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General Policy Information


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Audit, Policy & Research Unit Manual

Code of Ethics

Mission Statement and Priorities

Recently Updated

Cross Reference

Latest Revision Date: 12/1/2014

Title 1 - Department Administration

1.010 - Authority and Jurisdiction

1.020 - Chain of Command

1.030 - Department Span of Control Chart

1.040 - Budget

1.050 - Grants

1.060 - Consultant Contract Administration

1.070 - Training

1.080 - Inspection and Audits

1.090 - Ticket Chain of Custody

1.100 - Ticket Audits

1.110 - Media Relations

Title 2 - Department Employment

2.020 - Appointments and Probation

2.030 - Retirements and Separations

2.050 - Collective Bargaining and Contract Management

2.060 - Grievances

2.070 - Performance Evaluations

Title 3 - Employee Welfare

3.035 - Reasonable Accommodation (ADA)

3.040 – Airborne Pathogens Control

3.045 - Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control

3.050 - Coordinating Officer Fatalities

3.070 - Performance Mentoring Program

3.080 - Travel Training System

3.090 - Employee Recognition Awards Program

3.170 - Honoring Those Killed in the Line of Duty

3.270 - Police Charity Committee

3.290 - Pre-Service/In-Service and Specialized Training

3.330 - Workplace Safety

3.340 - Employee Involvement Committees_JLMC

Title 4 - Human Resources

4.000 - Employee Move Tracking System (EMT)

4.005 - Police Employee Data System (PEDS)

4.010 - Employee Time Off

4.015 - Restricted Time Off for a Pre-Planned Event

4.020 - Reporting and Recording Overtime/Out of Classification Pay

4.030 - Jury Duty

4.040 - Sick Leave

4.050 - On-Duty Illness or Injury

4.060 - Long Term Disability Benefits

4.070 - Limited Duty Assignments

4.080 - Pregnancy

4.090 - Leave of Absence Without Pay

4.100 – Family and Medical Leave

4.110 - Sick Leave Donation

4.120 - Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Leave

4.130 - Military Leave

4.140 - Military Spouse/Domestic Partner Leave

4.150 - Funeral Leave

Title 5 - Employee Conduct

5.001 - Standards and Duties

5.002 - Responsibilities of Employees Concerning Complaints of Possible Misconduct

5.010 - Civil Actions

5.020 - Gifts and Gratuities

5.030 - Preparing for Criminal Case Interviews

5.040 - EEO Complaints and Investigations

5.060 - Employee Political Activity

5.090 - Operations Bureau General Personnel Matters

5.100 - Operations Bureau Individual Responsibilities

5.120 - Secondary Employment

5.130 - Supervisor/Employee Relationships

5.140 - Bias-Free Policing

Bias-Free Policing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

5.150 - Use of Private Vehicles for City Business

5.160 - Citizen Observation of Officers

5.170 - Alcohol and Substance Use

5.175 - Critical Incident Stress Management Communications

5.190 - Court Appearances and Legal Proceedings

5.200 - Americans With Disabilities Act

Title 6 - Arrests, Search and Seizure

6.010 - Reporting Arrests and Detentions

6.020 - Arrests and Detentions of Foreign Nationals

6.030 - Body Cavity Searches

6.060 - Collection of Information for Law Enforcement Purposes

6.120 - Impounding Vehicles

6.130 - Informant Management

6.135 - Cooperating Witnesses

6.140 - Locating a Cell Phone during an Emergency

6.150 - Advising Persons of Miranda

6.180 - Searches-General

6.181 - Performing Inventory Searches

6.185 - Search Warrants

6.210 - Strip Searches

6.220 - Voluntary Contacts, Terry Stops & Detentions

6.250 - Use of Non-SPD Canines

6.280 - Warrant Arrests

6.290 - Juvenile Investigations and Arrests

Title 7 - Evidence and Property

7.010 - Submitting Evidence

7.020 - Found Property

7.030 - Firearms & Shell Casings

7.040 - Dangerous or Hazardous Evidence

7.050 - Checking Out Evidence for Court

7.060 - Releasing Evidence

7.070 - Converting Evidence for Department Use

7.080 - Money Evidence

7.090 - Photographic Evidence

7.100 - Fingerprint Evidence

7.110 - Recorded Statements

7.120 - Narcotics Evidence

7.130 – Narcotics Training Aid and Investigative Use Drug Property Release

7.140 – Firearm Training Aid and Investigative Use

7.150 - Non-Detainee Property for Safekeeping

Title 8 - Use of Force

8.000 - Use of Force Core Principles

8.050 - Use of Force Definitions

8.100 - Using Force

8.200 - Use of Force Tools

8.210 - OC Chain of Custody

8.300 - Use of Force Reporting and Investigation

Use of Force Public Safety Statement Card

Investigating Supervisor Scene Guide

Investigating Supervisor Precinct Guide

Investigating Supervisor Documentation Guide

Involved Officer Statement Guide

Witness Officer Statement Guide

8.400 - Reviewing Use of Force

Reviewing Lieutenant Guide

Reviewing Captain Guide

8.500 - Firearms Discharge Investigations

Officer Involved Shooting-Public Safety Statement Card

8.600 - Review of Firearms Discharges

Use-of-Force Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Title 9 - Equipment and Uniforms

9.010 - Employee Dress Standards

9.020 - Uniform

9.030 - Equipment

Equipment Reference Catalog

9.040 - Uniform and Equipment Committee

9.050 - Clothing Allowance and Reimbursement for Personal Property

9.060 - Firearms

9.065 - Firearms Training and Qualification

9.100 - Department Firearms Management

Title 10 - Police Facilities & Security

10.010 - Parking at Department Facilities

10.020 - Physical Security of Police Facilities

10.060 - Holding Cell Camera System

Title 11 - Detainee Management

11.010 - Detainee Management in Department Facilities

11.020 - Transportation of Detainees

11.030 - Guarding Detainees at a Hospital

11.040 - Booking Adult Detainees

11.050 - Detainee Property

Title 12 - Department Information Systems

12.010 - Communications

12.030 - Computer Hardware & Devices

12.040 - Computer Software

12.045 - Booking Photo Comparison Software

12.050 - Criminal Records

12.055 - Criminal Justice Research

12.060 - Department Forms Control

12.070 - Department Publications

12.080 - Department Records Access, Inspection & Dissemination

12.090 - Departmental Correspondence

12.091 - Mobile Reporting Entity (MRE) Laptops

12.110 - Use of Department E-mail & Internet Systems

12.111 - Use of Cloud Storage Services

12.120 - Telephone and Facsimile Machine Use

Title 13 - Vehicle Operations

13.010 - Collisions Involving Department Vehicles

13.015 - Collision Review Board

13.030 - Emergency Vehicle Operations

13.031 - Vehicle Eluding/Pursuits

13.040 - Patrol Operations Equipment, Police Vehicles and Facilities

13.050 - Policing by Mountain Bike

13.060 - Specialty Vehicles & Equipment

13.080 - Use of Department Vehicles

Title 14 - Emergency Operations

14.010 - After-Action Reports

14.040 - Hazardous Conditions

14.060 - Serious Incident Plan

14.070 - Serious Injury or Fatality to a Police Officer

14.080 - Task Force Mobilization

14.090 - Demonstration Management

ICS Debrief Form

14.100 - Special Event Planning

Title 15 - Primary Investigation

15.010 - Arson Investigations

15.015 – Bomb Threats and Explosive Devices

15.020 - Charge by Officer

15.055 - Death Investigations

15.080 - Follow-up Unit Notification and Follow-up Investigation

15.090 - Graffiti Incidents

15.100 - Kidnapping

15.120 - Malicious Harassment

15.130 - Missing Persons

15.140 - Narcotics Activity Report

15.150 - Narcotics

15.160 - Marijuana Enforcement

15.180 - Primary Investigations

15.185 - Vulnerable Adults-Elder Abuse and Neglect

15.190 - Theft and Recovery of Vehicle, License Plates, or License Tabs

15.200 - Retail Theft Program

15.210 - Investigating Property Held by a Pawnshop or Used-Goods Store

15.215 - Domestic Violence Firearms Surrender

15.220 - Child Welfare

15.230 - Animal Control

15.240 - Boating Accidents

15.250 - Interpreters/Translators

15.260 - Collision Investigations

15.270 - Trespass Warning Program

15.275 - Enforcing Trespass in Parks

15.280 - DUI Investigations

15.290 - Stay Out of Areas of Prostitution (SOAP)

15.300 - Stay Out of Drug Areas (SODA)-Define Boundaries

15.310 - Foreign Nationals Seeking Asylum

15.320 - Police Action on Military Reservations

15.330 - Responding to Threats and Assaults on Officers

15.340 - Robbery Response

15.350 - Significant Incident Report

15.360 - Mobile Identification Devices

15.370 - Sexual Assault Investigation

Title 16 - Patrol Operations

16.010 - Adult Entertainment

16.020 - Alley Closure

16.030 - Citizen Rider Program

16.040 - Community Police Teams

16.050 - Death Notifications

16.070 - Responding to Monitored Alarms

16.080 - Fireworks Disposal and Disposition

16.090 - In Car Video System

16.091 - Body-Worn Video Pilot Program

16.100 - Patrol Training and Publications

16.110 - Crisis Intervention

16.130 - Sick and Injured Persons

16.135 - Excited Delirium

16.140 - Traffic Direction and Control

16.150 - Snow and Ice Plan

16.160 - Ticket Vendors

16.170 - Automatic License Plate Readers

16.180 - Patrol Operations Order

16.190 - Labor Management Disputes

16.230 - Issuing Tickets and Traffic Contact Reports

16.231 - Cancelling and Voiding Tickets

16.240 - Mutual Assistance

16.250 - Interaction with the University of Washington Police Department

2.020 – Appointments & Probation

Effective Date: 5/13/2011

I. Definitions

A. non-sworn employee: Any Department employee other than a sworn employee.

1. Auxiliary Programs: Auxiliary programs will be comprised of non-sworn employees (non-sworn) who may be assigned to law enforcement related community service functions. The duties of non-sworn s working in auxiliary programs do not require the status of a sworn employee. Some of the Department’s auxiliary programs include; the Victim Support Team, Explorers & Victim Advocates.

B. Sworn employee: A Department employee commissioned and empowered to enforce the criminal laws of the City of Seattle and State of Washington.

II. Appointment to Office

A. Chief of Police: The Chief of Police shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by a majority vote of all members of the City Council.

B. Subordinate Police Officers and Employees: All subordinate police officers shall be appointed by the Chief of Police under Civil Service Rules and Regulations.

III. Employee Identification

A. A serial number shall be assigned to each employee and shall be that person’s official identification within the Department. Each individual shall be responsible for including their name and serial number on all official reports and records prepared by them.

B. Official Department identification cards will be issued to employees by the Human Resources Section.

IV. Assignments - Sworn Employees

A. Police Academy Training

1. All police recruits shall satisfactorily complete the course of instruction for the Basic Law Enforcement Academy conducted by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. They may be temporarily assigned to other duties, excluding law enforcement, by the Chief of Police.

B. Openings

1. The Section/Unit Lieutenant or Captain of specialized and follow-up units must advertise an open position in the Department Notices at least 30 days prior to filling the position. Section/Unit Lieutenant or Captains will request that applicants submit a memo of interest and/or resume for the position.

2. The Section/Unit Lieutenant or Captains will send a memo to each applicant stating that their memo of interest/resume has been received.

3. The Section/Unit Lieutenant or Captain will submit a memo to their Bureau Chief noting the top three candidates in order of priority. The memo will also list the names of all the employees applying for the position, in alphabetical order. The Bureau Chief will decide who will fill the position after consulting with the Section/Unit Lieutenant or Captain.

4. The Section/Unit Lieutenant or Captain (or designee) will send a memo notifying the person selected for the position. A memo will also be sent to each person who applied for the position and was not selected. This will be done before any official or unofficial announcement.

5. In an effort to assist candidates to be more competitive for future openings, Captains, Lieutenants and Sergeants will provide appropriate feedback and recommendations, (e.g. training, experience, improved skills, etc.) to the employees not selected for the position.

C. Voluntary Transfer Requests

1. The initial request for transfer is made by submitting a Department Memorandum through the employee’s chain of command to the appropriate Section Captain.

2. When a transfer is likely to occur, the Section Captain will advise the employee to submit a Personnel Transfer Justification/Request (form 1.82.)

3. The authority to sign transfer orders between bureaus is delegated to the Chief of Staff.

D. Change of Assignment Reporting Time

1. Employees who have been transferred, detailed, or temporarily assigned to another section or unit will be excused from duty during the eight hour period immediately preceding the effective time and date of the assignment change.

E. Detective Course and Assignment

1. Police detective or investigator assignments will require successful completion of a course of training established by the Captain of the Education & Training Section. The Captain of the Education & Training Section shall establish a training schedule to best maintain a sufficient number of eligible candidates for the detective vacancies within the Department.

2. The Detective Course shall be scheduled and administered by the Education & Training Section and will include academic blocks of instruction as well as practical exercises for skill related training. The course will be structured around three core elements:

a. Criminal Law

b. Criminal Investigations

c. Department Policy and Procedures related to criminal investigations.

3. Competency in all three core elements must be shown by successful completion of an examination at the end of the course.

4. Upon the successful completion of the Detective’s Course, the employee’s training record will be updated to reflect their eligibility status. Detective unit sergeants may verify a prospective candidate’s eligibility by contacting the Advanced Education & Training Section. The employee’s eligibility for a Detective’s position will not expire.

5. Selection of personnel for a detective assignment shall be at the discretion of the respective Bureau Chief.


a. In the event a particular individual is needed for a specific detective assignment and that individual has not completed the Detective’s Course or has not worked a detective assignment, said individual must successfully complete the next scheduled Detective Course.


(1) Failure to pass the Detective Course will eliminate their eligibility to work in a detective assignment. Eligibility may only be regained by passing the next scheduled Detective Course.

V. Probation

A. non-sworn Employees

1. The probationary period shall be equivalent to twelve (12) months full-time service from the date of hire.

B. Sworn Employees

1. The probationary period shall be twelve (12) months from the date a police recruit successfully completes the Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy. Minor absences due to vacations, annual military leaves, illnesses, etc., shall not be construed as interrupting the probationary period. If absences become excessive, the Executive Director of the Civil Service Commission will approve a Departmental request for an extension of the probationary period. (Public Safety Civil Service Commission Rule 12.02)

C. Requests for Regular Status

1. At the end of the eleventh month of probation, the sworn probationer’s Section Captain or the non-sworn probationer’s sergeant shall submit a written report encompassing the probationer’s work performance record and qualifications and shall include a recommendation as to whether the probationer should be granted permanent status. This report shall be sent to the Human Resources Section no later than one week after the end of the eleventh month of probation.

VI. Appointments

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 Seattle Center Unit and are responsible for aiding and supplementing the Department in matters of routine police duty and assisting in the event of emergencies.

3. Unretired 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 - Retirements 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 enforce laws and ordinances, beyond that of any other citizen, as provided for by law.

VII. Remedial Training

A. If deficiencies are identified in performance evaluations, the Department will provide the employee remedial training. The Education & Training Section Captain will report the progress of the remedial training to the Chief of Staff and document if the deficiencies have been addressed.