11.010 - Detainee Management in Department Facilities

Effective Date: 12/19/2012


This policy applies to all employees who have contact with a detained person at a Department facility.

1. Department Holding Cells are for the Temporary Confinement of Detainees -See 11.010-TSK-1 Securing a Detainee in a Department Holding Cell

Definition: The word “detainee” in the Seattle Police Manual refers to someone in police custody.

Definition: Department holding cells are considered “lockups” by the Department of Justice.  For the Seattle Police Manual the term “holding cell” is synonymous with “lockup”.

  • Holding cells are under the control of law enforcement
  • Holding cells are used for the temporary confinement of individuals who have recently been arrested, detained for investigative purposes or in the process of being transported.
  • The holding cell of a mobile precinct is subject to this policy.

2. Officers Will Assist Detainees with Reasonable Requests for Water and Restroom Access

Officers will not allow detainees to eat, drink or smoke in the holding cells.

3. Employees Will Take Reasonable Steps to Ensure the Safety of Detainees While in Department Custody

Employees will take steps to safeguard detainees during emergency situations involving the Department Facility.

Employees will notify a sergeant or above of an emergent situation that may put a detainee at risk.

4. Officers Will Perform an Inventory Search Before Placing the Detainee in a Holding Cell -See Seattle Police Manual Section 6.181 - Performing Inventory Searches

5. Officers Will Enter the Required Detainee Information on the Appropriate Detainee Log Sheet

Detainee information is recorded on the Adult Detainee Log Sheet (form 4.1) or the Juvenile Detainee Log Sheet (form 12.4).

6. Sergeants and Above Will Review the Detainee Log Sheets -See 11.010-PRO-1 Reviewing Detainee Log Sheets

7. The Watch Lieutenant Will Assign a Sergeant to Inspect the Holding Cells at the Beginning of the Watch and Record the Inspection on the Detainee Log Sheet

Sergeants will check the holding cells and the holding cell area for:

  • Unattended Detainee Property
  • Unattended Evidence
  • Contraband
  • Sharps Container

8. Detainees Shall be Handcuffed Behind Their Back While in a Holding Cell

Exception:  Circumstances may require an alternative method of restraint.  Officers will notify a Sergeant if restraints other than handcuffs are used on a detainee in a holding cell.

9. Detainees Held in a Room Designated as an Interview or Interrogation Room Must Be Under Constant Observation

Officers will observe Detainees in person or by video monitor while in the interview or interrogation room.

10. The Department Will Not Tolerate the Victimization of Detainees Through Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment

11. Incidents of Sexual Abuse or Sexual Harassment of a Detainee Will be Reported and Investigated

12. Employees Will Protect Persons Likely to be Victimized in a Detention Setting

  • Employees will isolate known sex offenders from other detainees.
  • Employees will separate restrained detainees from unrestrained detainees.

13. Employees Will Pass on Information About a Detainee at Risk of Sexual Assault to Other Agencies that are Taking Custody of the Detainee

14. Detainees of a Different Sex Must be Detained Separately

Detainees will not be searched to determine their gender.

15. Adults and Juveniles Must be Detained Separately

a. Juveniles are detained out of the sight of adult detainees.

b. Employees will take reasonable steps to prevent juvenile detainees from hearing adult detainees.

c. Officers Shall not hold Juvenile Status Offenders and Non-Offenders in Locked Cells

Officers shall place status offenders and non-offenders in an “unsecured area” (e.g., non-locking interview room, or precinct lobby).

  • If a status offender or a non-offender must be held in a locked room for officer safety reasons, then it must be documented on the Juvenile Detainee Log Sheet (Form 12.4) and the General Offense Report.

A status offender is a juvenile that is taken into police custody for an offense that would not be a crime if committed by an adult.

  • Runaway
  • Underage possession or consumption of tobacco and alcohol products
  • Truancy
  • Curfew violations
  • or a warrant for any of the above

A non-offender is a juvenile under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court for reasons other than legally prohibited conduct.

  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Dependency
  • or a warrant for any of the above

d. The Department will Complete a Biannual Report

Per the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act and RCW 13.04.116, the Department will complete a report of juvenile detentions every six months.

  • The Audit, Policy and Research Section will coordinate the reporting with the precincts.

16. Detainees with Disabilities Require Special Consideration

Employees will provide reasonable accommodations to a detainee with a disability.

17. Officers Will Seek Medical Assistance for Detainees

Officers will request Seattle Fire Department respond when a detainee has an obvious injury or illness, or when the detainee makes a complaint of injury or illness.

Officers will document the assistance provided in the GO Report.

18. Officers Shall Obtain a Sergeant's Authorization for Detentions Over Two Hours

Officers will document the reason for the extended detention and the name of the screening sergeant on the log sheet.

19. Officers May Secure Detainees to a Fixed Object in the Holding Cell

a. A detainee’s behavior may require additional restraint within the holding cell.

b. Only fixed objects specifically designed for this purpose are used

  • Eye bolts secured to the floor
  • Steel bars built into the holding cell bench

c. Officers will transport detainees secured to a fixed object as soon as possible.

d. Officers will document the use of a fixed object in the GO Report.

20. The Use of the Spit Sock Hood Requires Special Application, Reporting and Screening -See 11.010-PRO-2 Application of the Spit Sock Hood

Officers may use the spit sock hood if the detainee is actively spitting on officers, or the officers have a reasonable belief that the detainee will spit on them.

11.010-PRO-1 Reviewing Detainee Log Sheets

Watch Lieutenant

1. Assigns a sergeant to review log sheets for their watch.


2. Reviews log sheet entries at the start of their watch and throughout their watch.

3. Corrects omissions or mistakes.

4. Submits the log sheets for that watch to the Watch Lieutenant.

Watch Lieutenant

5. Reviews the log sheets for that watch and approves if appropriate.

a. If there is a mistake or omission, sends the log sheet back to the Sergeant for correction.

6. Submits the approved log sheets to the Administrative Specialist.

Administrative Specialist

7. Retains Detainee Log Sheets for 2 years plus current.

11.010-PRO-2 Application of the Spit Sock Hood


1. Applies the spit sock hood once the subject is under control.

2. Affixes the spit sock hood to the subject’s head using the built in elastic band.

3. Notifies a sergeant that the spit sock hood was applied.

4. Observes the subject continuously (in person or via video) while he or she is wearing the spit sock hood.

a. Removes the spit sock hood and requests medical assistance if there are any indications of respiratory distress.

5. Assesses the continued need for the spit sock hood.


6. Screens the use of the spit sock hood and documents in the Arrest Screening Template.


7. Disposes the used spit sock hood in a biohazard waste container.

8. Documents in the General Offense Report the use of the spit sock hood by Seattle Police or any other agency (e.g., Seattle Fire, King County Jail, etc.), including:

a. Why the spit sock hood was applied,

b. Whether the officer observed any ill effects to the subject—or lack thereof—caused by the application of the spit sock hood.

9. Indicates on the appropriate Detainee Log Sheet that the spit sock hood was applied.

11.010-TSK-1 Securing a Detainee in a Department Holding Cell

When securing a detainee in a Department holding cell the Officer:

1. Performs an inventory search of the detainee and their property. -See: 11.050-PRO-1 Securing and Transporting Detainee Property

2. Removes potentially hazardous items from the detainee.

3. Enters the required information on the appropriate detainee log sheet.

4. Inspects the holding cell before placing the Detainee in the holding cell.

5. Secures the detainee in the holding cell.

6. Visually checks the detainee every 30 minutes and records the check on the appropriate log sheet.

7. Informs the transport officer that a detainee is ready for transport if applicable.