General Policy Information
Latest Revision Date: 12/1/2014
Title 1 - Department Administration
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: 5/13/2011
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.
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.
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.
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.