Records and forms are basic tools of the military police. They serve as the source of information to
the commander and a source of data to the provost marshal. The Noncommissioned Officer (NCO)
must know these forms. The completed forms are turned in to the desk sergeant by his Military Police
(MP) patrols to be reviewed for any errors. Error filled reports can cause problems and delay of the
commander's action or further investigation.
All of the effort toward enforcement and investigation is wasted unless data is properly recorded and
reported. The provost marshal plans crime prevention, traffic control, and other programs based upon
the facts gained from military police reports and forms. When data is accurate, these programs will be
well planned, timely, and effective. Military police records of offenses and police activities act as signs
of the success of the programs.
Military police maintain discipline, law and order for the commander. The apprehension of offenders
is a part of this service. After an apprehension, processing begins. In the civilian community, this
apprehension process includes an entry in the police blotter, fingerprinting, "mug" shots, questioning,
and referral of the case to the prosecutor. It is at this phase of the criminal justice system that formal
charges have been preferred.
Processing of offenders within the military is not quite the same. Photographs and prints are only
taken when they would be of direct value to the case -not as a matter of routine. Most important, the
"apprehension" process does not mean a legal charge against the offender. Preferring of charges is
done by the offender's commander. Thus, our true value to the commander is an ability to make a
thorough investigation of the facts of an incident and effectively report these facts to him.
This text will deal with those reports and forms used to record police activity, aid offender
processing, and report the facts to the commander. A supervisor's duty toward the use and preparation
of the forms is to review them for any errors.
PART A - MILITARY POLICE DESK BLOTTER (DA FORM 3997).
a. To the desk sergeant the military police blotter is a most important document. The following
statement will be placed prior to "BLOTTER OPENED."
"This blotter (or blotter extract) is a daily chronological record of police activity developed from
reports, complaints, incidents or information received and actions resulting therefrom. Entries
contained in the blotter may not be completely accurate and are not adjudications attesting to the guilt
or innocence of any person."
b. Preparation of DA Form 3997 is the duty of the desk sergeant. It is prepared for each day's
activities for the period from 0001 to 2400. Figures