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Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

0910.00 Field Reporting Handbook Instructions

910.00, Field Reporting Handbook Instructions



  •  DIR 660.10 Property and Evidence Procedure



  • Holdover: Waiting until the next day to write a report.
  • Significant incident: An incident that other members on subsequent shifts should be informed about (i.e., Class A and B felony crimes with suspect information and potentially violent or dangerous situations).



1.  Reporting Policy:

1.1.  Members taking any official police action, on or off duty, will write an appropri­ate report to cover the incident except in cases resolved with a coded disposition.

1.1.1.  If on duty, the member will write a report prior to going off shift unless a holdover is approved by a supervisor.

1.1.2.  If off duty, the member will write a report within four (4) hours after the incident and deliver it directly or forward, via district car, to the Precinct/Division or outside jurisdiction responsible for the area of occurrence with a copy directed to his/her Responsible Unit Manager.

1.2.  These reports will contain the member’s account of the incident reported and ac­tion taken. All pertinent information will be entered in the member’s duty notebook. Members will prepare the report using the appropriate form and colored paper.


2.  Reporting Requirements:

2.1.  Legibility:

2.1.1.  Reports may be computer generated, typed, printed or written in long­hand. All handwritten reports will be written with a medium ballpoint pen using dark ink. Use of felt tip is not allowed. All reports must be legible. Computer generated reports should use spell check for ac­curacy.

2.1.2.  Corrections should be kept to a minimum. If it is necessary to delete a word or item from a report, the member may do so by drawing a line through the incorrect word or items. Other methods of corrections are acceptable so long as the corrections are clear and legible.

2.2.  Accuracy:

2.2.1.  Attention should be given to correct spelling of all words in a report, with special emphasis on the correct spelling of proper names, ar­ticles, brands, and locations.

2.2.2.  Reports must accurately and objectively report the facts of each inci­dent, the results of the member’s investigation and any action taken. Reports must also contain reference to the disposition of any property or evidence taken into custody, the results of records searches, wit­nesses’ statements, etc.

2.3.  Clarity:

2.3.1.  Reports must clearly, completely, concisely and accurately portray the incident being reported. Simple and easily understood words and phrases should be used. Exact quotes will be used when taking direct statements.

2.3.2.  The narrative portion of reports should be separated into paragraphs, each dealing with a central subject. Paragraphs containing long, complicated sentences should be avoided. Proper punctuation will be used.

2.4.  Reporting Format:

2.4.1.  Summary: Located at the beginning of a report, a brief summary of the report content is required if the report will be more than one page long.

2.4.2.  Narrative: Immediately following any summary, a complete chrono­logical description of the details and results of the investigation will be written.

2.5.  Multiple Offenses:

2.5.1.  Members frequently encounter situations where there are several crimes committed. The following guidelines will be followed in determining how many police reports must be written:  Offenses against Person: In all cases of criminal homicide, forcible rape and assault, an Investigation Report must be submitted for each victim.  Offenses against Property: In cases of robbery, burglary, larceny and auto theft, a report must be submitted for each distinct operation. A distinct operation means all actions that occur at one time and place. If actions are separated by time or space, more than one report will be required. Examples:  Robbery: Seven customers in a tavern are held up by armed robbers. One report is written.  Burglary:  Apartments: One report for each apartment entered.  Office Buildings: One report for each business burglarized.  The Hotel Rule: When a burglary occurs in a structure where lodging transients is the main business, there is only one report regardless of the number of rooms entered.  Larceny:  Five (5) machines in a Laundromat – One (1) report.  Five (5) parking meters – Five (5) reports.  Batteries from three (3) cars on a used car lot – One (1) report.  Batteries from three (3) cars on the street – Three (3) reports.  Auto Theft: One (1) report for each motor vehicle stolen.

2.6.  Case Clearance:

2.6.1.  There are only three (3) ways that a case may be cleared:  Unfounded: A crime is unfounded when investigation proves that the crime did not occur. A case cannot be cleared as unfounded merely because the victim refuses to prosecute or the District Attorney’s Office refuses to issue a complaint.  Cleared by Arrest: A crime may be cleared by arrest when at least one person is arrested, charged with the commission of the crime or a related offense and turned over to the court for prosecution. Charging a person with a related offense means that the investigation shows that the person arrested is the one who committed the crime but the evidence is not strong enough to charge him with the original crime. He is, therefore, charged with a related offense and the case may be cleared.  Exceptional Clearance:  There are situations where the criminal cannot be arrested and turned over to the court for prosecution even though the investi­gation has proved he/he committed a crime. In these instances, a case may be exceptionally cleared.  In order to exceptionally clear a case, the following facts must exist:  The identity of the offender has definitely been established.  There is enough evidence to support an arrest and prosecu­tion.  The exact location of the offender is known but there is some reason beyond police control that prevents his arrest. Exam­ples:  The offender is dead.  The offender is already in custody on a different charge.  The victim refuses to prosecute.  Clearances Generally:  A case may be cleared only one (1) time. Example: Five (5) men rob a bank and are arrested a few days later. Only one (1) clearance report is submitted.  Several cases may be cleared with the arrest of one (1) person. Exam­ple: A burglar is arrested at the scene of the crime and confesses to six (6) previous burglaries. Clearance reports must be submitted for each of the six (6) prior burglary reports.  If the clearance information is written as a part of the original report, a separate clearance report is not required.  Clearances are written on the Special Report form. The type of clearance should be entered. The Details section of the report must include the name, sex, race and date of birth of the arrested person; arrest information such as charge, warrant number, etc.; and recovered property information such as type and value of re­covered property.

2.7.  Person Arrested: A Custody Report must be submitted for each person arrested, including juveniles taken into custody, and adults who are issued a citation in lieu of custody.


3.  Supervisors Responsibilities:

3.1.  Supervisors will not approve holdovers for the following reports:

3.1.1.  Custodies that will be arraigned the next court day.

3.1.2.  Missing juveniles.

3.1.3.  Stolen vehicles.

3.1.4.  Recovered vehicles.

3.1.5.  Significant incident.

3.2.  Supervisors will ensure reports comply with the reporting requirements and include the necessary content. Upon completion of the review, the supervisor will affix their name in the appropriate place indicating that they have approved the report.


4.  Photographs:

4.1.  Members who obtain photographs (not evidence) during his/her investigations may enclose them with the original report. However, the following guidelines will be followed:

4.1.1.  Members will advise, in the narrative portion of his/her report, that a photograph is included.

4.1.2.  Shift supervisors will place all reports that include a photograph in a separate envelope and forward it to the Records Division (Records).

4.1.3.  Records will number both the report and the photograph and forward the photograph, along with a copy of the report, to the investigating detail.

4.2.  Members who obtain photographs will be entered as evidence, must process them in the normal manner in accordance with Directive 660.10, Property and Evidence Procedure.


5.  The Field Contract Report (FCR):

5.1.  The FCR will be used to record the information on persons contacted as a result of their suspicious activity or proximity to the scene of a crime. The FCR card may also be used to pass on information on known criminal subjects, their associates and vehicles through observation without contact. In both the contact and observation FCR, complete identifying information is necessary for computer entry.

5.1.1.  Examples of when it would not be appropriate to complete a FCR:  When the same information is already provided in a police report.

5.1.2.  Examples of when it would be appropriate to complete a FCR:  Routine Traffic Check: When information could be useful in an in­vestigation complete the FCR card and state the reason.  Adults Taken into Custody: Use the FCR when associates or vehicle information would not be available from the arrest reports.

5.1.3.  Processing of FCR Cards.  FCR cards are processed much as other police reports. Therefore, it is extremely important that appropriate boxes are filled in completely and legibly written. The subject’s PPDS record must be updated from the information on the card and a PPDS record established for those FCRs that do not presently have a PPDS number.  Precincts and divisions should handle FCR cards as they do other reports. Supervisors must check for accuracy and compliance with the purposes of the FCR card. FCR cards should be expeditiously sent to Records on a daily basis, as a large batch at one time creates unanticipated workloads for Records.  PPDS numbers should be entered in the Other # box on the FCR. This will allow Records to put PPDS numbers on the FCR Log; however, Records does not have time to retrieve these numbers from the com­puter, so if members do not enter PPDS numbers on the FCR, they will not appear on the FCR Log.  The Detective Division requests that members use the FCR to pass on valuable information they have acquired by observ­ing known criminal subjects with associates and/or vehicles. Current information on associates and vehicles of known criminals is very important to investigators. This information can be gathered by ob­servation when contact is not practical or legal. Basic information as to the subject’s complete name and date of birth is necessary for the FCR procedure.