Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

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

0900.00 General Reporting Guidelines

900.00, General Reporting Guidelines

Refer:            

  • DIR 905.00, Non-Force After Action Reporting
  • DIR 1010.00, Use of Force
  • Request for Additional Information Form (Records)
  • Detective Division Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) #3, Case Privatization
  • ORS §192.000, Records; Public Reports and Meetings

Definitions:

  • Police Action:  Any circumstance, on or off duty, in which a sworn member exercises or attempts to exercise police authority.
  • Significant Incident:  An event about which other members on subsequent shifts should be informed (e.g., Class A and B felony crimes with suspect information and potentially violent or dangerous situations).

Policy:

1. This policy establishes the general reporting guidelines for all police action.  For member reporting requirements pertaining to non-force after action reporting, members shall adhere to the guidelines set forth in Directive 905.00, Non-Force After Action Reports.  For member reporting requirements pertaining to force after action reporting, members shall adhere to the guidelines set forth in Directive 1010.00, Use of Force.

Procedure:

1. Member Reporting.

1.1. Field Note-taking. 

1.1.1. Members should record pertinent information regarding calls in a Bureau-issued duty notebook or in the vehicle computer.

1.1.2. All handwritten notebook entries shall be maintained for five years.

1.1.3. Members shall promptly forward copies of handwritten notebook entries requested by the Records Division in response to public records requests made to the Bureau. 

1.2. Report Writing.

1.2.1. Member Responsibilities.

1.2.1.1. Members taking any official police action, on or off duty, shall write and submit an appropriate report to cover the incident, except in cases where the coded disposition sufficiently captures the resolution of the event.

1.2.1.1.1. Members shall submit reports through the current Bureau-approved electronic platform.

1.2.1.2. If on duty, the member shall write a report prior to going off shift, unless a holdover is approved or the member is incapacitated.

1.2.1.3. If off duty, the member shall write a report as soon as practical after the event.

1.2.1.4. Member reports must accurately and objectively depict the facts of each incident, the results of the member’s investigation and any member action taken.  Reports shall include all exculpatory information and also contain reference to the disposition of any property or evidence taken into custody, the results of records searches, witness statements and/or any other pertinent information.

1.2.1.5. Members shall write reports that clearly, completely, concisely and accurately portray the incident being reported.  Common, everyday language should be used and jargon and acronyms should be avoided.  Exact quotes should be used when taking direct statements.  When investigating a crime, members shall document all elements of the criminal offense.

1.2.1.6. Members shall provide a complete chronological description of the details and results of the investigation.

1.2.1.7. Required masks (e.g., Mental Health Mask, Stops Data Collection Report) must be fully and accurately completed as soon as practicable.  These masks are subject to review by Bureau supervisors.

1.2.2. Supervisor Responsibilities.

1.2.2.1. Supervisors shall not approve holdovers for the following reports:

1.2.2.1.1. Custodies that will be arraigned the next court day

1.2.2.1.2. Missing persons

1.2.2.1.3. Stolen vehicles

1.2.2.1.4. Recovered vehicles

1.2.2.1.5. Death investigations

1.2.2.1.6. Significant incident

1.2.2.2. Supervisors shall ensure that member reports comply with Bureau requirements and include the necessary content. 

1.3. Photographs.

1.3.1. Members who photographically document crime scenes and injuries to victims/suspects shall do so in accordance with Directive 640.02, Photography and Digital Imaging.

1.3.2. Members who obtain photographs during their investigations shall document that fact and shall submit the photographs in accordance with Directive 660.10, Property and Evidence Procedure.  

1.4. Case Management.

1.4.1. Members shall conduct appropriate case follow up.

1.4.2. Members shall ensure cases are closed or suspended when appropriate. 

2. Report Review.

2.1. If the supervisor determines that a report is insufficient, the supervisor shall, if feasible, ensure that the member corrects the report before the end of shift.  If the member is not able to complete the correction prior to the end of shift, the member shall complete the report as soon as possible upon their return to duty.

2.1.1. When a member submits a deficient report, the supervisor shall discuss the error(s) with the member as soon as practicable. 

2.2. The Records Division or an investigative unit/detail may initiate a request for additional information by submitting a request form to the Responsibility Unit (RU) Manager.

2.2.1. Members shall submit the completed supplemental form as soon as practicable. 

2.3. Privatization of Reports.

2.3.1. When feasible, members should privatize only cases where the release of critical or sensitive information could jeopardize the investigation or the safety of an individual.  Members should refer to the Detective Division SOP #3, Case Privatization for additional guidance.

2.3.2. Members must balance the decision to privatize cases and critical information against maintaining transparency within the Bureau case management system.

2.3.3. Members shall un-privatize cases as soon as practicable to facilitate internal case review and management.

2.3.4. Copies of privatized reports shall be released only for law enforcement purposes upon authorization of the investigator assigned to the case or of a supervisory sergeant in the investigative unit concerned.  The assigned investigator must give the Records Division access to the report.  The investigator shall authorize involved units or specific personnel to access their assigned privatized reports.

2.3.5. Members should be aware that the choice to privatize a document will not necessarily deem it confidential for purposes of public records requests and disclosure under Oregon law. 

3. Public Records.

3.1. During the course of an open investigation, police-authored documents, whether privatized or not, may be privileged and need not be disclosed.  After an investigation is completed, all documents, including those previously privatized, are presumed to be open to disclosure unless a legal exemption applies.  Exemption applicability will be decided with the assistance of the City Attorney’s Office. 

3.2. Any person seeking access to a police-authored document at any time (except for law enforcement or prosecution partners) must file a request for same through the City of Portland web portal, and members are instructed to advise any person who requests police documents that they must submit a public records request through that channel.

History:

  • Originating Directive Date Signed: 07/21/17 
    • Effective Date: 08/19/17
    • Rescind Directive 910.00, Field Reporting Handbook Instructions
    • Rescind Directive 920.00, Reports, Review and Deficiency
    • Rescind Directive 930.00, Notebooks, Duty
    • Rescind Directive 950.00, Confidential Case Status
  • Next Review Date: 01/21/18