collection of knives belonged to him.”
- This is my version: “Crimo’s father told us that the knives belonged to him.”
Police officers are busy – and so are the people who read reports!
Develop the habit of making every report both complete and concise. Effective reports are a great way to showcase your professionalism.
Sign up for our FREE Police Writer e-Newsletter and receive a free copy of “10 Days to Better Police Reports,” ready to download! Your privacy is protected: We NEVER share emails with third parties.
Criminal Justice Report Writing by Jean Reynolds is available from Amazon.com for the low price of $17.95. For a free preview, click on the link or the picture below.
“It will definitely help you with your writing skills.” – Joseph E. Badger, California Association of Accident Reconstructionists Newsletter
Criminal Justice Report Writing is also available as an e-book in a variety of formats for $9.99: Click here.