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Effective Law Enforcement Report Writing










Larry E. Holtz

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Easy-to-Use Reference Guide that will aid any professional in documenting an official report and testifying in court using that report. The guide includes practice questions, problems and exercises for law enforcement trainers and criminal justice educators to use for testing purposes or for those preparing to take a promotional exam.  See below for a full description and table of contents.


This compact, easy-to-read reference offers an effective set of guidelines to aid any professional faced with the task of documenting his or her actions and observations in an official report, and testifying in court from that report.

In Part One, the author, in ten easy steps, demonstrates how any report can be immediately improved, providing the professional in the field with the means to turn out well written and professional Law Enforcement Investigative and Operational Reports that are clearer, more coherent and concise, and more easily understood. A welcome addition to any law enforcement or criminal justice officer's arsenal.

Part Two of Effective Law Enforcement Report Writing contains hundreds of practice questions, problems and exercises for law enforcement trainers and criminal justice educators to use to test a student's knowledge of the subject. In addition, those preparing for any law enforcement or corrections "entry level" or "promotional" exam will find these practice questions and exercises extraordinarily valuable for exam preparation and review of this subject.


Larry E. Holtz

Larry E. Holtz has served the City of Atlantic City as a police officer, detective, sergeant and police attorney, where he earned over fifteen departmental commendations. He later served as an Assistant County Prosecutor and New Jersey Deputy Attorney General. During his tenure at the Attorney General’s Office, Law Enforcement, Legal Affairs Section, he co-authored the State’s Charging Manual, various Attorney General Guidelines and was the Executive Editor of the Division of Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Reporter.

Mr. Holtz has also served as a municipal prosecutor for three towns in South Jersey, the Director of the Cape May County Police Academy, and as adjunct professor at Widener School of Law and Rowan University. He is a member of the bar in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.

Mr. Holtz has unmatched experience in the field of law enforcement, police training and instructor/teacher development. Over the past 30 years, he has designed and conducted basic, in-service and advanced training programs at various police academies and prosecutors’ offices throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He has also designed and conducted advanced education seminars for New Jersey judges, attorneys, and professional educators.

Presently, Mr. Holtz is a criminal justice and law enforcement educator and consultant. He is the author of the New Jersey Law Enforcement Handbook, the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Handbook, the Texas Law Enforcement Handbook, Criminal Procedure for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Professionals (the Federal Law Enforcement Handbook), Criminal Evidence for Criminal Justice Professionals, Effective Law Enforcement Report Writing, and Formal Study Guides for the NJ Attorney General Guidelines, Title 2C, and the Laws of Arrest, Search and Seizure. He is also published in the Dickinson Law Review, the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Police and Security News, the National Academy Associate, and Law Enforcement Technology.



Part One

The Ten Commandments of Effective Law Enforcement Report Writing

The First Commandment

Never Fail to Properly Document Your Actions and Observations
The Second Commandment

Always Maintain Perspective

The Third Commandment

Always Think Before You Write The Fourth Commandment

Take Field Notes

The Fifth Commandment

Briefly Outline Before You Begin Writing Your Formal Report

Operations Report/Outline-Checklist

The Sixth Commandment

Record All Relevant Facts and Strive for Accuracy

The Seventh Commandment

Always Remain Objective

The Eighth Commandment

Strive for Clarity and Readability

The Ninth Commandment

Always Read Your Report Before Submitting It

The Tenth Commandment

Preview and Review

Part Two

Practice Questions and Problems in Effective Law Enforcement Report Writing

Succinct Writing

English Grammar and Usage

Field Notes

Subject/Verb/Pronoun Agreement

Sentence Correction

Paragraph-Style Sentence Correction

Spelling Errors

Choosing Correct Words


Reading Comprehension

Policy & Procedure—Comprehension and Interpretation

Off-Duty Employment Policy—Comprehension and Interpretation

Coherent Writing

General Knowledge Quiz

Part Three

Effective Law Enforcement Report Writing Reference Section

Commonly Misused Words in Law Enforcement

Commonly Misspelled Words in Law Enforcement

Common Roots and Their Meanings

Common Prefixes and Their Meanings

Common Suffixes and Their Meanings