General Policy Information
Latest Revision Date: 5/15/2013
Title 1 - Department Structure and Function
Title 2 - Department Employment
Title 3 - Employee Welfare
Title 4 - Timekeeping
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
15.210 - Investigating Property Held by a Pawnshop or Used-Goods Store
Title 16 - Patrol Operations
Effective Date: 4/18/2012
I. Approval Authority
A. The Chief of Police shall be the final approval authority in all matters relating to uniforms and duty equipment.
B. Proposals for changes to authorized uniform and equipment items will be submitted through the Uniform and Equipment Advisory Committee. All research, wear testing, and evaluations conducted by the Department will be coordinated by this Committee.
II. Uniform of the Day
A. The Department utilizes a Class A and Class B uniform to address the specific needs of assigned uniform duty. These requirements are subject to change as determined by the command staff. The command staff will designate the ‘Uniform of the Day’ and communicate requirements to the Department.
B. The Class B uniform is the authorized uniform of the day unless otherwise directed by command staff. The Class A uniform may be worn routinely even when it is not required.
C. The Class A uniform will be worn at all special ceremonies or functions where a large contingent of Seattle Police officers will be present. Special Orders or other communication from command staff will be issued when the Class A uniform is required. The command staff will determine whether the long sleeve or short sleeve Class A uniform will be worn for the specific event.
D. The Department-issued badge, cloth nametag, and shoulder patches shall be worn on all uniform shirts.
E. The uniform jacket and/or raincoat may be worn with the Class B uniform and with the Class A uniform when appropriate for conditions.
III. Long Sleeve and Short Sleeve Uniform Shirts
A. Unless otherwise instructed by a Special Order, Directive or direct order, officers may wear either the short sleeve or the long sleeve uniform shirt year round.
IV. Current Approved Uniform List
A. Shirt: Shall be French blue in color, with removable buttons, navy blue shoulder straps, pocket flaps and cuffs (on winter shirts).
1. Class A Uniform Shirt
a. Short Sleeve Shirt: Elbeco or Flying Cross, model #7408Z (same number for both manufacturers). 55% Tropical wool/ 45% polyester blend. The Class A short sleeve shirt must be worn with a white crew neck t-shirt. Sweaters shall not be worn.
b. Long Sleeve Shirt: Elbeco or Flying Cross, model #7480Z (same number for both manufacturers, 55% Dacron/45% wool. The Class A long sleeve shirt must be worn with the necktie and Department-authorized tie bar. Turtlenecks or the uniform sweater shall not be worn.
2. Class B Uniform Shirt
a. Short Sleeve Shirt: Flying Cross, model #764R9226, (55% Polyester/45% wool). The short sleeve shirt will be worn with a white crew neck t-shirt. Sweaters shall not be worn.
b. Long Sleeve Shirt: Flying Cross, model #414W6926, (55% Polyester/45% Wool). The long sleeve shirt can be worn with the necktie and authorized tie bar or the authorized turtleneck. A white crew neck t-shirt, by itself, will not be worn under the long sleeve uniform shirt. The uniform sweater may be worn with the Class B long sleeve shirt.
B. Pants: Shall be Navy blue in color.
1. Class A Uniform Pants:
a. The Flying Cross, model #13507, 100% wool without cargo pockets.
b. Blauer, model #8690P61, 55% polyester/45% wool blend, without cargo pockets.
2. Class B Uniform Pants:
a. The Flying Cross, model #44900, (polyester, wool and Lycra) with cargo pockets.
b. The 5.11, model #44060-750, (polyester/wool) with cargo pockets.
C. Jacket: Shall be waist length, single-breasted with silver (gold for lieutenants and above) colored buttons on shoulder and sleeve epaulets, black zipper, with optional reflector tabs.
1. The Blauer model 9010Z or model 9910Z, Gore Tex material, Navy blue in color,
2. The Force Jacket by North Face, Navy blue in color,
3. The Flying Cross, model 79900 Public Safety Jacket, Navy blue in color.
D. Softshell Jacket: The approved softshell jacket shall be the Flying Cross #54100, LAPD Blue in color. The approved softshell jacket can be worn alone or as a liner with the above approved jackets. The softshell jacket requires shoulder patches, nametag, badge (cloth) & rank insignia.
E. Necktie: Shall be the four-in-hand or cravat style and Navy blue in color.
F. Shoes or Boots: Shall be black leather/simulated leather with black laces and plain round toes. Boots may be constructed of a combination of nylon and leather. Shoes and boots shall present a business like appearance. Shoes and boots are to be shined as needed.
1. The following footwear is not authorized; cloth, running, athletic, and cross-training style shoes, Western, Wellington, and “engineer”-style pull-on boots or shoes and boots with buckles, straps, and buttons.
G. Socks: Only black or dark blue socks shall be worn.
H. Belt: Shall be black (leather or Velcro) and of sufficient width to adequately support a leather or nylon gun belt.
I. Blouse: Required for lieutenants and above. Shall be single breasted, Navy blue in color, matching that of the trousers/skirt, 45% Wool/55% Dacron polyester, 16-20 oz. elastique with optional liner.
J. Cap: Shall be Navy blue in color, eight point, and closed or ventilated band.
1. Wearing of the eight point uniform cap is required at parades, ceremonies, public gatherings, during inspections and/or when directed by a sergeant or above.
2. Under all other conditions, the wearing of the eight point uniform cap shall be at the discretion of the individual officer. (An officer of higher rank may make exceptions to the above order during certain public gatherings as long as uniformity is maintained.)
3. The eight point uniform cap braid shall be black for police officers, silver for sergeants, and gold for all ranks above sergeant including the Department chaplains. The cap of the chief of police shall have gold bullion on the bill.
A. Department-issued (block print) cloth nametags shall be worn by each on-duty uniformed officer on the uniform shirt and optional sweater. Plastic nametags shall be worn with the uniform blouse. Officers shall also wear Department-issued cloth nametags on the uniform jacket and utility uniform. The following requirements shall apply to all sworn Seattle Police Department personnel when wearing the uniform:
The required nametag or identification device shall be worn on the outermost layer of the uniform, in the upper front torso area, and shall be clearly visible to the public.
1. In situations where the officer may remove the outermost layer of their uniform, that officer shall wear such nametag or identification device in the required location on any underlying layer of his/her uniform.
2. The outermost layer of the uniform must also clearly identify the name of the officer’s law enforcement agency (in most instances, this requirement is fulfilled by the Department shoulder patch).
3. Officers shall not obscure or alter the nametag or identification device.
4. The nametag or identification device shall be in legible block print of at least 24-point typeface and will include, at minimum, the officer’s first initial and last name. Complete first names may be included as an alternative option to the first initial.
5. For purposes of this section, “uniform” is defined (in addition to its normal meaning), as: any law enforcement agency-issued or approved coat, jacket, sweater, rainwear, utility uniform or demonstration management protective gear that may be worn as an outer layer of clothing or in conjunction with that uniform. It shall not include non-sworn attire worn by plainclothes or undercover officers.
6. This nametag requirement applies to officers working on-duty or in an off-duty capacity while in the regulation Seattle Police Department uniform. Nametags must be affixed to all traffic control vests, rain jackets, the Department overcoat and leather motorcycle jackets. For those garments that do not have shoulder patches affixed, there are “Seattle Police” nametag sized Department identifiers available, which will be provided to unit coordinators.
A. Officer/Sergeant Badge: Officers will only be issued one numbered badge per rank. New officer and sergeant badges will be numbered with the officer’s serial number engraved.
1. Officer and sergeant badges that cannot be repaired will be replaced with a new serial number badge.
2. If the officer has had a numbered badge issued for over five years, the replacement badge may be the same number, rather than the serial number.
B. Lieutenant and above badges are issued through Fiscal Unit.
C. Detective Badge:
1. The Quartermaster staff will issue a detective badge to an officer when the personnel order reflecting the transfer or reclassification has been published, or at the written direction of a Bureau Chief.
2. Officers that are assigned to a permanent position in a detective unit will be issued a detective badge with their serial number.
3. Officers on-loan to a detective position or unit will be issued a standard detective badge upon approval of the Criminal Investigations Bureau assistant chief.
4. The use of a detective badge is authorized only while the officer is assigned to a detective position. The immediate detective sergeant will ensure that the detective badge is returned to the Quartermaster Unit when the officer leaves the detective position, unless the officer is transferring to another detective unit or the detective badge has the employee’s serial number.
5. Detective badges with serial numbers shall be retained by the officer after they leave the detective position. Officers are not authorized to carry the detective badge unless they return to a detective position.
6. All officers are required to return assigned detective badges to the Quartermaster Unit within 10 days of being transferred or reclassified to a non-detective position.
D. Duplicate Badges:
1. Officers requesting additional badges may do so by presenting a completed Purchase and Supply Request (form 1.5), approved by their Bureau Chief, to the Fiscal, Property and Fleet Management (FPFM) Section. Duplicate badge policies apply to all officers regardless of rank.
a. The badge must be for the requesting officer’s use only and shall have their “assigned badge number” on it.
b. The officer shall present their Department identification to the Fiscal Unit and pay a deposit for the badge.
c. The Fiscal Unit shall order the duplicate badge and have it delivered to the Quartermaster Unit along with a copy of the paid receipt.
d. The Quartermaster Unit will notify the officer when the badge arrives.
e. The FPFM Section shall deposit the purchase price for each badge, but shall return the full price to the officer when the badge is returned.
f. The badge shall be listed on the officer’s issued equipment list and shall be returned to the Department upon resignation, retirement, or termination.
g. All Department policies relating to badges (lost property, damaged equipment, etc.) apply to duplicate badges.
VII. Utility Uniforms (BDUs)
A. BDUs shall be black with a cloth nametag. BDUs shall be worn on those occasions where it is impractical to wear the regular uniform (prisoner transport, riot situations, training, etc.).
1. Sergeants will wear “subdued” military-style sewn-on rank insignia on the sleeves of the utility uniform.
2. Officers will only be issued one set of BDUs, unless an additional set is approved by an assistant chief (or officer of higher rank) in writing.
a. Funding for the additional BDUs will be taken from the budget of the approving assistant chief.
b. BDUs that no longer fit may be exchanged as long as they are serviceable. Serviceable used BDUs will be exchanged for serviceable used BDUs of the proper size.
VIII. Optional Uniform Items
1. Gloves shall be black in color unless engaged in another activity requiring a different color (e.g., traffic control). Section/precinct Captains shall approve exceptions.
a. Shot-filled or “loaded” gloves are prohibited.
1. The uniform raincoat for patrol and traffic officers shall be black in color.
a. Uniform raincoats shall be full or waist length.
b. Uniform raincoats shall be either reversible or non-reversible. When worn with the reversible side exposed, the color displayed must be the Department-issued ‘lime green’, meeting all appropriate ANSI standards.
c. Uniform raincoats shall be worn with shoulder patches.
2. The uniform raincoat for foot-beat officers shall be the Chicago-style police raincoat, full length, cape front, and with Navy blue collar.
3. Per individual Watch Lieutenant’s approval, officers have the option to wear the following authorized rain pant in poor weather conditions or extended traffic post assignments:
a. Blauer B-Dry All Condition pant (model #9834).
b. The rain pant will be worn over the uniform pant.
1. Shall be long sleeve, “military type” v-neck sweaters with shoulder patches and epaulets. Authorized sweaters are as follows:
a. Blauer or Fechheimer cable-knit.
b. As an option, the sweater may be worn directly over the authorized turtleneck, without the Class ‘B’ long sleeve shirt beneath the sweater.
1. Turtlenecks shall be long sleeve, dark Navy blue in color, constructed of 100% cotton or 50% cotton blends. There shall be no visible monogrammed insignia. In lieu of neckties, turtlenecks or mock turtlenecks are to be worn under the long sleeve uniform shirt or with the BDU blouse.
E. Uniform Skirt:
1. Optional for all sworn female personnel. Shall be Navy blue, “straight style” with zipper in back, 100% wool or 45% wool/55% Dacron polyester blend (16-20 oz. elastique); or 45% wool/55% Dacron polyester blend (14-15 oz. Serge weave). The skirt shall range in length from mid-knee to two inches below the knee.
F. Winter Caps:
1. Navy blue, mouton fur trooper cap with deluxe quilted interior, or;
2. A black knit watch cap. The knit cap must have:
a. Gold “Seattle Police” shield insignia embroidered on the front of the cap (Not the SPD patch) and,
b. “Seattle Police” or “Police” embroidered on the back of the cap.
c. A tight weave and made of 100% Acrylic with a 3 inch folding cuff.
3. The mouton fur trooper cap or the black knit watch cap may be worn as weather dictates.
IX. Uniform Accessories
A. American Flag Medal:
1. A ½” (one-half inch) metallic flag may be worn at the option of the employee. If worn, it shall be centered ¼” (one-quarter inch) above the top of the right breast pocket in the absence of any other medals.
B. Marksmanship Medals:
1. Authorized marksmanship medals may be worn and positioned ¼” (one-quarter inch) above the top edge of the right pocket of the shirt and blouse, centered in a vertical line with the pocket button.
C. Shoulder Patches:
1. Department-issued shoulder patches shall be centered on each arm of the uniform shirt, blouse, jacket, sweater, jumpsuit, and overcoat. The patch shall be sewn on by machine or stitched by hand, using thread matching the color of the uniform item.
2. Subdued Patches: The gray and black subdued patch will be used on those uniforms where the subdued patch is authorized. The olive drab subdued patch will be used on the RDF uniforms.
D. Service Stars or Stripes:
1. Blouse: Service stars denoting each five years of service shall be worn on the uniform blouse ½” (one-half inch) above the braid that indicates rank on both sleeves by all sworn members of the Department.
2. Long sleeve shirt: Sergeants and officers shall wear service stripes on the left sleeve of the long sleeve winter shirt, 1” (one-inch) above the top of the cuff. Each service stripe denotes three years of service. Service stripes shall not be worn by lieutenants and above.
E. “SP” Emblem:
1 Sergeants and officers shall wear the 5/8” (five-eighths inch) high emblem on the dress uniform blouse. Officers assigned to the Harbor Unit and Police Range Unit shall wear the “SP” emblem centered on their utility caps.
F. Tie Clasp:
1. The tie clasp shall be a straight bar type clasp with the seal of the state of Washington or the seal of the city of Seattle positioned in the center of the clasp with the words “SEATTLE POLICE” engraved across the bar. Officers are allowed the option of wearing the “city awarded” tie bars denoting length of service. No other tie bars or tiepins shall be worn with the uniform. The tie clasp shall be worn in a horizontal line with the buttons of the shirt pocket.
G. Miscellaneous Items:
1. Nothing shall be worn on the uniform or as a part of the uniform, except regulation Department insignias as specified, or as may be directed periodically. These shall be centered 1/4” (one-quarter inch) above the marksmanship medal, or 1/4” (one-quarter inch) above the top of the right breast pocket, in the absence of any other medals.
X. Insignia of Rank
A. Designated Rank Colors
1. Service stars, “SP” emblems, insignia of rank, sleeve stripes, tie clasps, badges of office, cap shields, belt buckles, buttons, and other accessories shall designate rank by their colors; gold for lieutenants and above, including Department chaplains; silver for sergeants and police officers.
B. Insignia of rank shall be worn on all uniforms. The placement of insignia on the uniform is shown in Section XV, below. Sleeve cuff stripes shall be worn only on the dress uniform blouse.
1. Chief of Police:
a. Shall wear four metal gold-colored stars on each shoulder of the uniform blouse, jacket, or sweater; and four one-inch cloth gold-colored stripes on each sleeve cuff of the uniform blouse. Four miniature metal gold-colored stars matching the standard size insignia of rank shall be worn on each side of the uniform shirt or utility uniform collar.
2. Deputy Chief of Police:
a. Shall wear three metal gold-colored stars on each shoulder of the uniform blouse, jacket, or sweater; and three one-inch cloth gold-colored stripes on each sleeve cuff of the uniform blouse. Three miniature metal gold-colored stars matching the standard size insignia of rank shall be worn on each side of the uniform shirt or utility uniform collar.
3. Assistant Chief of Police:
a. Shall wear two metal gold-colored stars on each shoulder of the uniform blouse, jacket, or sweater; and two one-inch cloth gold-colored stripes on each sleeve cuff of the uniform blouse. Two miniature metal gold-colored stars matching the standard size insignia of rank shall be worn on each side of the uniform shirt or utility uniform collar.
4. Captain, Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Police or Sworn Director:
a. Shall wear two metal gold-colored bars on each shoulder of the uniform blouse, jacket, or sweater; and two half-inch cloth gold-colored stripes on each sleeve cuff of the uniform blouse. Two miniature metal gold-colored bars matching the standard size insignia of rank shall be worn on each side of the uniform shirt or utility uniform collar.
a. Shall wear one metal gold-colored bar on each shoulder of the uniform blouse, jacket, or sweater; and one half-inch cloth gold-colored stripe on each sleeve cuff of the uniform blouse. One miniature metal gold-colored bar matching the standard size insignia of rank shall be worn on each side of the uniform shirt or utility uniform collar.
a. Shall wear three white cloth chevrons on each sleeve of uniform shirts, blouses, and jackets. A ½” (one-half inch) cloth white stripe shall be worn on the sleeve cuffs of the uniform blouse.
C. Prohibited Insignia:
1. Cloth insignia of rank for lieutenants and above shall not be worn on the collars of shirts or on the shoulders of blouses.
XI. Special Uniforms/Equipment
A. Bureau Chiefs may authorize special uniforms for officers assigned to specialized units (Harbor, Range, etc.), where the standard regulation uniform is not practical.
1. The Bureau Chiefs of a specialized unit shall establish written specifications for specialized uniforms/equipment and publish the information in the respective bureau manual.
B. Section Captains may require officers on special assignments to
carry other items of equipment in addition to what is normally required.
C. Police Reserve Uniform:
1. The uniform for police reserve personnel shall be identical to the regulation police uniform with the exception of the police (reserve) badge.
D. Chaplain’s Uniform:
1. Department chaplains may wear the Department dress uniform on those occasions where appropriate (e.g., funerals, academy graduation exercises, special ceremonies).
2. Chaplain Insignia: The Department Chaplains shall wear the following items on the dress uniform:
a. Sleeve Insignia: A ½” (one-half inch) wide black mohair stripe on each sleeve with a gold Navy Officer’s Chaplain Corps insignia appropriate to the religious faith of the Chaplain, and
b. Lapel Insignia: A full-size metal Navy Officer’s Chaplain Corps insignia on each lapel.
E. Historical 1910 Uniform:
1. The historical regulation Seattle Police uniform, circa 1910, is essentially a Military Keystone high-top hat and long dress blouse. Selected officers on foot beats in the Pioneer Square, Waterfront, and Pike Place Market areas are authorized to wear this uniform upon special request at the discretion of the Operations bureau chief.
F. Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) Uniform
1. The Homeland Security Section shall maintain a manual listing the specification and use of the RDF uniform.
XII. Prohibited Uniform Items and Exceptions
A. The SPD baseball cap shall not be worn as an accessory with the duty uniform.
1. Certain specialty units (e.g., Canine, Harbor, etc.) may wear baseball hats while in their regular duty uniforms.
2. Motorcycle and bicycle officers on long-term fixed posts may wear the SPD baseball cap.
3. Baseball caps may be required at certain training or range events.
4. All SPD baseball caps worn while working in proximity to the public must be black in color.
B. The leather jacket is no longer authorized for use by uniformed personnel. Officers who currently own the leather jacket may continue to wear it until it is no longer serviceable. Serviceability shall be determined by section Captain.
C. Black suspenders for gun belts will not be authorized unless a signed medical exemption from a qualified physician exists on record with the Wellness and Accountability Administrator.
D. Officers are prohibited from carrying any special equipment not specifically authorized in writing.
E. Officers working in uniform shall not wear mirrored sunglasses while engaged in the performance of their duties. Officers engaged in plainclothes assignments (e.g., dignitary protection) are exempt from this requirement upon approval of their unit sergeant.
XIII. Employee Readiness
A. All sworn employees of the Department shall be prepared to report for duty attired in a complete and proper uniform.
B. Plainclothes officers shall maintain a complete uniform. That uniform need not be stored in their Department locker.
C. All sworn employees, wherever assigned, shall maintain their Kevlar helmet, utility uniform, baton, and gun belt equipment in their Department lockers.
1. Officers assigned to patrol and traffic are required to carry their Department-issued APR, Kevlar helmet and eye protection in their patrol vehicles while on duty, irrespective of task force designation.
2. Bicycle and motorcycle units and all other sworn personnel, regardless of assignment, shall stage their protective equipment in an appropriate location near their work stations or precincts as determined by their sergeant to facilitate quick transportation of the protective equipment to the field.
D. Unless explicitly authorized by a Captain, officers transferred from a section or precinct for a long-term loan, or any period longer than 6 months, are required to vacate their personally assigned wall lockers within 15 days of notification of that transfer.
XIV. Off-Duty Uniform Standard
A. All on-duty uniform standards shall apply to officers working in an off-duty capacity. It is the responsibility of Sergeants and above to ensure that employees working under their command comply with the off-duty uniform and appearance standards. If officers working off-duty are found to be out of compliance with uniform regulations, they could be released from their off-duty assignment until their uniform is in compliance with Department uniform regulations. Precinct Captains may direct Sergeants to survey off duty locations within their precinct boundaries to ensure officers working off duty are adhering to Department uniform policy.
XV. Uniform Illustrations