13.010 - Collisions Involving Department Vehicles

Effective Date: 05/01/2017

13.010-POL

This policy applies to all collisions involving Department vehicles (includes any marked or unmarked vehicle that is owned, leased, rented, seized, donated or acquired through a collaborative program), regardless of the amount of damage or lack thereof. This policy applies to all sworn and non-sworn Department employees.

For policy on damage discovered during a pre-shift inspection, please see Manual Section 13.080(5.)  

1. All Collisions Shall be Investigated by a Traffic or Patrol Unit, or the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad (TCIS), if Applicable

Exception: Collisions occurring during authorized driver training, involving no misconduct or gross negligence.

2. Officers Shall Document All Collisions Involving Department Employees

a. Officers Will Use a Police Traffic Collision Report When There is:

At least $1,000 in damage to any involved vehicle, or

Any involved person injured, or

Any traffic crime committed

b. Officers Will Use a General Offense Report in Other Circumstances

Officers will title these reports “Traffic Incident” to document employee-involved collisions, in any one of the following circumstances:

Damage appears to be less than $1,000, or

Location of collision is restricted to police employees only, or

At a facility not open to the public, and damage appears to be less than $1,000

A supervisor may order the completion of a collision report if circumstances warrant.

c. Officers Will Not Use SECTOR to Document Employee-Involved Collisions

3. A Sergeant Will Respond to Every Employee-Involved Collision

4. Sergeants Responding to an Employee-Involved Collision Will Notify an On-Duty Lieutenant or Duty Captain

5. Employees Involved in a Collision Will Not Investigate Their Own Collision

6. SPD Employees Will Not Investigate Collisions Outside the City

The outside agency with jurisdiction will investigate all collisions involving department vehicles that occur outside the city.

7. The Responding Sergeant May Request a Response by TCIS

The TCIS supervisor will make the final decision about whether TCIS will respond.

8. Supervisors Shall Review All Collisions Involving Department Vehicles

Supervisors will use Blue Team for every employee-involved vehicle collision, regardless of visible damage or monetary loss.

13.010-TSK-1 Department Employee Involved in a Collision

Upon being involved in a collision, the involved employee:

1. Checks for injuries and renders first aid.

2. Notifies a supervisor immediately.

3. Remains on the scene until relieved by an on-scene supervisor.

4. Completes a Statement (form 9.27) and a diagram of the scene on a Sketch Sheet (form 5.7.1)

5. Provides the completed forms to the investigating Traffic or Patrol officer.

13.010-TSK-2 Traffic or Patrol Officer Responding to an Employee-Involved Collision

In responding to an employee-involved collision, the investigating Traffic or Patrol officer:

1. Completes a PTCR if:

- At least $1,000 in damage, or

- Injury, or

- Traffic crime

If a PTCR is not required, writes a General Offense Report and Lists “Traffic” in the “Offense” block.

2. Takes no enforcement action for collisions involving Department vehicles that occur in the course of an emergency response.

- TCIS will assume follow-up responsibilities for these collisions.

3. Diagrams the scene on a Sketch Sheet (form 5.7.1).

13.010-TSK-3 Patrol or Traffic Sergeant Investigating an Employee-Involved Collision

In responding to an employee-involved collision, the investigating Patrol or Traffic sergeant:

1. Responds to all Department vehicle collisions.

2. Notifies an on-duty lieutenant or duty captain.

3. Summons medical aid for any injured person, or anyone complaining of injury.

4. Determines if TCIS should be called, per criteria listed in Seattle Police Manual Section 17.090-Collision Investigations.

a. If TCIS does not respond, oversees the investigation and proceeds to step 5.

b. If TCIS does respond, yields the investigation to TCIS detective or supervisor.

5. Examines the damage at the collision scene.

6. Takes digital photos of the collision scene including, at minimum:

- The police vehicle,

- The other vehicle(s) or property involved and two different views of the scene.

7. Obtains a Statement (form 9.27) from the involved employee.

8. Includes a diagram of the collision scene on a Sketch Sheet (form 5.7.1) with all reports filed.

9. Completes a Blue Team entry Officer-Involved Collision.

a. Includes the involved employee’s driver license information and a complete description of the circumstances surrounding the collision in the Blue Team Incident Summary. Supervisors will include:

- Officer’s driving response

- Unit type (vehicle description: marked, subdued, type of light bar)

- Vehicle action

- Light conditions – day light, night, dusk/dawn

- Emergency equipment used – lights, siren

- In-car video status

- Officer’s DOL status – active, suspended

10. Uploads photos from the media card to the Digital Evidence Management System (DEMS).

11. Forwards the original PTCR or General Offense Report to Records.

12. Attaches a copy of the PCTR or General Offense Report, officer statement, sketch sheet, and impound sheet to the Blue Team entry. And forwards the Blue Team entry through the involved officer’s chain of command.

13. Uploads all photos to DEMS.

14. Forwards the Blue Team entry to the involved officer’s sergeant or, in the event of a non-sworn driver, to his or her supervisor.

13.010-TSK-4 Reviewing Sergeant Investigating an Officer-Involved Collision

In reviewing an employee-involved collision, the officer’s sergeant (who may be the same sergeant overseeing the collision investigation):

1. Reviews the Blue Team entry, recommends in the comment section preventable or non-preventable.

2. Makes written recommendations in Blue Team entry comments section concerning whether the collision was preventable or non-preventable.

3. Forwards the Blue Team entry to the involved employee’s lieutenant.

13.010-TSK-5 Duties of a Lieutenant in Reviewing an Officer-Involved Collision

In reviewing the documentation of an officer-involved collision, a lieutenant:

1. Makes written recommendations in Blue Team entry comments section concerning whether the collision was preventable or non-preventable.

2. Forwards Blue Team entry to the involved officer’s section/precinct captain.

13.010-TSK-6 Duties of a Section/Precinct Captain in Reviewing an Officer-Involved Collision

In reviewing the Blue Team entry of an officer-involved collision, a Section/Precinct Captain:

1. Makes written recommendations in the Blue Team entry comments section concerning whether the collision was preventable or non-preventable.

2. Forwards Blue Team entry to the QA Intake Unit in IAPro, which will disseminate the entry to the Collision Review Board.