General Policy Information
Latest Revision Date: 12/1/2014
Title 1 - Department Administration
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: 05/21/2014
This policy applies to primary investigations. A primary investigation begins when police action is initiated, and is critical to the success of any subsequent investigative efforts. The scope of a primary investigation may be very restricted or may constitute the entire investigation of a crime.
1. Officers Shall Conduct a Thorough and Complete Search for Evidence
All sworn personnel are responsible for knowing how to collect the most common physical evidence that might be encountered on a primary investigation. This includes latent fingerprints.
Only evidence that is impractical to collect or submit to the Evidence Unit shall be retained by the owner.
- Officers shall photograph all evidence that is retained by the owner. See 7.090 – Photographic Evidence.
2. Sergeants Are Responsible for the Proper Utilization of Evidence Technicians
Circumstances when sergeants might call an evidence technician include:
Evidence technicians may be utilized on an initial response, pending the deployment of a follow-up unit, to assist in identifying and locating evidence, and to assist in collecting evidence that might be destroyed or lost before the follow-up unit arrives.
Officers maintain primary responsibility for their assigned calls, regardless of the presence of an evidence technician.
3. Officers Shall Take Statements in Certain Circumstances
Officers shall document incidents of people refusing to give statements in the General Offense Report.
a. Officers Shall Not Take Statements From Sexual Assault Victims
4. Officers May Use Canvass Cards at Major Incident Scenes
Officers may use Canvass Cards (form 16.9) to collect witness information at the scene of a major incident. Canvass Cards shall be submitted to the unit that is investigating the incident.
5. Officers Shall Document all Primary Investigations on a General Offense Report
If a General Offense Number already exists and there are no new charges, officers shall use the existing number. If there are new charges, officers shall obtain a new number.
Officers shall indicate on the MRE-General Offense section whether the primary offense is a felony or a misdemeanor by entering an “F” or “M” in the appropriate field. If the primary offense is non-criminal, officers shall leave that field blank.
Officers shall document whether victims of non-custody incidents want to pursue charges, as feasible.
6. Officers Shall Document Permanent Addresses and Telephone Numbers for Suspects, Complainants, Victims and Witnesses in the Entities Section of the Report
If a person is temporarily staying at a local address, officers shall list the temporary address in the narrative.
If a person provides more than one address, officers shall list the additional address(es) in the narrative.
Officers shall identify military personnel by their unit number and the name of their ship, station or installation.
If a person does not have an address, officers shall state in the narrative that the person is transient.
- A last-known address is required for a case to be submitted for prosecution.
7. Officers Shall Not Book Suspects on Both Misdemeanor and Felony Charges
8. For any In-Custody Case, Officers Shall State the Crime(s) for Which the Suspect is Being Booked in the General Offense Narrative Template
Officers shall include the SMC or RCW violation code(s).
When booking a suspect for one or more felonies, officers shall use the terminology “Investigation of ______.”
9. Involved Officers Shall Complete Statements for Felony Arrests
10. All Primary Investigations Require a MIR and Disposition
11. Officers Shall Document Information Obtained After the General Offense Report has Been Submitted in a Supplemental Report Under the Original Case Number
12. All Officers Involved in an Investigation Shall Cooperate in any Subsequent Prosecutions or Official Inquiries Where Their Testimony May Be Needed