How You Say It

It is all in how you say it that can mean the difference

Probably the worst case was a use of force report which read, "I then struck the suspect with my club." Enough said there! What came to mind here was a mental image of either a caveman or a bad gang fight. What should have been said was, "I deployed my department issued straight baton..." but not a club. Additionally, this use of force was not checked for accuracy and balance; and then it was approved by a supervisor? "Balance" here means that the report and the use of force policy are in sync with one another. If there is something written in one, it will be in the other, no surprises--balanced and within policy.

Have I covered them all? No way! Leadership from instructors, FTOs and chiefs means instilling credibility in the words officers use in all reports. You can't call them back once you use them. Words don't recycle. Your credibility in reports and testimony is a valued trait; cherish and guard it...always!

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