LAWE2235 Police Report Writing/Interview

This course establishes the learner’s ability to write police reports in a detailed, chronological order using proper format. Emphasis is placed on spelling, grammar, punctuation, and the ability to get clear and concise meaning throughout the report. Additionally, students will learn the proper techniques in interviewing.




Admission into the Law Enforcement Program

Course Requirements and Evaluation

Refer to Course Syllabus for detailed information regarding the requirements and evaluation standards for this course. The Course Syllabus will be distributed the first week of the course.

Learning Outcomes

The following outcomes will be addressed in the course:
Demonstrate the differences between factual and opinion type writing
Provide examples of both narrative and bullet point style of writing
Define the elements needed to elicit a legal confession during an interview
Identify the proper techniques needed for a successful interrogation
Identify elements of an effective interview
Write a police report in chronological order utilizing proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation
Define the differences between an interview and an interrogation

Minnesota POST Board Learning Objectives:
1.1.1 Describe how perception, sympathy, empathy, compassion and respect affect peace officer communication.
1.1.2 Discuss barriers to clear communication, e.g. language, stress, bias, lack of common cultural understanding.
1.1.3 Use and interpret verbal and non-verbal cues to enhance interpersonal communications.
1.1.4 Describe and demonstrate active listening skills including paraphrasing, reflecting meaning, and summarizing understanding to obtain and clarify information.
1.1.5 Demonstrate reading comprehension skills necessary in law enforcement including: the ability to differentiate between facts, opinions and propaganda, understanding sequencing of events, and recognizing cause and effect.
1.1.6 Compose documents that demonstrate competent writing skills, including: writing from the first person viewpoint, differentiating between facts, inferences and opinions, correctly structuring sentences and paragraphs, and using correct grammar, spelling, punctuation and capitalization.
1.2.1 Discuss the inter-relationship between core beliefs, integrity and ethical reasoning.
1.2.2 Identify ethical issues in a variety of law enforcement related situations and apply ethical reasoning to decision making processes.
1.2.3 Evaluate and apply strategies for responding to unethical or illegal actions that may arise within law enforcement and public safety.
1.2.4 Model behaviors that demonstrate commitment to ethical and professional behavior.
1.2.7 Discuss ethical and responsible use of computers and databases by law enforcement.
1.3.3 Applying reason and evidence to formulate logical inferences and draw logical conclusions.
1.3.4 Analyze and evaluate ideas, proposals, and solutions to problems using basic forms of logic and techniques designed to encourage sound reasoning.
1.4.1 Describe decision-making processes and models.
1.6.5 Discuss ways officers can promote positive relationships with community members of varying races, ethnicities, national origins, immigration statuses, genders, ages, economic classes, disabilities and/or sexual orientations. (Minn. Stat. 626.8455)
2.4.2 State the requirements of the Fourth Amendment on the law of arrest.
2.5.4 Explain why it is important for officers to be able to identify and document elements of crimes when responding to and investigating crime scenes.
2.5.5 Given a variety of scenarios, identify indications a particular crime has been committed and identify the elements of that crime.
2.6.3 Describe legal interviewing and interrogation techniques peace officers may use and the difference between a voluntary and a coerced statement.
2.6.4 Explain the difference between custodial and noncustodial interview or interrogation.
2.6.5 Describe considerations for videotaping and recording interviews and interrogations and explain when interrogations must be recorded (State v. Scales, 518 N.W.2d 587 (Minn.1994).
2.6.6 Explain when admissions and confessions are legally admissible in court.
2.6.7 Explain the purpose of an interrogation and how results of interrogation can be used in trials.
2.6.8 Explain the conditions under which confessions may or may not be used in court.
2.21.4 Distinguish between characteristics of passive, aggressive, and assertive behavior.
2.21.5 Discuss body language behaviors that signal potential conflict escalation.
2.22.1 Explain the Data Practices Act as it pertains to the gathering and release of information by law enforcement.
3.1.1 Demonstrate effective and legible field-note taking including collecting crime scene intelligence from witnesses, victims and suspects.
3.1.2 Given crime scene scenarios, solicit information and gather and organize facts needed for a police report.
3.1.3 Given a variety of law enforcement scenarios prepare reports that: are written from the first person viewpoint, differentiate between facts, inferences and opinions, demonstrate correct use of grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, sentence and paragraph structure, are clear, complete, concise and accurate, and include all relevant details.
3.1.4 Prepare documentation for arrest warrants and for search warrants based on probable cause.
3.2.1 Discuss interview techniques used to: build rapport, encourage full meaningful answers and discourage suggestibility, clarify and corroborate statements, enhance memory, detect deception, and obtain information from a reluctant witness.
3.2.2 Discuss interview considerations and techniques for interviewing children, vulnerable adults and traumatized victims.
3.2.3 Discuss how and why interviewing techniques must vary depending on the interviewee and the circumstances, i.e., when interviewing children, traumatized victims.
3.2.4 Conduct interviews using procedures that: are appropriate to the situation, ensure the protection of individual rights, effectively gather information, encourage cooperation, and enhance memory.
3.2.5 Conduct interrogations of suspects using appropriate techniques to gather information, detect deception, and gain an admission or confession depending on the circumstances.
3.2.6 Explain and participate in evidence-based procedures for identifying suspects, i.e., lineup, photo lineup, and field identification, including blind/blinded administration of the lineup, instructions to the eye witness that the perpetrator may or may not be present, use of non-suspect "fillers" that match the eyewitness’s description of the perpetrator and do not make the suspect noticeably stand out and asking a witness to state his or her level of certainty, in his or her own words, as soon as an identification is made.
3.14.58 Manage a sexual assault situation including: identifying the victim and if the victim is a child, vulnerable adult or adult, and adjusting communication and procedures appropriately, establishing rapport with victims i.e., making victims feel safe, letting them know the assault was not their fault, informing victims of the importance of their cooperation in gathering forensic evidence and pressing charges while ensuring victims understand that the choice is up to them, advising victims of their rights and providing them with a victims rights card, assisting victims in contacting an advocate when appropriate, determining and responding to the immediate medical needs of victims, communicating with the medical staff treating the victim regarding the need for a forensic evaluation/use of a sexual assault kit to collect evidence, and identifying, protecting, collecting and preserving evidence including photographs, clothing, seminal fluid, saliva, hairs, blood, bedding, fibers, etc.

Text and References

A list of textbooks required for this course is available at the bookstore.

Course Scheduling

The scheduled hours of instruction include sixteen hours for each lecture credit, thirty two hours for each lab credit and forty hours for each credit of supervised occupational experience (SOE). Lecture credit may include formal or impromptu lectures, demonstrations or discussions with the entire class or with small groups or individuals. Refer to the Credit Details section of this course outline for the credit breakdown.

Accommodations Statement

Disability Services assists students with disabilities who need accommodations to access programs, services and college activities.  If this applies to you, please contact the DS Office on your campus to initiate the accommodations process. 
Brooklyn Park Campus - 763-488-2477
Eden Prairie Campus – 952-995-1544


Brooklyn Park Campus 952-995-1300

Credit Details