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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

5.002 – Responsibilities of Employees Concerning Complaints of Possible Misconduct

Effective Date: 01/01/2015 


This policy applies to the reporting and investigation of possible misconduct from the public, employees of the Department, or others.

The purpose of these procedures is to provide a prompt, just, and open disposition of complaints regarding the conduct of employees.

To this end, the department welcomes criticism of department procedures and complaints against its employees from members of the public. The department considers all complaints against the agency and any of its employees and fully investigates all such complaints as appropriate.

1.     The Department Shall Accept Complaints from Any Source and by Any Means

The Department will accept complaints from any source including, but not limited to the following:

  • The subject of a police incident
  • A witness
  • A third party (such as a parent or spouse of the subject)
  • A legal representative
  • Outside agencies
  • An anonymous person
  • SPD personnel
  • The director of the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA)

Complaints may be verbal or in writing.

2.     Employees Will Assist Any Person Who Wishes to File a Complaint

In addition to other obligations that may arise under other parts of this manual (e.g., 5.140 – Bias-Free Policing #’s 6, 7) or Department policy or procedure, employees will assist the complainant by:

  • Taking the complaint and passing it on to a supervisor and OPA (see also ¶ 6 below)
  • Providing specific information to the complainant on where and how to file the complaint
  • Immediately putting the complainant in contact with a supervisor or other individual who can assist them with filing their complaint

3.     Employees Shall Not Discourage, Interfere With, Hinder, or Obstruct Any Person from Making a Complaint or Conducting or Cooperating with an Investigation of a Complaint

4.     Retaliation Is Prohibited

No employee shall retaliate against any person who does any of the following:

  • Exercises a constitutional right
  • Records an incident
  • Makes a public disclosure request
  • Publicly criticizes an SPD employee or the Department
  • Initiates litigation
  • Opposes any practice that is reasonably believed to be unlawful or in a violation of Department policy
  • Files a complaint or provides testimony or information related to a complaint of misconduct
  • Provides testimony or information for any  other administrative criminal or civil proceeding involving the Department or an officer
  • Communicates and intent to engage in the above-described activities
  • Otherwise engages in lawful behavior

Retaliation includes discouragement, intimidation, coercion, or adverse action against any person. This prohibition will include any interference with the conduct of an administrative, civil, or criminal investigation.

Such retaliation may be a criminal act, may give rise to personal civil liability, or constitute independent grounds for discipline, up to and including termination.

5.     Supervisors Will Investigate and Document Certain Allegations of Misconduct

Supervisory employees shall fully investigate and take corrective action, within the scope of their authority, when they witness or receive allegations of employee misconduct related to the following:

  • Minor Rudeness (absent bias)
  • Traffic and parking infractions
  • Profanity not directed as an insult
  • Employee tardiness
  • Uniform, equipment and personal appearance
  • Poor work product
  • Instances where a member of the public wishes to appeal the receipt of a ticket or the outcome of an investigation or report (absent allegations of bias-based policing)

6.     Employees Must Otherwise Report Misconduct

Employees must report both any conduct that a reasonable officer would believe is misconduct and any allegations of misconduct brought to their attention that fall outside those areas listed in above to a supervisor or directly to OPA.

This reporting requirement also applies to allegations of uses of force that have not yet been reported.

Employees, who witness or become aware of misconduct or a complaint of misconduct, shall take action to prevent aggravation of the incident or the loss of evidence that could prove or disprove misconduct.

All employees observing dangerous or criminal misconduct or abuse shall intervene to stop it.

See 5.001-TSK-1 Employee Reporting Allegation of Misconduct.

7.     A Supervisor May Relieve a Subordinate Employee of Duty

If immediate relief from duty is necessary to protect the Department, the employee, or the public, a supervisor may relieve a subordinate employee from duty and place the employee on Administrative Leave for up to 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays).

Supervisors shall notify a higher-ranking employee before going off duty in cases where immediate investigative action by the OPA may be necessary. If warranted, the higher ranking employee shall notify OPA immediately.  After hours, the Communications Section will follow its callout procedure for OPA.

8.     Employees Will Avoid Conflicts of Interest Regarding Complaints

Employees’ duty to avoid and disclose actual, potential, or apparent conflicts of interest (see 5.0001-POL) extends to the complaint process as well.  

If a supervisor is the subject of a complaint, the employee receiving the complaint shall refer the complaint to the next highest level employee in the supervisor’s chain of command.

If the subject of the complaint is assigned to OPA, the employee receiving the report shall forward the complaint to the OPA Director.

If the subject of the complaint is the OPA Director, the complaint is forwarded to the City Human Resources Director.

9.     Employees Will Report Certain Events

Employees shall report to their supervisor, in writing, as soon as practical (and before the start of their next work shift) any of the following circumstances occurring in any jurisdiction:

  • They are the subject of a criminal investigation, criminal traffic citation, arrest, or conviction
  • They are the respondent of an order of protection, restraining order, no contact order, anti-harassment order
  • Their Washington driver license is expired, suspended, revoked, or restricted, for example, with an ignition interlock driver license

10.   The OPA Manual Dictates OPA Procedures

11.   Employees Shall Cooperate with Department Internal Investigations

Employees shall truthfully answer all questions, render complete, comprehensive statements, and provide all material related to investigations of misconduct. The statements will include all facts and circumstances surrounding the subject matter of the investigation, which are known by the employee.

Omissions of material fact shall be classified as failure to cooperate in an internal investigation. Employees must promptly and affirmatively disclose all evidence and witnesses they know or reasonably should have known were material to the investigation.  Failure to do so may result in discipline.

Violation of this policy by employees may result in discipline, up to and including termination, as well as possible civil penalties, criminal prosecution and loss of Washington State law enforcement certification.

12.   OPA Maintains a Record of all Complaints Referred

All complaints of possible misconduct and any files related to these complaints shall be secured within OPA offices for a period of time consistent with the Department’s record retention policies.


5.002-TSK-1 Employee Reporting Allegation of Misconduct to OPA

When any employee is referring an allegation of misconduct to OPA, the employee:

1. Gathers all of the following information, if possible:

  • Nature of the alleged incident
  • Date of the alleged incident
  • Place where the alleged incident occurred
  • Name of employee involved or their serial number and other description
  • Name, address, and telephone number of the complainant, aggrieved party, and all known witnesses
  • A detailed summary of the complaint
  • Information about perishable and other known evidence, including video recordings
  • Whether the investigation presents any actual, potential, or apparent conflicts of interest

2. Assembles any supporting documentation.

3. Documents the complaint on a Complaint Blue Team entry and forwards the entry to OPA via the chain of command.

Exception: If the employee named in the allegation is assigned to OPA, OPA Director receives the complaint directly.


Exception: If the complaint is of a sensitive nature and the employee does not want it to be viewed by the chain of command, the employee may forward it directly to the OPA Lieutenant. 


Exception: If the complaint is an EEO complaint, the employee shall refer to 5.040-PRO-1.