General Policy Information
Latest Revision Date: 11/20/2013
Title 1 - Department Structure and Function
Title 2 - Department Employment
Title 3 - Employee Welfare
Title 4 - Human Resources
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: 8/17/2011
I. Rules of Operation
A. Employees are prohibited from taking a City vehicle outside the corporate limits of the City of Seattle, except as required by their duty or as authorized by a sergeant.
B. Employees shall not permit unauthorized persons to ride in police vehicles.
C. Certain employees are assigned a “take home car” due to specific rank or command responsibilities. The use of these cars shall be in accordance with guidelines established and disseminated by the Chief of Police. Employees with assigned vehicles or take home cars must notify the SPD Motor Pool within 24-hours (via e-mail) whenever their duty station changes and the assigned vehicle also goes to the new duty station.
D. No Unit, Section or Bureau may take control of, use, or loan any vehicle without the written approval of the Chief of Staff.
II. Motor Pool Procedures
1. Police Department pool vehicles shall be issued only upon the completion of a Vehicle Requisition (form 1.35.5) approved and signed by a sergeant. The authorizing signature of a sergeant shall not be stamped or duplicated in any way.
2. Sergeants shall screen all requests and limit approval to those instances where vehicles are necessary to the performance of an assigned function.
3. Vehicles shall not be checked out prior to the time needed.
B. Check Out Procedures
1. From 0700 hours to 1530 hours weekdays, pool vehicles shall be signed out and in at the Fleet Control Office located on the seventh floor of SeaPark.
2. From 1530 hours to 0700 hours on weekdays, and all day Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, pool vehicles shall be signed out and in per Section policy.
C. Return Procedures
1. Vehicles returned between 0700 and 1530 hours weekdays shall be parked as directed by Fleet Control; and the keys, stall number, and mileage given to Fleet Control.
2. Vehicles returned at other times or on holidays shall be parked in the same general area as originally parked and the keys, stall number, and mileage given to Records Distribution.
3. Vehicles returned to the motor pool shall be clean and have a minimum of one-half tank of gas.
D. Assigned Unit Vehicles
1. Vehicles assigned to specific units shall be governed by the same use restrictions as outlined in this section; however, the Vehicle Requisition form, checkout procedure and return procedure shall not apply.
2. Sergeants in units having assigned vehicles shall maintain a log, recording both vehicle usage and operating personnel information.
E. “Spare” Patrol Vehicles
1. Sworn employees using a patrol car for any reason shall log that vehicle into service with Communications via either radio or VMDT.
2. Non-sworn employees shall not operate marked patrol units without the prior approval of a sergeant or above. This requirement does not apply to Equipment and Facilities Coordinators. A marked patrol vehicle operated by any non-sworn must have a light bar hood that clearly indicates the patrol vehicle is “Out of Service”.
3. Department vehicles are not authorized for use relative to secondary employment.
III. Trip Vehicles
A. Overnight Use
1. Bureau Chiefs may authorize the overnight use of a Department vehicle. This authorization can only be given for temporary use (up to 30 days). Requests for extended use (more than 30 days) of a Department vehicle must be submitted through the Chain of Command and forwarded to the Chief of Staff for final approval.
2. Employees requesting the overnight use of a vehicle shall submit a Vehicle Special Assignment request (City of Seattle form) approved by their Bureau Chief.
3. When a Bureau Chief is unavailable and exigent or unusual circumstances exist, a Section/Precinct Captain may authorize overnight use of a Department vehicle, provided a Bureau Chief is notified as soon as practical.
B. Out-of-State Use
1. Employees requesting the use of a vehicle for a trip out-of-state shall submit a Vehicle Special Assignment approved by their Bureau Chief to the Fleet Control Office.
IV. Reporting Damage to Department Vehicles
A. All Department vehicles shall be inspected for damage prior to being driven. When damage is discovered, the following steps shall be taken:
1. Any new body damage discovered or caused by an officer shall be reported to their on-duty sergeant. In the case of motor pool vehicles, this information shall be reported to the Fleet Control Office. A Defective Equipment Report (City of Seattle form) shall be completed and an entry made on the Vehicle Damage Report (form 1.35) indicating new damage. When it is unknown if the damage is new or has already been reported, report it as new,
2. If the vehicle is not drivable or major damage exists, standard procedures shall be followed to obtain appropriate care or repair, and
3. When unreported damage is discovered, the sergeant/supervisor notified shall check the logs to determine who the damaged vehicle was previously assigned to; and, when possible, who caused the damage or who failed to report it. The sergeant/supervisor shall submit a Memorandum of their findings through their chain of command to the Captain of the section to which the vehicle is normally assigned.
V. Parking Citations on City Vehicles
A. Employees receiving parking citations, during the normal course of official investigations, shall obtain authorization for cancellation from their supervisor. The employee shall then prepare and submit a Cancellation Request (form 1.51) through their chain of command to their Section or Precinct Captain. Employees failing to submit cancellation within 48 hours shall accept the responsibility of making personal payment of the citation.
VI. Tolling on the SR-520 Floating Bridge – Good To Go! Pass
A. Employees who drive Department vehicles should be aware of the electronic tolling on the SR-520 bridge. The only Department vehicles exempt from the toll are “emergency response vehicles” on “bona-fide emergencies”.
B. Department issued “Good To Go!” passes are available to employees who need to use the bridge for official business. The passes cannot be used for personal business or commuting to or from work in any Department vehicle, including “take home” cars.
C. “Good To Go!” passes can be checked out at units of assignment, the Motor Pool and Fiscal.
D. The Department’s Vehicle Use Log/Motor Pool & Units of Assignment (form 21.9) has been modified to include columns for the pass # that was used and the time of use. The Vehicle Use Log is available as an online form.