Home Page This Department
Seattle Police Department - Home Page

General Policy Information


About and Contact

Audit, Policy & Research Unit Manual

Code of Ethics

Mission Statement and Priorities

Recently Updated

Cross Reference

Latest Revision Date: 4/18/2014

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 - Public and Internal Complaint Process

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 and Terry Stops

Voluntary Contacts and Terry Stops Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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 - 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

8.300 - 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

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 Reinbursement 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

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 (Non Traffic)

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

15.180 - 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 Seizures

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

15.180 – Primary Investigations

Effective Date: 3/26/2010

I. Definition/General

A. Primary investigation: The initiation of police action on an incident received as a complaint or one that comes to attention on view. It is the most crucial of investigative tasks because it may determine the success of all subsequent efforts to deal with the problem.

1. Must be as complete and thorough as possible. It must take into account all aspects of the incident regardless of its nature.

a. Officers must ensure that all facts related to the situation are recorded completely and accurately.

B. The scope of the primary investigation may be very restricted or may constitute the entire investigation of the crime.

1. The primary investigator will take all investigative steps necessary to conclude the Department’s involvement.

C. When possible, one officer will be listed as the primary officer and will sign first on all citations, whenever that officer can testify to the violation(s).

1. That same officer will also perform all tests, such as the BAC Verifier, etc., that result from the incident and the investigation thereof.

2. All officers involved in an investiga¬tion are required to cooperate in any subsequent prosecutions or official inquiries where their testimony may be needed.

D. All primary investigations, whether received as a complaint or on-view, require a MIR and disposition be given to the Communications Section to document and track the incident.

E. For any in-custody case (either a misdemeanor or felony), the crime the suspect is being booked for should be included in the narrative of the G.O. If the suspect is being booked for a felony crime, use the terminology, “Investigation of__________”.


F. On the MRE-General Offense screen, the primary offense of an incident will be entered as a Felony or Misdemeanor by entering “F” or “M” in the appropriate field. If the primary offense is non-criminal, such as a mental incident or a landlord tenant dispute, the field will be left blank.

II. Officer Responsibilities

A. Misdemeanor Cases

1. Officers shall conduct and complete a thorough investigation, so that, when possible, follow-up is unnecessary.

a. Most misdemeanor cases are filed directly with the Seattle Municipal Court, with no detective follow-up.

2. Statements

a. Statements from victims are mandatory in the following incidents:

(1) Domestic violence.

(2) Juvenile misdemeanor arrest investigations require written statements from all participants. Statements are also required if an arrest is anticipated, so the case can be more rapidly prepared for prosecution. Refer to Seattle Police Manual Section 6.290 - Juvenile Investigations & Arrests for complete text and further details.

Note: If the victim is unable to give a statement due to a medical condition, officers should attempt to take the statement at a later time.

b. When practical, take statements from victims, witnesses or suspects in other incidents.

3. Evidence

a. Place evidence into the Evidence Unit prior to the end of shift.

b. When possible, photograph all evidence retained by its owner.

c. Document all evidence and its disposition in the General Offense Report, Supplemental Report, or in the "Officer's Report" of the Criminal Citation.

d. If video footage (not police generated) is obtained showing the suspect or the incident, view the footage if possible and indicate the quality of the footage in the G.O. report.

e. A thorough search for evidence and latent fingerprints should be completed and the officer’s efforts should be documented in the narrative of the G.O. report. The narrative should also note if evidence or fingerprints were located.

4. Complete necessary reports.

a. Officers are required to obtain a General Offense Number (GON) and submit a General Offense Report, or other report, when applicable.

(1) If a GON already exists, and there are no "new charges", use the existing number.

(2) Include the SMC violation code (12A.XX.XXX) and the title of the crime arrested for in the G.O. narrative.

(3) For non-custody incidents, include in the G.O. narrative whether the victim wants to pursue prosecution.

b. All reports must have complete addresses for suspects, complainants, witnesses, and victims. Document the last known address. The City Attorney requires this information for charging the suspect.

(1) Include the permanent residence address (street address, apartment/room number, city, state, and zip code).

(a) Military personnel must be identified by unit number and the name of the ship, station, or military installation.

(2) If the person is temporarily staying in Seattle, list the temporary address in the narrative.

(3) If the person provides more than one address, list the additional addresses in the narrative.

(4) If no address is available, leave the address field blank. Indicate that the person is a transient or has no address in the narrative.

c. Include accurate home, work, and cellular telephone numbers, including area codes. Include any additional telephone numbers in the narrative.

d. If follow-up investigation by an officer leads to sufficient information to identify and charge a suspect in a criminal offense where a General Offense Report has already been completed, complete a Supplemental Report and request charges in the narrative.

e. When booking a suspect into King County Jail, complete the entire Superform, including the Statement of Probable Cause.

B. Felony Cases

1. Serious Incident Response

a. Refer to Seattle Police Manual Section 14.060 - Serious Incident Plan.

2. Other Felonies

a. Investigation

(1) In minor felony cases, the primary officer will conduct as thorough an investigation as is practicable.

(2) If the primary investigation will require an unusual amount of time out of service or will extend beyond the precinct boundaries, the officer(s) involved will confer with their sergeant.

(3) Except in unusual circumstances, an investigation will not extend beyond a normal shift.

b. Statements

(1) Statements from witnesses and victims are required in the following cases:

(a) Domestic violence.

(b) Juvenile felony arrest investigations require written statements from all participants. Statements are also required if an arrest is anticipated, so the case can be more rapidly prepared for prosecution. Refer to Seattle Police Manual Section 6.290 - Juvenile Investigations & Arrests for complete text and further details.

(c) Out of state victims or witnesses.

(d) Victims or witnesses without a permanent address.

(2) In all other investigations, statements from involved persons should be taken when it is practical to do so, or if a prosecution is likely.

(a) Victims, witnesses and suspects should be asked for their social security number and whenever provided it must be included in the statement.

(3) Include suspect statements when taken, including any admissions, denials, alibis, or explanations.

c. Evidence

(1) It is the primary officer's responsibility to process their crime scene(s), collect available evidence, and enter it into the Evidence Unit prior to the end of shift.

(a) Only evidence that is impractical to collect or enter into Evidence Unit should be retained by the owner.

(b) Officers should collect the items having the greatest evidentiary value (“Best Evidence”).

(c) Photograph all evidence retained by the owner and place the photographs into Evidence Unit.

(2) The “chain of custody” should be documented in the General Offense Report and Officer Statement.

(3) A thorough search for evidence and latent fingerprints should be completed and the officer’s efforts should be documented in the narrative of the G.O. report. The narrative should also note if evidence or fingerprints were located.

d. Arrest/Booking

(1) Do not book suspects into the King County Jail for both felony and misdemeanor charges.

e. Reports

(1) When booking into King County Jail, complete the Superform.

(a) When completing the offense block of the Superform, write “Investigation of [offense]” for the felony offense(s)and complete the Certification of Probable Cause.

(b) Request additional charge(s) for misdemeanor(s) in the narrative of the General Offense Report.

(2) Complete a General Offense Report or Supplemental Report.

(3) Document the last known address of the suspect.

(4) Complete an Officer’s Statement for each felony case in which you make an arrest, or as necessary to document important details.

(a) Document officer’s actions and observations.

(b) Route the original Officer’s Statement to the Data Center with the Incident Report and any other appropriate paperwork.

III. Patrol Sergeant

A. On-Scene Supervision

1. Screen felony incidents and ensure that Department procedures are followed.

2. Approve and request Follow-up Unit call outs.

B. Reports

1. Screen all reports for completeness and accuracy.

2. Ensure that reports regarding significant incidents are routed appropriately and that necessary command supervisor notifications are made.

C. Evidence

1. Screening Sergeants should ensure that investigating officers completed a search for evidence and latent prints and processed recovered evidence properly. The officer’s efforts should be documented in the G.O.

IV. Canvass Card (form 16.9)

A. Canvass Card (form 16.9) has been created for use by patrol officers and sergeants at major incident scenes. The purpose of the card is to obtain witness information and a brief summary of what a witness saw, or may have seen of an incident or crime. The contact information portion of the card is most critical.

B. The card is to be handed to, or forwarded to, the investigation unit or detective that is handling the incident or crime. This would include; officer involved shootings, murders, serious assaults and other serious incidents. The cards have proven very useful in several other major police municipalities in obtaining information from persons at or near a scene, whom for one reason or another could not or would not stay to be interviewed by responding detectives.