- Intelligence Report: This report should be completed for any suspected criminal activity or incident that has not reached the point of being documented on a Criminal Complaint Report.
- Field Interview Card: Field interview cards, also known as Stop, Question, and Frisk Reports, have proven to be extremely valuable in gang investigations and other criminal investigations. Field Interview Cards should be used to document anyone, a group of people, at a specific location at a certain time and date. This documentation can help build conspiratorial associations between gang members, document the gang clothing they are wearing, and track their actions which may prove to solidify an investigation later when such documentation is needed.
- Gang Incident and Intelligence Report: This report should be completed for any incident or bit of gang intelligence information that has been reported involving a gang or gang member not targeted by an active investigation. When an officer knows that a specific gang under current investigation, or one of its members, has been involved in an incident or activity necessitating documentation, an Investigative Report should be used instead.
- Investigative Report: This report must be completed for any piece of pertinent information involving a gang under investigation or a gang that can potentially be under investigation. The Investigative Report is the most frequently used report because it can be used to document surveillance results, undercover operations, informant deployment, informant information, information from other law enforcement officers, results of interviews and interrogations, and to document a variety of investigative tasks such as Vehicle Registration information, Criminal History Reports, other official records, etc…
- Arrest Reports: Obviously, Arrest Reports are filed when an individual is arrested. The information on Arrest Reports can be extremely useful in investigations so it is important for a law enforcement officer to remember to fill out as much information as possible and to insure the information is accurate. The information on the Arrest Report has valuable data that can be used during an investigation for the purposes of locating a suspect, documenting accomplices, establishing a criminal past, and other important information. These Arrest Reports are also valuable as an investigative technique used to track court appearances and jail release dates of gang members. For a gang investigator, court appearances and jail release dates can help facilitate surveillances and missed court appearances, resulting in the issuance of an Arrest Warrant, can be a good opportunity for a gang investigator to arrest a gang member.
- Traffic Tickets, Parking Tickets, Minor Violations/Desk Appearance Tickets, Notices To Appear: Tickets and Summonses used to document a minor violation such as a traffic infraction, parking ticket, code violation, quality of life violation, and sometimes minor Misdemeanor offenses can provide information on the gang member and help establish generally the same information as that of an arrest report. Additionally, gang members tend to disregard these ‘paper’ infractions as insignificant and may fail to pay the fine or appear in court. As a result of the failure to pay a fine or appear in court, many times, an arrest warrant will be issued. As with Arrest Reports, it lends itself to another opportunity for a smart gang investigator to personally enforce the Arrest Warrant.
- Motor Vehicle Accident Report: A good source of information to aid in the documenting of a gang member’s associations, whereabouts, vehicles used, and personal data, is the Motor Vehicle Report.
Any report that can document a gang member’s actions, whereabouts, and associations can prove extremely useful in a gang investigation. For example, a violent street gang member we were attempting to tie into a conspiracy case was adamant he never drove a black Honda sedan like the vehicle used in a recent drive-by shooting in which four people were shot and two were killed. After a search of parking tickets around his residence, we determined the same type of vehicle was being tagged by the precinct summons officer. A careful check of the gang member’s driving record showed him being issued a red light ticket several months prior while driving a black Honda sedan.
Furthermore, the owner of the Honda was identified and placed in a photo array in front of witnesses to the shooting. While the witnesses could not identify our original target gang member, they did identify the owner of the car as the driver of the Honda on the day of the shooting. The driver, after being arrested, gave up our target gang member as the shooter.
Few effective gang cases, or other cases for that matter, were ever made without the use of paperwork. As tedious as it can be, paperwork is an investigator’s friend.