Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
CJA 230
Course Title:
Police Report Writing
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Course is designed to teach students police report writing skills. Emphasized are techniques appropriate to narrative structures necessary for operational police reports. Included are legal aspects, content, organization and grammar. The focus is to produce a quality police report capable of withstanding courtroom scrutiny. Prerequisites: WR 227; CJA 210 and 212. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Students will learn how to document an investigation in a manner communicating concise and factual information. Covered throughout the course are techniques and procedures for gathering information at certain stages during an investigation and documenting it in a logical and understandable format.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  1. Write police reports in a factual, logical and understandable format that documents the investigation and is capable of withstanding courtroom review.
  2. Maintain a chain of custody. 
  3. Document a crime scene by sketching the location and logging the collected evidence and photographs. 
  4. Interpret laboratory and autopsy reports. 
  5. Prepare and maintain a notebook of the investigation. 
  6. Properly document witness interviews. 
  7. Present a completed criminal case for prosecution.

Course Activities and Design

  • Classroom Lecture
  • Films and Videos
  • Simulated Crime Scenes
  • Role playing situations
  • Practice Interviews

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Methods of examination may include the following: examinations, quizzes, reports, role playing, interview assignments and diagramming a mock crime scene.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

This course will address topics that include, but are not limited to:

  • Legal Aspects of Investigation
  • Documentation of Crime Scenes
  • Chain of Custody
  • Evidence Logs
  • Report Writing and Interpretation
  • Prosecution Preparation
  • Interviewing Witnesses