As a security company, it is crucial to place an emphasis on the ability to write and communicate thoughts in order to accurately relay an incident. It is also important that security officers be able to write an incident report well. A writing stylebook can really aid in incident report writing, as it sets a tone for how all security officers should structure their reports. By writing with the same style, reports are more understandable to anyone who reads them, whether it is a judge, lawyer, or anyone who will be involved in the situation. Consider these variables when developing a style guide for security officers:
Decide On First Or Third Person
As a department, it should be established whether to use first or third person language when writing incident reports. You can allow both if it makes it easier to communicate the incident, but it is always helpful to those who will be reading to have the report written in one or the other. Place your choice in the style guide and be sure to emphasize its use.
Another component of your stylebook should include the appropriate use of abbreviation. The use of abbreviation is very helpful in incident report writing. It can save a large amount of time, especially if it is a term used constantly. Words like 'sergeant' can be written as 'sgt.' in order to make the process easier and more efficient. Develop a list of words that should be abbreviated throughout the report in order to ensure it is consistent across the company.
Proper Use Of Paragraphs
Writing an incident report in one long paragraph is not only unattractive, but it can also be difficult to read. Instead, have the officers write at least three paragraphs in their reports, including an introductory paragraph, a paragraph describing the incident, and a final paragraph describing actions the officer took. This provides a much more readable report that is detailed and understandable to those who have to read it.
Writing is a very important skill in almost all professions, but it is particularly important for security officers to be able to write a descriptive and informative incident report that is easy to understand. To better develop writing skills, you may wish to have a seminar on proper writing for your officers to brush up on their skills. Between a seminar and proper use of a stylebook, you will quickly find that your officers are writing great reports. Contact a security firm, like Polo Security Services Security Company, to see what their report style is.