Using a digital audio recorder
I find that a digital audio recorder is a great piece of equipment to have. It can serve as a helpful investigative tool to record field interviews, dying declarations at a moment's notice, or to help take notes when a note pad or pen is not available.
We investigators can recall being awakened in the early morning hours for an armed robbery or homicide. Having a recorder handy can help you immediately begin the documenting process with little effort. It can also help you at times when writing things down is a challenge, like in the dark. With modern technology, today's recorders are very compact, portable, and not that expensive to buy. Some recorders can record for numerous hours.
The information recorded can be downloaded and saved on a CD-R for permanent record, if you so chose. Also the notes and field interviews recorded can be replayed for better documentation on reports. So the next time you go on a call, don't forget to take your recorder with you. You just never know when it may come in handy.