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Hathian Police Department

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Blotter

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Avatar of Veronica Kilgour

Veronica Kilgour

said

So… I’ve been involved in multiple conversations lately with several of our wonderful officers regarding the Blotter and how we post on it. Through a fair bit of discussion between myself and Hendrich, the following order was put out as a notice to the group and posted on the departmental notices thread in this forum:

@Hendrich Andel wrote:

To: All Officers and Civilian Staff
From: Hendrich Andel, Captain
Date: Thursday, February 17, 2011
Subject: HPD Order #003-11: Files on the HPD Record System

Effective February, 17, 2011, When utilizing the Hathian Police Department Record System also known as the “police blotter”, All reports must be labeled using the following format:

For Reports which the suspect has been identified: “Criminal File –

For Reports which the victim has been identified: “Victim File –

If the suspect and victim have both been identified in the report, the report must be copied in two separate files for both the suspect and victim.

Example: If an officer writes any reports where John Dick attacked Jane Dick. The officer must put copies of all the reports under the file labeled “Criminal File – John Dick” and “Victim File – Jane Dick”. If no file exists, the officer must create a file using the label “Criminal File – John Dick” and “Victim File – Jane Dick”

For reports with more than one suspect and/or victim, copies must be put in files with each individual’s name labeled.

Example: If an officer creates any reports where Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck break in and rob Minnie Mouse’s home, the officer must put copies of the all reports under the files labeled “Criminal File – Mickey Mouse”, “Criminal File – Donald Duck”, and “Victim File – Minnie Mouse”. If no file exists, the officer must create the file using the above mentioned label format.

If neither a suspect nor victim have been identified, the reports must go under the generic file name “Criminal File – John Doe” or “Victim File – John Doe”. All reports with no identifiable suspect and victim are to go under these two files. If the suspect and/or victim are identified during later investigation, another report must be written and placed into the proper file using the above mentioned format. Any reports that fail to satifsy this order will be removed from the record system and sent back to the reporting officer where they must make the proper corrections. This order applies to all future investigation files, incident reports, arrest reports, evidence reports, and interview reports **ORDER EFFECTIVE 2/17/11**

*signed*
Hendrich Andel
Captain
Hathian Police Department

Since that time, I’ve been included in still more conversations about the Blotter and a few things came to light during these conversations that I either didn’t know, or knew way back when and just forgot about. For our newer officers, and those that might have forgotten:

1) The Blotter is Partially OOC
Though we may post our reports on the Blotter, it’s a tool for us to use in an OOC capacity as much as an IC capacity. I assemble my reports in a notecard in game after each incident, so my reports are formulated in an IC fashion, however we do need to include OOC information for the benefit of our co-workers and ourselves. If we have “Suspect: Unknown” and somewhere down the road get new information, we may not remember who that suspect is supposed to be. Likewise if we have “Suspect: Lois Einhorn” lacking the (Ray Finkle) in bracket, we wont know how to find the suspect if the Character and SL names don’t match up.

2) Not only cops read the Blotter
Though some of us realize this fact, we can’t tailor our reports to suit the populace of Hathian. I’ve done something similar in the past, myself. In that I had reports in my NCs that I didn’t post to ensure that the suspect I was after didn’t read the blotter and get fore-knowledge that I was onto them. Unfortunately, Hathian also needs to realize that we can’t change our reports to fit them. If they want us to suspect someone in particular and not someone else, guide our suspicions with the answers to our questions. If you say your suspect is 7feet with black skin and a 3rd nipple, and the only person you know of that’s 7feet, black with a 3rd nipple is your cousin-6 times removed on your mother’s side… that person will become our primary suspect.

This coincides with #1, as well, because we are supposed to talk to our suspects OOCly to arrange for them to be caught. Personally, I try to avoid this so I’m not falling into a pattern of scripted RP, but if it’s a long-standing case file that needs resolution, OOC pre-planning is sometimes necessary.

3) Not all change is good
The new means of posting copies of reports to multiple threads has inadvertantly made Geoffrey’s job of tracking all the open case-files about 3 times as difficult as it was before.

The suggestion came up of using the old old posting method on the Blotter that we used to use back when I first started at the HPD 2 years ago (*cries*). Which is to say, simply posting 1 thread for each incident, regardless of victim or suspect.

Now, I’m not suggesting we need to revamp everything again, but I have been trying to rack my brains for a way to keep the Blotter organized while simultaneously not bending Geoffrey over in his task of sorting out what’s ongoing and what’s resolved.

I’ve opened up this thread to see if anyone else has a brilliant idea to help cut down on:
1) Loose incident reports that get posted and forgotten about
2) Duplicate reports (which is why the Criminal files came out in the first place if I remember right)

My immediate thought is to sort it like I do my NC inventory, but I can’t add subforums and move posts, and neither can you guys, so I doubt that would work. I’ll post the idea anyway to see what you all think about it, and maybe Nadir could throw out a sub forum for us.

Main Forum: Police Blotter
Sub Forum: Closed Cases (Locked)
Sub Forum: Cold Cases

The idea would include posting incidents individually, and having all pertaining information about that incident in that thread. Once the investigation is complete, or abandoned, the thread is moved to the Cold or Closed cases forum. Closed Cases would be a locked archive. Cold Cases would be able to receive new posts *IF* new evidence came up about a particular case.

This method would leave the main Police Blotter free for clutter, and showing only active case files. This method, however, also would require a forum moderator to move the posts. At the least, this might get a few ideas rolling. This is all, of course, only until the new system Nadir is putting together gets completed.

February 22, 2011 at 8:05 pm
Avatar of admin

Admin

said

Perhaps I’m not getting the new system, but why is there a new to have both a victim and a suspect file? It seems redunant to me. I personally thought the incident reports and then one file for peoples arrests reports made more sense, but then I’m still fairly new at this.

February 22, 2011 at 8:27 pm
Avatar of coyoti

Anonymous

said

Well, i have an idea.. We’ll see how it’s taken.

Crimina/Victim files should get their own sub forum. These aren’t so much necessary as nice to have for future references in other files.

Incident reports… this is where it all begins. These are where the investigations start. So maybe individual threads for incidents, we should start investigation files instead.

An incident happens, we open an investigation, or we put it in a file of a currently open investigation. There will, of course, be those nebulous incidents. But this is just throwing something out there. If the problem is sorting through all the files to make something easier, then short of enlisting help, the only way to make something easier is to cut things down to bare bones.

An incident happens, the file gets posted under “Investigation File: Incident”. If the incident regards an ongoing investigations, the incident gets posted under the investigations file.

Criminal/Victim Files: As i said earlier. They should get their own sub sections of the blotter. All incidents should be posted in their respected areas of those sections. That way it doesn’t have to be fully under lock and key as Geoffrey has to do, but we all still have the compiled reports for future dealings. They ARE helpful.

February 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm
Avatar of admin

Admin

said

Actually I really like your idea Coy. Both the subforum for the vics and suspect files and for the investigation files, especially with the larger cases that sometimes have more then one incident or various people to interview. For example, the last case Baden has been working on, the Nel Carter Sexual Assault, had a many interviews and evidence posted and when posting that under the Suspect or Victim file, it just becomes jumbled and confusing in my opinion. Also, if we use the same victim file or same suspect file for other cases, to me that just sounds messy. Where does one case end and one begins? what if one case is still ongoing when another starts?

February 22, 2011 at 10:57 pm
Avatar of Stu Canning

Stu Canning

said

Would it be easier if the title of each subject was a case number?

you could start at some arbitrary point, case no. 243838-001 or something like that. you could put all needed information into this case subject – both victim statements, arrest warrants, records etc… thoughts?

February 23, 2011 at 12:13 am
Avatar of coyoti

Anonymous

said

in the case of closed investigations, maybe another subforum here in the blotter for closed investigation files. That way the main forum doesn’t get cluttered. Closed files get moved to the closed subforum. Then the people who were investigating the closed files add that link, and that link alone, in a replye to the criminal/victim files for all parties involved.

February 23, 2011 at 12:48 am
Avatar of Stu Canning

Stu Canning

said

That seems like a lot of work for a system that won’t be in place in a few months.

Someone would have to be on the forums daily to update and move files…

February 23, 2011 at 2:06 am
Avatar of coyoti

Anonymous

said

It’s the investigating officer’s duty to update the files. As far as moving them, as far as i’m aware, Geoffery keeps an eye on them anyway> This way, they’re all kept in tidy order and all he has to do is move them when they’re closed. the criminal/victim files wouldn’t need much attention paied to them because everything would already be in theinvestigation files. The criminal/victim files are purely for looking things up easily. And i say that because, just tonight, i tried to look up Piper Delvalle. Twice. the first time it timed out before bringing anything up, the second time, i tried to go back from the second page and timed out the search. So, if we have it all listed like that, it could be easy to look it up on the fly.

It’s really a reason i’m not loking forward to the new system. For one thing, we can’t “carry files” with us out on our investigations. For another, we have to be in the station to write them. i can’t tell you the number of files i’ve written outside of CD or just simply at work and unable to log into SL because of a crappy connection. I’m sorely going to miss the blotter. LoL

February 23, 2011 at 2:32 am
Avatar of Veronica Kilgour

Veronica Kilgour

said

@Coyoti wrote:

…Incident reports… this is where it all begins. These are where the investigations start. So maybe individual threads for incidents, we should start investigation files instead.

An incident happens, we open an investigation, or we put it in a file of a currently open investigation. There will, of course, be those nebulous incidents. But this is just throwing something out there. If the problem is sorting through all the files to make something easier, then short of enlisting help, the only way to make something easier is to cut things down to bare bones.

An incident happens, the file gets posted under “Investigation File: Incident”. If the incident regards an ongoing investigations, the incident gets posted under the investigations file….

I like this idea, because it’s very similar to how I have my NC folders set up. Best example is the Aggravated Sexual Assaults on Xai Halostar and Aspira O’Connor. They’re both the same investigation so they’re under file folder “10″ which contains “10b” for Aspira’s rape.

The idea is to keep the moderator requirement to a minimum, though because as Stu said, the system would only be in place for a short time until Nadir’s gets up and running.

@stu wrote:

Would it be easier if the title of each subject was a case number?

you could start at some arbitrary point, case no. 243838-001 or something like that. you could put all needed information into this case subject – both victim statements, arrest warrants, records etc… thoughts?

Unfortunately no. Numbering would be too complicated. Firstly because we can have more than 1 officer posting to the blotter at the same time, and using the same case number accidentally.

That, and just a case number doesn’t tell us what the file contains, such as “Investigation: Sexual Assaut – Xai Halostar” would. But again, to be able to post single incident reports to one investigation, you’d have to know that they were tied together. And what if someone comes out with a loose incident report that IS tied to an investigation, but they didn’t know that? Then we need moderator intervention again.

Frankly, I honestly see our 2-year old method as the best interim option to avoid too much complication and hassle for the admins. If incidents ARE tied together, then they get assigned to the officer that’s working the original incident, and files get kepts on that thread regardless.

I’d like to hear from Geoffrey and Hendrich to see what they think of the ideas posted in this forum — or if I’m gonna get yelled at for starting this thread in the first place. :mrgreen:

February 23, 2011 at 5:11 am
Avatar of Stu Canning

Stu Canning

said

@Coyoti wrote:

It’s really a reason i’m not loking forward to the new system. For one thing, we can’t “carry files” with us out on our investigations. For another, we have to be in the station to write them. i can’t tell you the number of files i’ve written outside of CD or just simply at work and unable to log into SL because of a crappy connection. I’m sorely going to miss the blotter. LoL

I really don’t recall any information relayed to you guys about how the new system will be working. Trust in us that the system will be more beneficial and a LOT less dreadful than the blotter. I despise the current system and can’t wait for it to go away. There are multiple threads containing the same person. The blotter was meant to be a “criminal history” for each person – not for each crime. Somehow it’s blown up and we now have a disaster that I would never want to input into the database when the new system rolls around.

I can and will say that you’re wrong on all accounts of how you view the “new system” to be. You won’t have to be IN the station to write them. It will be a webform application that you can access from SL – though I’m positively sure that you’ll be able to access from the web without the use of SL at all.

February 23, 2011 at 5:52 am
Avatar of sora_senizen

Anonymous

said

Personally I am pretty excited about the new system, as a new guy coming into the blotter forum its a bit daunting. With the changes happening about labeling especially; I go through and search a suspect or some one who I arrest for a crime and there name comes up a million times. Its a mater of trying to figure out what forum in blotter to put them in. I mean at this point anything would be better than what we have to go through now to post a case file, or interview, or arrest report. So can’t wait to see what the new system brings. And hope its easier; I know alot of the past HPD officers were put off by the daunting task of reports, to the point of doing an arrest and not writing them, my alt was arrested a ton of times, though never documented so bring on the new system! I’ll try anything once. 8)

February 23, 2011 at 11:16 am
Avatar of

Anonymous

said

1) The Blotter is Partially OOC
Though we may post our reports on the Blotter, it’s a tool for us to use in an OOC capacity as much as an IC capacity. I assemble my reports in a notecard in game after each incident, so my reports are formulated in an IC fashion, however we do need to include OOC information for the benefit of our co-workers and ourselves. If we have “Suspect: Unknown” and somewhere down the road get new information, we may not remember who that suspect is supposed to be. Likewise if we have “Suspect: Lois Einhorn” lacking the (Ray Finkle) in bracket, we wont know how to find the suspect if the Character and SL names don’t match up.

Yes. This is how it should have always been.

2) Not only cops read the Blotter
Though some of us realize this fact, we can’t tailor our reports to suit the populace of Hathian. I’ve done something similar in the past, myself. In that I had reports in my NCs that I didn’t post to ensure that the suspect I was after didn’t read the blotter and get fore-knowledge that I was onto them. Unfortunately, Hathian also needs to realize that we can’t change our reports to fit them. If they want us to suspect someone in particular and not someone else, guide our suspicions with the answers to our questions. If you say your suspect is 7feet with black skin and a 3rd nipple, and the only person you know of that’s 7feet, black with a 3rd nipple is your cousin-6 times removed on your mother’s side… that person will become our primary suspect.

In addition to the above passage, players who call for HPD assistance should…
1. Recognize calling the HPD gives consent of an investigation and implication of -anyone-.
2. Acknowledge that criminal and victim player characters are not the only ones involved in their role-play, the HPD puts in a considerable amount of effort to uphold their own roles as well. Criminals, victims, and the HPD must all coordinate and plan together to find some sort of resolution to a case.
3. Accept the responsibility of criminals to potentially be a suspect.
4. Know that Hathian citizens (About 7,000ish according to lore derived from Hopedale statistics) and the Crack Den player base (3,500ish registered avatars) is rather condensed. Characters with unique traits are more likely to stand out.

Certain criminal and victim player-characters have repeatedly denied the HPD of its intended purpose based upon the four points above.

February 23, 2011 at 11:27 am
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