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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 - 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, 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

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

6.180 – Searches-General

Effective Date: 5/16/2012


Searches and seizures generally must be made pursuant to a warrant. There are exceptions when searches and seizures may be made without a warrant. The officer bears the burden of documenting that an exception to the warrant requirement applies.


I. Search Warrants

A. Officers will serve all search warrants in accordance with Seattle Police Manual Section 6.185 - Search Warrants.

II. Exceptions to the Search Warrant Requirement

A. Consent Searches

1. Officers electing to search by consent shall have the consenting person sign a Consent to Search form (form 9.54).

a. If the Consent to Search form is not available, Officers may also document the consent using another department authorized recording device, such as in-car video.

2. The validity of the consent depends on consent being given voluntarily. Consideration of the intelligence and education of the person are scrutinized by the court, as are physical and mental coercion, exploitation and the authority of the person to give consent.

3. Third party consents are valid under certain conditions.

a. Consent is valid if the third person has equal authority over the business or residence and it can be concluded the absent person assumed the risk the cohabitant (roommate) might permit a search.

b. Consent to search is not allowed if one cohabitant (roommate) or business partner objects to the consent, even if the other person gives permission. Consent must be given by both people, if present.

c. Parents may consent to search a child’s living area if the parents have routine access to the area (the child is not paying rent).

d. Landlords cannot give consent to search if a lease or rental agreement is still valid.

B. Exigent Circumstances

1. Police may conduct an immediate, warrantless search or seizure under emergency conditions, if there is probable cause to believe that delay in getting a warrant would result in the loss of evidence, escape of the suspect, or harm to police or public.

a. Officers are allowed to enter a home when the suspect retreats into the home or private area and there is reasonable fear of escape, destruction of evidence, or injury to police or public.

b. Criteria examined by the court.

(1) Was the offense serious or one of violence?

(2) Was the suspect armed?

(3) Was the probable cause strong enough to believe the suspect committed the crime?

(4) Was there strong probable cause to believe the person was on the premises?

(5) Did the police identify themselves and give the suspect a chance to surrender prior to entry?

(6) Was there an ongoing investigation or decision to arrest prior to the suspect fleeing into the premises?

c. Exigent circumstances also exist if the police are responding to a domestic violence call. Entry may be made if a person’s health, welfare, or safety is concerned.

C. Open View and Plain View Doctrines

1. Open View

a. The open view doctrine allows the police to see and possibly seize contraband. To apply open view, the officer must see the contraband or evidence from a vantage point available to the public. To seize the contraband or evidence, it must be located in an area open to the public and not protected by the Constitution.

b. Police officers are not allowed to enter and seize contraband if the contraband is exposed to the public from a constitutionally protected place. For example: If officers see a marijuana plant growing in the window of a residence, they cannot enter the home, but have probable cause to seek a search warrant.

2. Plain View

a. The plain view doctrine allows the police to inadvertently discover contraband or evidence after making a lawful intrusion into a constitutionally protected area, such as a residence or a vehicle. The contraband or evidence must be immediately recognizable as such and be in plain view.

b. The key to the plain view doctrine is being in the protected place with consent or on legitimate police business. Once the inadvertent discovery is made, officers have probable cause to seek a search warrant for a more thorough search.

D. Pat-down Frisk

1. The purpose and scope of the pat-down frisk is to discover weapons or other items which pose a danger to the officer or those nearby.

2. In addition to the basis for the stop itself, the officer must have a sufficient basis to believe an individual is armed, and be able to articulate the belief that their safety or that of others was in danger. This may include, but is not limited to:

a. Prior knowledge that the suspect carries a concealed weapon,

b. Suspicious behavior, such as failure to comply with instructions to keep hands in sight,

c. Observations, such as suspicious bulges, consistent with carrying a concealed weapon, or

d. Prior knowledge that the suspect is a verified member of a gang known to carry weapons and their behavior warrants a Terry Stop.

3 The frisk for weapons is strictly limited to what is necessary for the discovery of weapons which might be used to harm the officer or others nearby. Generally, the frisk must be limited to a pat-down of outer clothing.

C. Search Incident to Arrest/ Custodial Search

1. Search incident to arrest.

a. Vehicles - After a person is arrested out of a vehicle, officers do not have authority to search the passenger compartment and unlocked containers incident to arrest. One of the following must apply:

(1) Officers have consent to search,

(2) Exigent circumstances exist, or

(3) Officers are performing an inventory search pursuant to impoundment of the vehicle.

b. Residence - When a person is arrested in a residence, officers may only search the immediate area where the arrest occurred. Officers may only search other areas of the residence if:

(1) They reasonably believe that officer safety is threatened,

(2) There is a reasonable chance the arrested person might escape or destroy evidence.

2. Custodial Search

a. Officers shall thoroughly search the persons of all arrestees who are taken into custody.

b. This search shall be conducted as soon as possible after the arrest and before transporting the prisoner(s). Evidence of any crime which is discovered in the course of a valid custodial search may be used to support whatever subsequent charge is appropriate.

c. Suspects will not be searched by officers of the opposite gender unless there is a reasonable likelihood that the suspect possesses a weapon or other object capable of causing injury or which could facilitate escape, or the officer believes that the suspect possesses objects which constitute evidence, which if not seized immediately could be destroyed, lost, or lose their value as evidence, and there is no officer of the same gender readily available to conduct the search.