General Policy Information
Latest Revision Date: 3/3/2014
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: 12/4/2009
An Early Intervention System (EIS) and Program has been developed for the purposes of identifying and supporting Department employees who demonstrate symptoms of job stress, training deficiencies and/or personal problems that may affect job performance. The first tier shall consist of several criteria that will be used to identify employees that exhibit certain defined stress indicators. The second tier shall consist of a series of steps and actions designed to intervene in the employee’s behalf in a positive and supportive manner.
The purpose of the Program shall be to identify employees exhibiting signs of stress, intervene and provide support and counseling before the stress can affect the employees’ performance or result in conduct that is contrary to the mission and fundamental values of the Seattle Police Department. The ultimate goal of the program is to support the employee’s career development through counseling, training and correcting behaviors that may cause performance concerns.
The Seattle Police Department Early Intervention System is an element of an effective and supportive personnel management program. An essential feature of this program is the early identification of employees who demonstrate potential symptoms of job stress, training deficiencies, or personal problems that affect safety or job performance. If identified for early intervention, various assistance strategies shall be tailored to address the specific issues affecting the employee.
The Early Intervention System shall employ intervention strategies that are not punitive or disciplinary in nature. Using a two-tiered approach, the Early Intervention System and Program shall identify and support employees who demonstrate characteristics that may affect job performance. The first tier shall consist of several objective, job-related Indicator Criteria to identify employees who exhibit certain defined stress indicators. The second tier shall consist of intervention strategies designed to assist the employee in a positive and supportive manner.
An employee shall be subject to review by the EIS Review Team when threshold levels for certain Indicator Criteria are met as described in the Matrix of Indicator Criteria and Threshold Levels (see page 2).
A. Ad Hoc Participants: Department employees who may be added to an intervention review process whenever pertinent or necessary.
B. Aggregate Indicator: An accumulation of certain Indicator Criteria to a defined threshold number and is then itself considered an Indicator Criteria and may trigger an intervention action when such aggregate number is reached.
C. EIS Review Team: An unbiased, objective group of Department employees established for purposes of providing a systematic and comprehensive review of defined Indicator Criteria when such review is necessary and rendering an Intervention Recommendation to the Chief of Police.
D. EIS Coordinator: A sworn employee assigned to the Human Resources Section at the rank of Sergeant or higher responsible for monitoring EIS data, administering the automated EIS Program, and acting as facilitator of the EIS Review Team.
E. Ex Officio: A non-voting member or participant.
F. Indicator Criteria: An event or incident that is used as a marker or indicator that may trigger an intervention review.
G. Intervention Strategies: A series of actions or steps designed and recommended by the EIS Review Team to assist the employee in a positive and supportive way.
H. Threshold: A point of level that, when reached, may trigger an intervention action.
II. Matrix of Indicator Criteria and Threshold Levels
Indicator Criteria Threshold Levels
A. Receipt of commendations or awards. Reviewed by the Chief’s Office for consideration of additional recognition.
B. Supervisory recommendations. Each will be reviewed.
C. Use of force. Seven (7) incidents of use within 6 months.
D. Vehicle collisions. Three (3) within 24 months (preventable and nonpreventable).
E. Failure to appear for court. Three (3) incidents within 12 months.
F. Failure to appear for training. Three (3) incidents within 24 months.
G. Named in Police Action Claims or lawsuit against the City/Department. Two (2) or more within 3 years.
H. Receipt of OPA or EEO complaints. Three (3) complaints within 12 months.
I. Aggregate indicator. Five (5) incidents involving Indicator Criteria D. through H. within a 12-month period.
NOTE: Additional Indicator Criteria and associated Threshold Levels may be developed under the program, as necessary.
III. Intervention Review Protocol
A. EIS Review Report.
1. The Early Intervention System and Program has been established to provide an objective, systematic review of defined intervention criteria. It is designed to identify certain behavior indicators that may otherwise be insignificant when examined individually and, in so doing, allow the Department to support and assist the employee in addressing identified behavior patterns.
2. The employee’s immediate supervisor and chain of command shall be involved in the analysis of any employee identified as qualifying for the EIS Program. Once an employee is identified for EIS review, the EIS Coordinator in Human Resources shall notify the appropriate supervisor. The employee and his or her supervisor shall meet to review and discuss the initiating criteria and any other relevant circumstances. At the meeting, the supervisor will:
a. Explain the purpose and process of an EIS Review.
b. Discuss the factors leading to the review.
c. Attempt to identify any causes that may have led to the review.
3. In order to obtain a more complete view of an employee’s situation, the complete EIS review shall include as appropriate, but is not limited to, a review and discussion of the following:
a. Assignments during and immediately prior to the identified period (the period of time during which the criteria that triggered the review occurred).
b. Any performance evaluations during that period, and/or interviews with present and prior supervisors.
c. Commendations, letters of appreciation, and awards.
d. All complaints and findings.
e. On-duty vehicle collisions and off-duty vehicle collisions if operating a city vehicle.
f. Available information in tort claims or lawsuits.
g. Training history.
h. Use of force.
i. Absenteeism and other leave usage in conjunction with the Department’s Wellness Program.
j. Number of arrests for obstructing, resisting arrest, or hindering a law enforcement officer.
k. Any other information that may prove helpful in the overall evaluation.
4. The supervisor shall prepare an EIS Review that outlines the initial meeting with the employee, outlines the information reviewed, and any supervisory recommendations, which may include the recommendation of no further action.
5. The review shall be completed within thirty days of notification by the EIS Coordinator and forwarded back to the EIS Coordinator in Human Resources who will determine if the review is to be forwarded to the EIS Review Team.
6. The EIS Review Team shall conduct a review and analysis of the EIS Review Report and make a determination on whether or not there is a need for an intervention.
IV. Intervention Process
A. If applicable, the employee’s supervisor and the next supervisor in the chain of command shall meet with the EIS Review Team.
B. The Early Intervention System employs intervention strategies that are not punitive or disciplinary in nature and that are separate from the complaint investigation and discipline processes. The consideration of complaints in determining intervention strategies does not imply that these complaints have been or will be sustained. Should it be determined that an intervention is needed, intervention strategies may include, but are not limited to:
1. Review of related Departmental policies.
2. Coaching (a form of non-disciplinary counseling, by the employee’s supervisor or other organizational resource)
3. Career Development Activities, including training (e.g.: individual training, complaint avoidance, verbal de-escalation, EVOC, defensive tactics, cultural diversity, human behavior, stress management, conflict management) and potential assignment options.
4. Referral to identified counseling or therapy program.
C. Intervention is not disciplinary, and shall not be used instead of disciplinary action, which is a separate process from EIS. However, an EIS action does not preclude the investigation of an incident and any discipline that may result.
D. Participation by Departmental employees in recommended intervention(s) may be voluntary or mandated.
E. The EIS Review Team shall make a determination as to whether an intervention will be mandatory.
F. The Chief of Police or designee shall approve All EIS Review Team recommendations for an intervention strategy.
G. Participation in Departmentally mandated intervention strategies shall be considered on-duty for timekeeping purposes.
H. Following a decision by the EIS Review Team that intervention is appropriate, the employee’s next two levels of supervision and other members of the chain of command that the supervisor deems appropriate shall meet with the employee to:
1. Review with the employee any issues identified during the review and any available, recommended or mandated intervention strategies.
2. Clarify and answer any questions the employee may have about the process, the issues or the intervention strategies.
3. Obtain additional input from the employee on EIS Review Team recommendations.
4. Advise the employee of any other resources available that may be of assistance.
I. The Bureau Chief of the affected employee shall have ultimate responsibility for ensuring that recommendations of the EIS Review Team are implemented within a reasonable time, usually not to exceed 24 days from the time the recommendation was made and forwarded back to the EIS Coordinator.
J. The employee’s supervisor shall be responsible for monitoring and notifying the EIS Coordinator, no less than monthly, of the status of any intervention strategy until it is completed.
V. Post Intervention Monitoring
A. Once the employee has completed the recommended intervention strategy, the employee’s supervisor shall notify the Bureau Chief through the chain of command, who shall then notify the EIS Coordinator.
VI. Roles & Responsibilities
A. The Early Intervention System and Program shall be facilitated and administered by the Human Resources Section. The EIS Review Team shall consist of the EIS Coordinator, the SPD HR Director, the Department Legal Advisor, the Training Captain, the Bureau Chief of the affected employee, a designated union representative and ad hoc participants, as appropriate. The Human Resources Section will complete an annual evaluation of the Early Intervention System and Program and document their findings.
B. The roles and responsibilities of each participant are as follows:
1. EIS Coordinator.
a. The EIS Coordinator shall serve as an ex officio member of the EIS Review Team and shall monitor the EIS data for the occurrence of employees who have reached established EIS criteria threshold(s). Upon recognition that an employee has reached such a status or has a new event for a previously reviewed criterion, the EIS Coordinator shall notify the appropriate supervisor and request that an assessment of circumstances is provided. Upon receipt of the report summarizing this assessment the EIS Coordinator shall monitor the review and the intervention process.
2. SPD HR Director.
a. The SPD HR Director shall present information related to personnel, labor and employment law issues.
3. Department Legal Advisor.
a. The Department Legal Advisor shall represent the legal rights and obligations of the Department.
4. Training Captain.
a. The Training Captain shall identify internal and external training opportunities and resources that could be made available to the employee. The Training Captain shall further address broad based Departmental needs that may be a direct result of the event(s) in question.
5. Bargaining Unit Representative.
a. A bargaining unit representative shall be present during discussion(s) of the EIS Review Team. As a non-disciplinary proceeding, participation shall be focused on identifying the context of the working environment and resources available to the employee.
6. Bureau Chief.
a. Upon notification by the EIS Coordinator that one of his/her employees has triggered an intervention review, the Bureau Chief shall direct the appropriate chain of command in making an assessment of related circumstances and providing a report of findings to the EIS Coordinator. The Bureau Chief may present the findings and report regarding the employee’s EIS record to the EIS Review Team. The Bureau Chief shall be responsible for ensuring that all recommendations for intervention are implemented. The interventions shall be implemented within a reasonable time, usually not to exceed 24 days from the time the recommendation was issued.
7. Ad Hoc Participants.
a. Additional participants will be included as appropriate to the specific nature of or interest in the triggering criteria.
VII. System Integrity
A. The Department shall ensure that the Early Intervention System is free of erroneous information. When an employee disagrees with information contained in his or her EIS report, the information in question should be brought to the attention of the employee’s supervisor. The supervisor will communicate these details by requesting a review for a change or removal with the supporting documentation. The request for change must be made in writing by the employee’s immediate supervisor and approved by the next supervisor in the chain of command, who will then forward it to the attention of the EIS Coordinator. The EIS Review Team shall review the information submitted, make further inquiry if necessary, and advise the concerned supervisors of the historical documentation in the files. The EIS records shall be changed when they are shown to be incorrect. Moreover, if documentation is received that supports change in the EIS record for one employee and there are other involved employees with the same standing
, changes will be made for all employees accordingly.
VIII. Access To Early Intervention System & Data
A. Upon request, employees shall be given a copy of their own existing EIS Review Report(s) on file. Additionally, supervisors may provide employees with a copy of their EIS Review Report with the annual Performance Evaluation. Supervisors can obtain copies of their employees’ reports via the EIS Coordinator. The Chief of the Field Support Bureau shall approve exceptions to the policy on access levels. Users of EIS data shall be strictly held accountable for the information’s privacy and confidentiality. Inappropriate use may result in discipline and possible criminal prosecution.
B. Any request for specialized reports using the EIS data shall be directed to the EIS Coordinator and approved by the Chief of the Field Support Bureau.
IX. Retention of Records
A. Records associated with EIS shall be maintained in accordance with the State of Washington General Retention Schedule for Law Enforcement Agencies.