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General Policy Information


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Audit, Policy & Research Unit Manual

Code of Ethics

Mission Statement and Priorities

Recently Updated

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

15.250 – Interpreters/Translators

Effective Date: 11/2/2010


Our Department values exceptional responsiveness to special community needs, and equal protection in its service to all citizens. Whenever possible, sign language interpreters or a non-English translator shall be utilized when dealing with deaf persons or persons who are non-English speaking.

RCW 2.42.120(4) mandates when a law enforcement agency must provide sign language interpreters.

I. Definitions

A. Deaf: A person who has profound hearing loss and most often uses sign language.

B. Deaf-Blind: A person who is deaf and has significant vision loss. (Deaf-Blind use tactile interpreters, which sign in the palm of the hand).

C. Hard of Hearing: refers to people who have moderate to severe hearing loss but do not traditionally use sign language.

II. Contact with Deaf Persons

A. Interpreters will be used:

1. When interviewing a deaf person as a witness, victim, or suspect concerning a criminal investigation, or

2. When conducting a criminal investigation involving a minor child as a witness, victim, or suspect and the parent(s), guardian, or custodian is deaf.

B. If a deaf person is arrested, the arresting officer shall arrange at the earliest time for a qualified interpreter for notification of rights, warnings, interrogation, or the taking of a statement. The Seattle Police Department has an obligation under Federal law to offer an interpreter to the arrestee without cost and that the agency will defer interrogation pending the appearance of an interpreter.

C. No Department employee who has responsibilities other than interpreting may be appointed as a qualified interpreter.

D. Use of an Intermediary Interpreter [RCW 2.42.120(4)]

1. An intermediary interpreter is a person who uses specific signs and gestures instead of actual sign language.

2. If the communications mode or language of the deaf person is not readily interpretable, the interpreter or deaf person shall notify the appointing authority who shall appoint and pay an intermediary interpreter to assist the qualified interpreter.

E. Responsibility for Interpreter Costs

1. When conducting a criminal investigation, the law enforcement agency shall pay for a qualified interpreter throughout the investigation in the following circumstances:

a. Interviewing a deaf person, whether as a victim, witness, or suspect, or

b. Interviewing a minor child whose parent, guardian, or custodian is deaf, whether as a victim, witness, or suspect.

F. Resources

1. All Field Units in need of sign language interpreter services should make their requests through the on-duty Chief Dispatcher.

2. Detective Units wishing to make appointments for interpreter services can contact the designated interpreter service during normal business hours. To locate interpreters, contact the Chief Dispatcher in the Communications Section.

3. When communications personnel receive a 911 call from a deaf person and the call requires the dispatch of patrol units to conduct a criminal investigation, the Communications Section will automatically contact an interpreter to respond. The Officer responding to the investigation will be notified via voice transmission that an interpreter will be in route. Field Units desiring to cancel the response of an interpreter through Radio will normally require a field supervisor’s approval.

G. The Seattle Police Department’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resource Guide (form 20.3) provides officers a quick reference when encountering the deaf or hard of hearing.

III. Interview and Interrogation of Non-English Speaking Persons

A. Ask the person if they understand, read or write English. Ask the person what their native language is and if they can speak, read or write in their native language. Document that these questions were asked and the response the person gave in the General Offense Report.

B. Request an employee who speaks the person’s native language. Avoid casual use of persons at the scene to translate during interrogations. Current case law has disallowed admission of suspects’ statements into court if the translation was done by a person at the scene.

1. The Communications Section maintains a current list of employees who can speak foreign languages.

C. Use the Communication and Language Line for interpreting if a Department employee is not available to translate.

D. For Spanish speaking persons, advise them of their Miranda rights from the SPD Explanation of the Constitutional Rights (Spanish version) (form 9.28.4), available from the Quartermaster. Have the person read the form out loud and sign the form to ensure they fully understand the rights and warnings. Document this in the General Offense Report.

1. For DUI incidents, use the Spanish version of the Implied Consent Warning (form 8.4). Have the subject read and sign the form to ensure they fully understand the warnings. Document this fact in the DUI paperwork or, if completed, the General Offense Report.

E. Communication and Language Line (CALL) Interpreter service is also available for officers when interviewing non-English speaking citizens. The Language Line is a 24-hour service and provides translation in 140+ languages. To use the Language Line:

1. Dial 625-5011

2. When the SPD 911 Center operator answers, state:

a. Your name

b. Serial number

c. Unit number or call sign,

d. Your request to be connected with the Language Line, and

e. The specific language you need translated. (If the language is not known, then say “unknown”, and follow this with general information such as “Asian” or “East Indian”, etc).

3. The SPD 911 Center operator will dial the Language Line. When the Language Line central operator answers, the SPD 911 operator will identify which agency is calling, what language is requested, and your serial number. The SPD 911 operator will then disconnect from the conference call.

4. The Language Line central operator will connect you with the appropriate interpreter and will then withdraw from the connection. The interpreter will give you their identification number.

a. Officers must inform all parties (through the interpreter) that the call is being recorded. Also state the current date and time, and the telephone number you are calling from. This is a matter of providing notice, not of requesting consent. If necessary, the tape recording can be subpoenaed.

b. Tell the translator the exact information you need.

c. When the translator has received your request (and if you are not using conference calling, on two phones, or a speaker phone) give the phone to the subject.

d. When the translator has obtained the information, they will instruct the subject to return the phone to you.

e. The translator will relay the information to you and await further requests.

f. When you have concluded your use of the service, say “end of call.”

5. Include the following details in the General Offense Report:

a. The telephone number that you made the 625-5011 call from,

b. The starting time of the call,

c. The ending time of the call, and

d. The language of the subject.