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
Title 16 - Patrol Operations
Effective Date: 11/28/2011
This policy will set a minimum retention level of duty handgun holsters for uniform patrol personnel, sworn personnel working plainclothes assignments, reserve officers, and special commission officers working in a Seattle Uniform.
Across the nation officers are being killed or injured through unintentional discharges or having their weapon taken from them by an assailant. This has been attributed in part to the types of holsters officers are carrying on duty. Officers and police departments must be aware of the important balance between the officer’s ability to quickly draw the weapon from the holster, with the need for being able to keep the weapon secured in the holster. This policy will ensure that the sworn members of the Seattle Police Department utilize a holster that will minimize the risk of having their weapon taken from them during an encounter and still provide a good tactical draw.
Command personnel are authorized to direct personnel who are using a holster that appears unserviceable or does not provide adequate security for the carried weapon to contact the Range staff for information and training. This procedure will help ensure not only the officer’s safety, but those who work beside him/her.
Duty Handgun: Any handgun that an employee has used to successfully complete the Department qualification course and is authorized by the Department for use in a duty assignment.
Holster: Any device worn by an officer to hold the officer’s duty handgun. Fanny packs; handbags, and backpacks do not qualify as holsters under this policy.
Investigatory Undercover Assignment: Any non-uniform duty assignment where the officer’s true identity and profession are not intended to be immediately revealed, and the officer is not expected to take police actions.
Passive Internal Locking Device: A means by which a weapon, once holstered, and before securing any other external retention snaps, straps, buttons, or levers, instantly locks into the holster by means other than friction.
Plainclothes Assignment: An assignment that does not require the employee to be dressed in the uniform approved by the Seattle Police Department.
Retention: The ability of a holster to independently retain a handgun once placed inside the holster.
Uniformed Assignment: An assignment that requires the employee to wear an approved Seattle Police Uniform.
It is the officer’s responsibility to purchase an approved holster and to train with that holster to become proficient with its workings. When practicing with the holster, the officer must follow proper safety practice procedures to ensure that unintentional discharges of the weapon are avoided. See Procedure and Tactics Section 040 - Weapons Safety
I. Uniform Assignments
A. Officers hired after January 1st, 2006 are authorized to deploy only with a holster that has a passive internal locking device in addition to any external retention snap, strap, or other retention system that requires the officer to secure the handgun. The holster appearance must comply with Department uniform standards.
B. A holster will not be modified from factory condition. However, the height of the holster on an officer’s waistline may be adjusted.
C. Cross-draw, fanny pack, ankle holsters, and shoulder holsters are not authorized for uniform duty primary weapon use.
D. Officers hired prior to January 1st, 2006 are strongly encouraged to use a holster that complies with this policy. When the officer’s current duty holster is no longer serviceable, they must replace it with a holster that complies with this policy.
II. Plainclothes Assignments
A. Officers who are working a plainclothes assignment will be required to carry their primary duty weapon in a holster that has at least a manual retention or passive locking device to secure the weapon. The mere friction against the side of the weapon to retain the weapon in the holster is not considered a retention device.
B. Cross-draw, fanny pack, ankle holster, handbags, and shoulder holsters are not authorized for plainclothes primary duty weapon use.
C. Exceptions to this requirement may be approved by an employee’s Bureau Chief with justification. Justification will be documented on a Memorandum and sent up the chain of command for approval. If an alternative carry method is granted it must be used during Department qualifications.
A. During Department qualifications or Department training, the Range Staff and Training Staff will inspect and evaluate holsters used by sworn personnel. If the Range/Training Staff identify a problem with an employee’s holster they will address the problem with the employee and attempt to assist the employee in becoming compliant with this policy. If the problem cannot be resolved the Range/Training staff will document the nature of the problem and identify the employee on a Memorandum which will be sent to the Captain of the Training Unit for follow up.
B. Precinct/Section Captains should inspect the holsters used by the officers under their command for compliance during regular Line Inspections.
IV. Authorized Holsters
A. The Audit, Policy and Research Section will maintain a list of holsters that meet the qualifications for uniform duty use. This list will be updated when necessary. If an officer would like a holster evaluated for inclusion on this list they should send a Memorandum or email, the Audit, Policy and Research Section, who will arrange an evaluation of the holster with the Range Staff. Final authorization of a holster shall be determined by the Deputy Chief of Administration. The sergeant of the Range Unit will document the evaluation and approve/disapprove the holster for duty use. The Audit, Policy and Research Section will notify the employee of the outcome and maintain the evaluation on file.
Holsters Approved for Uniform Assignments (Manufacture/Model)
Bianchi Gould & Goodrich Michael of Oregon (Uncle Mike) Safariland Tactical Design Labs Blackhawk
7130 AccuMold® SL 3.2.1™ Duty Holster
7930 SL 3.2.1,
7940 Dutylok K380-G17W K-Force Triple Retention Holster,
K381-G17W K-Force Double Retention Holster Pro 3 Duty Holster 6365-83 ALS Level II
6295 Mid-Ride, Level III Retention for Pistols Only,
62955 Low-Ride, Level III Retention for Pistols Only
295 Mid-Ride, Level II Retention
2955 Low-Ride, Level II Retention
6070 Raptor™ Level III, Mid-Ride
6075 Raptor™ Level III, Low-Ride
6270 Raptor™ Level II Plus, Mid-Ride UBL
6275 Raptor™ Level III, Low-Ride
070 Duty Holster, SSIII Mid-Ride, Level III Retention (revolvers only)
075 Duty Holster, SSIII Low-Ride, Level III Retention (revolvers only) Professional Real Performance Duty Holster
Hol-00010SC-HR-Traditional Soft Cover
(This includes corresponding left handed models when available). Blackhawk Level 3 (with pivot guard) Serpa
C. Holsters approved for plainclothes assignments
1. Any high quality holster with a manual or passive retention device. Friction shall not serve as a passive retention device.