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General Policy Information


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Audit, Policy & Research Unit Manual

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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 - Preparing for Criminal Case Interviews

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 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

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

16.091 - Body-Worn Video Pilot Program

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

12.110 – Use of Department E-Mail & Internet Systems

Effective Date: 8/31/2011


A. General: It is the purpose of this policy to provide employees with guidance on the proper use of Department owned personal computers for the purposes of disseminating electronic mail and utilizing services on the Internet. The Seattle Police Department provides e-mail service and Internet access for the purpose of conducting Department business.

1. City Ownership: The Seattle Police Department owns the computers, e-mail, and Internet access systems. As such, the Department may monitor and review e-mail/Internet use for compliance with this Section. The employer retains the right to determine what is and is not appropriate for the workplace.

2. Personal Use: While there are specific unauthorized uses of the Internet and e-mail, the Department also allows limited personal use of the Internet and e-mail, a concept that recognized the reality of the workplace. Occasional personal use is permissible if it is consistent with the Seattle Police Department’s policies and procedures and the usage standards set by the City of Seattle.

3. Public Disclosure: There is no expectation of privacy in the use of Department e-mail or Internet services on Department owned computers. All use of Department computers, whether official or personal, is subject to public disclosure laws and can be discoverable in a lawsuit.

4. Professionalism: All e-mail communications and Internet use must comply with Seattle Police Manual Sections 5.001 - Standards & Duties and 5.080 - Harassment in the Workplace. All communications written via the Internet shall be professional, appropriate, and lawful. Personal opinions or preliminary observations should clearly be identified as such.

B. E-Mail: E-mail is an essential tool in the Seattle Police Department’s communications matrix, therefore all employees will adhere to the following e-mail guidelines during regular duty hours:

1. High Importance E-Mail: Employees are required to read and review all High Importance e-mail communications once per shift, High Importance Outlook e-mail is marked with an orange exclamation point. Employees are required to respond (when applicable) to High Importance e-mail communication within four business days, or less than four business days if required by the subject matter. The High Importance classification will be used for the following e-mail communications:

• Command Staff Communications

• Directives

• Special Orders

• Training Digests

• All other communications that are job related, time sensitive and mandatory for the recipient. This includes but is not limited to court subpoenas, wanted bulletins, information bulletins, investigative follow-up requests, statement requests, pre-trial discovery requests, seizure hearing notices, etc.

The use of a High Importance classification for any other e-mail communication must be approved by a lieutenant or above.

2. Routine E-Mail: Employees will respond appropriately to all other routine, work related e-mail communications.

3. Absence Notifications: Employees who have advance knowledge that they will be unable to respond to e-mail for a period that exceeds four business days are required to activate their “vacation rule”.

4. System Failures: Employees are not required to read or respond to e-mail during a system outage or technical failure that prevents the receipt or sending of e-mail. However, employees must verbally notify a supervisor of their inability to read or respond to e-mail prior to going off shift. Employees are not required to read or respond to e-mail while off-duty.

5. External E-Mails: All e-mail correspondence going outside the Department will contain the employees contact information including e-mail address, business address and business phone numbers.

6. General Distribution Messages: All general distribution messages (e.g. SPDALL) will comply with the following:

• Shall be approved by a permanent rank Lieutenant or above and will include the name of the approving Lieutenant and date of approval.

• When sending an email with a large distribution list, for example SPDALL or SPDSWORN, use the “Bcc” (blind carbon copy) feature to include the recipients. The “Bcc” feature will prevent unnecessary disclosure of email addresses and reduce vulnerability to spam. The “Bcc” feature will improve the chances of the email being successfully sent, because the “To” feature is not designed to handle a large number of addresses.

7. Images, Photographs and PDFs - Outlook E-Mail and the MDT: Images, Photographs and PDFs shall not be embedded (copy and paste) in an e-mail narrative when the e-mail may possibly be opened from an MDT. The embedded items can cause MDT failures, therefore all Images, Photographs and PDFs shall be attached to an e-mail and not embedded in the narrative. The attachment rule applies whenever there is potential an e-mail will be opened from an MDT and specifically includes e-mails addressed to SPDALL and SPDSWORN.

8. Received E-Mail Attachments: E-mail is a primary source for computer virus attacks. Employees should not open e-mail attachments from an unknown source. Employees should contact ITS if they have questions about an attachment.

9. Sensitive Information: E-mail is not a secure system and should not be utilized for communicating sensitive information.

10. News Groups and Bulletin Boards: Employees may use their city e-mail address to subscribe to news groups or to post on electronic bulletin boards, provided that doing so is a requirement of their assignment or has specific Departmental benefit.

11. Shared Mailboxes: Employees must request “Send As” privileges for a shared mailbox and/or request that a shared mailbox be created by submitting a request via e-mail to their captain or captain-equivalent non-sworn manager. Once the request is approved, a help desk ticket or service request should be opened with the DOIT service desk, requesting the privileges.

12. Responsibilities of Supervisors and Managers: Department supervisors and managers are responsible for ensuring that their staff is familiar with and adhere to the Department’s e-mail policy.

C. Internet Use: Access to the Internet is provided to Department employees for the purpose of conducting official Department business. Primary criterion in the matters of use and misuse of the Internet will be that of reasonableness. The following guidelines are not meant to be exclusive, but rather are intended to provide a general framework of prohibited and acceptable Internet use:

1. Disruptions and Interference: Employee use of the Internet cannot disrupt or interfere with the work of other network users, or adversely affect the operation of the Internet, the City’s or the Department’s internal networks, or misrepresent the interest of the City or Department.

2. Legal Purposes Only: Employee use of the Internet shall not be for illegal purposes. All use of the Internet on Department computers must be in compliance with all applicable laws and policies. This includes policies on privacy issues, any release of confidential, sensitive, or classified information, or information exempt from public disclosure, as well as copyright or licensing regulations. Employees shall not copy, retrieve, modify or forward any copyrighted material, except as permitted by the copyright owner. A single copy of the material may be made for reference use only.

3. Personal For-Profit Business Use Prohibited: Employees shall not use the Department computer to conduct a personal for-profit business, although limited commercial transactions are permitted. (For example, purchase of a book through the Internet is acceptable, but conducting a consultant business while at work is not.)

4. Maintaining Personal Investments: Employees shall not use Department computers to review personal investments or to transact any type of investment business (for example, trading in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds). Employees are allowed infrequent, brief checks of the progress of an employee’s investments in the City’s Deferred Compensation Program, as this is a City-sponsored and City-maintained program.

5. Political Activity Prohibited: Employees shall not use the Department computer to participate in any campaign for elected office or for any other political activity. This includes a prohibition on making any campaign contributions via a credit card and using the Department computer to do so. Similarly, employees may not "lobby" elected officials through use of the Department’s computer.

6. Demeaning or Defamatory Conduct: Employees shall not use the Department computers to engage in demeaning or defamatory conduct with respect to other employees or citizens. Examples of such prohibited activities include knowingly accessing pornographic materials or sites that promote exclusivity, hatred, or positions which are contrary to the City’s policy of valuing cultural diversity.

7. Offensive or Harassing Material: Employees shall not knowingly access or communicate any material of an obscene, harassing, discriminatory or derogatory nature. Examples of such include sites or e-mail containing racial or sexual slurs or jokes, or containing harassing, intimidating, abusive, or offensive material to or about others.

8. Incurring Costs: Employees shall not access sites that incur a cost to the Department, unless prior approval is granted by a supervisor.

9. Installing Software: Employees shall not install software on Department computers without prior approval by the Information Technology system manager. See Seattle Police Manual Section 12.040 - Computer Software

10. Chat Rooms: Employees shall not enter chat rooms using Department computers unless it is done as a function of a specific assignment. Specific investigations utilizing Department computers in this manner must receive prior approval from the Section Captain.

11. Games Prohibited: Games are expressly prohibited from Department computers.

D. Accessing Sensitive Content Sites

1. Internet Logs: Units shall maintain a log to document access, or attempts to access a website that contains sensitive content as described in section D4 below. This log must be retained at the unit level for current year plus one.

2. Unintentional Access to Sensitive Content: If an employee accidentally accesses a website that contains pornographic, sexually explicit, inappropriate or illegal materials, they must immediately leave the site and notify a supervisor. The information regarding the inadvertent access shall be recorded on the internet log as specified in section D1 above.

3. Web Filtering: The City will utilize web filtering software intended to block access to most sites containing prohibited content. However, this does not guarantee that the site will be blocked. Regardless of whether the site is successfully blocked or not, the attempt to access the site is still recorded. Employees will notify a supervisor whenever the system notifies them that their attempt to access a web site was blocked. This will be recorded on the internet log specified in section D1 above.

4. Limited Sensitive Sites Use: The Department recognizes that certain Seattle Police Department employees may have a legitimate business purpose for accessing Internet sites/information that would otherwise be considered inappropriate or illegal (e.g., Vice Section detectives or Intelligence Unit detectives). In the event that employees need to access such "sensitive sites", employees shall abide by the following:

• Supervisor Approval: Employees shall obtain approval from an immediate supervisor before accessing "sensitive sites." The supervisor will e-mail DoIT_Help or call the DoIT Help Desk at 386-4011 to request an exception to the web filtering protocols. This request and approval by the supervisor will be documented on the internet log specified in section D1 above.

• Viewing Sensitive Sites: Employees are reminded that items appearing on a computer screen may be visible to other individuals. Employees accessing such "sensitive sites" should exercise appropriate courtesy and care when doing so (e.g., close the door, turn the screen away, notify other employees).

• Identification As City of Seattle Computer: Whenever accessing any site, sensitive or otherwise, employees are reminded that the sites are able to monitor and identify who is accessing them. In short, any site you access will know you are doing so from a City of Seattle computer.

• Investigations Ordinance: Employees are reminded that all uses of Department-owned computers are subject to the provisions of SMC Chapter 14.12, the Investigation Ordinance, and should adhere to the following guidelines to avoid a violation of the ordinance:

Storage of "restricted information" (as defined in the ordinance) on disks or computer/network drives must comply with the ordinance.

Do not create directories or subdirectories which organize/index "restricted information."

Do not transmit "restricted information" including World Wide Web addresses (URLs) to specific sites, via e-mail.

Do not create bookmarks or hotlists in your World Wide Web browsers which organize/index