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: 5/19/2004
Information will be gathered and recorded in a manner that does not unreasonably infringe upon: individual rights, liberties, and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the State of Washington, including freedom of speech, press, association, and assembly; liberty of conscience; the exercise of religion; the right to petition government for redress of grievances; and the right to privacy. Consistent with this policy, Department personnel shall comply with the dictates of the Investigations Ordinances and with the requirements of Department rules and regulations.
The Department will cooperate fully with the Investigations Ordinance auditor. The Auditor will be given total access to any and all files maintained by the Seattle Police Department except in the case of files or investigations which are specifically exempted from inspection by the Investigations Ordinances.
The Investigations Ordinance requires all Department personnel to safeguard the rights of persons involved in lawful political or religious activities and places restrictions on the documenting of certain types of information. While much of the Ordinances pertains to the activities of the Criminal Intelligence Section, the Ordinances is directed at the activities of the Department as a whole. Officers must keep the Ordinances in mind when writing reports. Any documentation of information concerning a person’s sexual preferences or practices, or their political or religious activities must be for a relevant reason and serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose. Officers should also be aware of the Ordinances when photographing demonstrations or other lawful political activities. If demonstrators are not acting unlawfully, police can’t photograph them. Periodic review of the Ordinances is worthwhile, as violations of the Ordinances could result in civil liability or disciplinary action, including discharge.
See SMC Chapter 14.12.