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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: 10/28/2014

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 - Criminal Case Testimony

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 Right to Counsel and Miranda

6.180 - Searches-General

6.181 - Performing Inventory Searches

6.185 - Search Warrants

6.210 - Strip Searches

6.220 - Voluntary Contacts and Terry Stops

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

8.300 - 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

Uniform Reference Catalog

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

16.100 - 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

5.060 – Employee Political Activity

Effective Date: 7/13/2004


Seattle Police Department Employees have the same political freedoms as all other citizens. But because of their City jobs, State and City laws may restrict some political activity. Employees shall be familiar with the City’s Code of Ethics (SMC 4.16) and Elections Code (SMC 2.04).

I. Permitted Campaign Activity

A. State law, RCW 41.06.250, provides that employees have the right to:

1. Vote,

2. Express opinions on all political subjects and candidates,

3. Hold any political party office,

4. Participate in the management of a partisan, political campaign,

5. Participate fully in campaigns relating to constitutional amendments, referendums, initiatives, and issues of a similar character, and

6. Participate fully in campaigns for nonpartisan offices.

II. Prohibited Campaign Activity

A. The exercise of those rights, however, are subject to the provisions of State law (RCW 42.17A.555), and the Seattle Municipal Code, SMC 2.04.300, which prohibit the use of City facilities for political purposes. The Seattle Code of Ethics (SMC 4.16.070(2)(a) and (b) prohibits the use of a City position for private benefit, and the use of City funds and facilities for other than a City purpose. SMC 2.04.300 and SMC 4.16.070(2)(a) and (b) prohibit City officers and employees from:

1. Engaging in campaign work (volunteer or paid) during City paid time, except vacation time,

2. Using office space, telephones, stationary, etc., at any time, to assist a candidate or to support or oppose a ballot measure; and

a. For example, signs, bumper stickers, photos, invitations to fund raisers, position papers, etc., may not be displayed on City bulletin boards, walls of City work areas, or City vehicles

b. City officers and employees may not solicit campaign funds (verbally or with literature) or petition for signatures on City property, at any time.

3. Using their City position to endorse or oppose a candidate or ballot issue.

a. For example, a City employee may give an endorsement speech to a local service club, as long as the employee clearly states that this is the employee’s personal position and not a City position.

(1) The exception to this rule, however, is that an elected official may be listed, with their office title, on campaign literature or in the voter’s pamphlet as an endorser or a member of an advisory committee.

(2) Likewise, the City Council may take official actions (motions, resolutions, or ordinances) that endorse or oppose candidates or ballot issues.

III. Ballot Issues

A. The law only applies to ballot issues, not issues of interest. An issue of interest does not become a ballot issue, under law, until some paperwork is in progress to perfect certification.

1. State ballot issues

a. Certification is begun when a proposed ballot title is submitted to the Secretary of State.

2. County-wide ballot issues

a. Certification is begun when a ballot is submitted to the County Auditor.

b. See RCW 29A.20.161.

3. City ballot issues

a. The first step for certifying a City ballot issue is either:

(1) Collection of signatures for a citizen-initiated initiative, referendum, or Charter amendment, or

(2) Passage of a Council resolution for a levy election or Council initiated Charter amendment.

(a) See Seattle City Charter Article IV, and Article XX (1992).

b. Management may restrict the use of City time and facilities to disseminate information about an issue of interest, but the law prohibits such activity when it involves a ballot issue, as discussed below.

IV. City Facilities

A. City facilities include supplies, equipment, property, and City paid time, except vacation and holiday time.

V. Prohibited Uses

A. The Elections Code prohibits City employees and appointed and elected officials (except as provided in the exceptions below) from using City facilities to campaign for or against a ballot issue.

1. Even a City agency that was established to promote or oppose the subject of a ballot issue may not use City funds to promote or oppose a ballot issue (including soliciting money or signatures for the ballot issue), unless there is expressed authority in the agency’s enabling ordinance to use City funds to promote or oppose ballot issues.

VI. Permitted Activities

A. Ballot Issue Campaigns - Use of Personal Time and Facilities

1. City employees, appointed and elected officials may use their own personal time and private facilities (not the City’s) to conduct activity in support of or in opposition to a ballot issue. When a City employee expresses an opinion about a ballot issue, however, the employee may not use City position as part of the argument for or against the issue.

a. For example, when giving a speech about a ballot issued, employees must make it clear that the opinions expressed are their own and not those of the City.

B. Providing Information on Request

1. An employee or official may use City facilities to provide information, on request, about the subject of a ballot issue if the normal and regular conduct of the agency is to provide such information and if the information is presented without comment.

C. Unbiased Information in the Course of City Business

1. City facilities may be used to discuss a ballot issue in a newsletter or other printed or broadcast matter if:

a. That is the normal and regular conduct of the department, and

b. The discussion includes both the proponent’s and opponent’s views of the issue.

D. Departments Authorized to Promote Issues

1. City officers and employees of departments that are authorized to promote an issue may not use City facilities to do so once the issue is a ballot issue, unless the department’s enabling ordinance expressly authorizes the use of City resources to promote or oppose ballot issues.

E. Equal Access to Public Facilities

1. City facilities that are available to the public for use may be used by proponents or opponents of ballot issues, provided that both have equal access to the use of those facilities.

F. Normal and Regular Conduct of Elected Officials / Statements

1. City elected officials may use City facilities to make statements in support of or in opposition to ballot issues as long as such statements are made in either:

a. An open press conference, or

b. In response to a specific request.

G. Normal and Regular Conduct of Elected Legislator’s Motions / Resolutions

1. City Council members may adopt resolutions or motions in support of or in opposition to a ballot issue. Other City officers, elected or appointed officials may not adopt such resolutions.

VII. Additional Resources

A. The City of Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission is available for assistance if you have questions or concerns concerning permitted or prohibited employee political activity.