General Policy Information
Latest Revision Date: 11/20/2013
Title 1 - Department Structure and Function
Title 2 - Department Employment
Title 3 - Employee Welfare
Title 4 - Human Resources
Title 5 - Employee Conduct
Title 6 - Arrests, Search and Seizure
Title 7 - Evidence and Property
Title 8 - Use of Force
Title 9 - Equipment and Uniforms
Title 10 - Police Facilities & Security
Title 11 - Detainee Management
Title 12 - Department Information Systems
Title 13 - Vehicle Operations
Title 14 - Emergency Operations
Title 15 - Primary Investigation
Title 16 - Patrol Operations
Effective Date: 5/22/2009
I. Functional Structure
A. The Seattle Police Department is organized along departmental and functional lines, combining the advantages of direct lines of authority with assistance from various specialized units.
1. Chief of Police - Overall commander of the Department.
2. Deputy Chief - The command of the Department is organized under two Deputy Chief positions subordinate to the Chief of Police.
a. Deputy Chief of Operations.
b. Deputy Chief of Administration.
3. Bureau: The Department is divided into four bureaus commanded by an Assistant Chief, subordinate to a Deputy Chief.
a. Criminal Investigations Bureau
b. Special Operations Bureau
c. Patrol Operations Bureau
d. Field Support Bureau
4. Section - A primary subdivision of a Bureau with department-wide responsibility for providing a specific specialized function.
5. Unit - A subdivision of a Section, usually small in size, with personnel assigned to per-form a specialized activity; or, one or two employees performing assigned work.
6. Squad - A subdivision of a Unit.
7. Detail - A subdivision of a Squad.
8. Precinct - The primary geographic subdivision of the Patrol Operations Bureau.
9. Sector - The primary geographic subdivision of a Precinct, supervised by a sergeant.
10. Beat - The primary geographic subdivision of a Sector.
11. Post - A fixed geographic location usually assigned to an individual officer.
12. Watch or Shift - One of several tours of duty
13. Task Force - An ad hoc work group, normally established by a Bureau Chief to re-spond to a specific incident or series of related incidents. Task Force assignments are temporary and specialized. The establishing Bureau Chief shall set a reporting schedule for the Task Force Captain and shall periodically assess the ongoing need for the Task Force.
II. Command of Police Department
A. The Chief of Police shall exercise command over all personnel within the Department.
B. In the absence of the Chief of Police, or in the event the Chief is incapacitated, the order of succession to the command of the Seattle Police Department shall be as follows:
1. Deputy Chief of Operations
2. Deputy Chief of Administration (Chief of Staff)
3. Assistant Chief, Patrol Operations Bureau
4. Assistant Chief, Investigations Bureau
5. Assistant Chief, Field Support Bureau
6. Assistant Chief, Special Operations Bureau
III. Ranks of Authority
A. The following ranks of authority (in descending order) shall establish the chain of command within the Seattle Police Department.
1. Chief of Police
2. Deputy Chief
3. Assistant Chief of Police (Bureau Command)
4. Captain (Precinct or Section Command)
5. Lieutenant (Section, Watch, or Unit Command)
6. Sergeant (Unit or Squad Command)
7. Police Officer
A. Except for the Chief of Police (appointed by the Mayor), Deputy Chief(s) and Assistant Chief(s) (appointed by the Chief of Police), all other sworn appointments are made by the Chief of Police on a permanent basis from a certified Civil Service list.
B. Police Recruits, Police Reserves, and Other Commissions
1. Police Recruits: The duties of such position shall be to attend the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission accredited Police Academy until graduation and to perform other duties as assigned by the Chief of Police. The duties of a police recruit shall not include law enforcement duties, nor shall any employee holding such position be considered a law enforcement officer for purpose of any State law relating to police pensions. The Chief of Police may appoint and swear police recruits as police officers upon their graduation from the State accredited Academy.
2. Police Reserves: Police Reserves are volunteer personnel selected from the community who serve without pay. They are under the Command of the Education & Training Section and are responsible for aiding and supplementing the Department in matters of routine police duty and assisting in the event of emergencies.
3. Retired Police Officer Commissions: The Chief of Police, at his discretion, may grant an extended authority Retired Police Officer Commission to any Seattle Police Officer who is retired in good standing for service and not for disability. Said authority may not be used in any employment or profession except uniformed security employment. See 2.030 - Retirement and Separations.
4. Special Police Commissions: Special Police Commissions may be approved by the Assistant Chief of the Field Support Bureau as a representative of the Chief of Police. The Employment Services Section is responsible for processing all applications. The duties of Commissioned Special Police will conform to City Ordinance. Special Police Commissions are valid only during the performance of duties for which the commission was issued.
5. Honorary Police Commissions: Honorary Police Commissions may be issued by the Chief of Police to:
a. non-sworn Employees - Legal Advisor, etc.
b. Professional Consultants - Chaplain Corps, etc.
c. Any other individual whose activities warrant formal Departmental recognition or identification.
d. Honorary Police Commission holders shall have no authority or responsibility to en-force laws and ordinances, beyond that of any other citizen, as provided for by law.