6.170 – Recorded Statements
Effective Date: 10/17/2012
This policy applies to sworn employees who create recorded statements.
1. Sworn Employees May Take Recorded Statements
Sworn Employees may take recorded statements from people who are involved in an investigation. See 6.170-TSK-1
Recorded statements are subject to Federal, State, local laws and Department Policy.
2. Sworn Employees May Temporarily Store Recorded Statements on a Department Computer
The recorded statement is entered into DEMS and then temporarily stored on a Department computer to meet an operational need. Once the statement is no longer needed the employee must remove the statement from the Department computer
3. Employees Will Use Department Supplied Devices to Capture Recorded Statements
Exception: In case of exigent circumstances an employee may use a privately-owned device to capture a recorded statement. See 6.170-PRO-2
- An employee’s privately-owned device used to create recorded statements may be subject to a court order or subpoena, or a public disclosure request.
- If a recorded statement is captured by an employee on a privately-owned device the employee will not download the media card onto a Department computer or other device.
4. Employees Must Include Specific Information in the Recorded Statement
Statutes and best practices require officers to include certain elements in recorded statements. Refer to 6.170-TSK-1 for specific language that officers must include in the recording.
5. Employees Will Enter Audio Recorded Statements Into DEMS
Exception: If DEMS is not functioning or rejects the audio recorded statement. See 6.170-PRO-1
Exception: If the recorded statement is captured using a privately owned device. See 6.170-PRO-2
6. Employees Will Document in the Appropriate Report that an Audio Statement Was Created
7. Employees will not Create, Save, or Transfer Digital Evidence for Personal Use
Submitting an Audio statement when DEMS is not functioning or rejects the recording device.
1. Removes the device from the DEMS.
2. Documents in the appropriate report that the audio statement was created but not submitted through DEMS due to a system malfunction.
3. Copies the file to a CD and sends the CD to the Photographic Services Unit in a Photographic Media Envelope (form 50) marked, “Audio Statement-Original Copy”.
5. Obtains the files from the CD and loads them into DEMS.
6. Archives the CD.
7. Notifies the employee via email that the audio files are available in DEMS.
Submitting a recorded statement when captured by a Department employee using a privately owned device.
1. Documents in the appropriate report that the audio statement was created using a privately owned device and the reason for the use.
2. Copies the audio file to a CD and sends the CD to the Photographic Services Unit in a Photographic Media Envelope (form 50) marked, “Audio Statement-Original Copy”.
3. Obtains the files from the CD and loads them into DEMS
4. Archives the CD.
5. Notifies the employee via email that the audio files are available in DEMS.
6.170-TSK-1 Taking an audio recorded statement.
When taking an audio recorded statement, the officer/detective:
1. States at the beginning of the recording:
- Officer’s name and includes the statement, “of the Seattle Police Department”
- General Offense Number
- Date and time of the recording
- The name of the interviewee
- All persons present during the interview
2. Asks the person to respond to the question, “Are you aware you are being recorded?”
3. If the person is in custody, gives Miranda warning.
4. Asks the person to state their full name, address and phone number.
5. Conducts the interview.
6. After the interview, if the person is a victim, witness or complainant, asks the person:
- Do you declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Washington that what you have stated in this statement is true and correct?
- Do you wish to have your personal information Disclosed or Not Disclosed?
7. Announces the end of the recording with the date and time.
8. Uploads the audio statement to DEMS.
9 Documents the recorded statement in the appropriate report.