General Policy Information
Latest Revision Date: 7/16/2014
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
16.091 – Body-Worn Video Pilot Program
Effective Date: June 25, 2014
This policy applies to officers who have volunteered to participate in the Body-Worn Video (BWV) Pilot Program. The Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Seattle and the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild outlines the scope of the program.
The program’s primary focus is to evaluate the technology and equipment during field use. Cameras used during the pilot program will not record audio.
1. All Officers Operating BWV Must First Complete Training
Before officers deploy with a BWV camera, they will complete Department training on the proper use of the equipment and procedures for uploading captured video.
2. Officers Operating BWV Must Wear the Camera Properly
Officers will wear the camera in a location consistent with the vendor’s instructions for use that allows the camera to capture events.
3. Officers Will Wear Only BWV Equipment Issued by the Department
Officers may not wear any personally-owned camera device for the purpose of recording enforcement activity. Only those camera units issued by the Department are authorized.
4. Officers Will Perform Pre-Shift Function Checks and Note Malfunctions
At the start of the shift, officers will perform a function check as indicated in the BWV training.
Any time the officer is aware of equipment malfunctions, the officer will:
5. Officers Will Record Enforcement-Related Activity
Officers will activate the BWV to record enforcement-related activity, unless doing so would jeopardize safety.
Enforcement-related activity includes (but is not limited to) the following:
If circumstances prevent BWV activation at the beginning of an event, the officer shall activate it as soon as practical.
During the BWV Pilot Program, there will be no discipline that follows from not recording a particular incident.
6. Officers Shall Notify Persons of Recording
Even though audio is not recorded, officers using BWV shall notify others that they are being recorded as soon as practical.
7. Officers Must Document Reason(s) for Deactivating the BWV
Once BWV has been activated, Officers who stop recording with the BWV during an event must document the reason(s) for doing so in the GO report. If there is no GO created, the officer will document the reason(s) in a CAD update.
8. Officers Shall Not Intentionally Record Persons Who Are Lawfully Exercising a Constitutional Right or Civil Liberty
Particular attention should be paid to SMC 14.12.010, 14.12.020.A, and 14.12.030.K, which prohibit employees from intentionally recording people who are lawfully exercising their freedom of speech, press, association, assembly, religion, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.
Exception: Employees may record if there is reasonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity has occurred or will occur (SMC 14.12.010).
Exception: Protected activity which is unintentionally captured while enforcement-related activity is being recorded is not a violation of this policy (SMC 14.12.080).
9. Officers Will Document the Existence of Video or Reason for Lack of Video
To document that an event has been captured on BWV, officers will note that the event was recorded in an update on the MDC.
Officers who capture a recording of an event will log to the call, if not already, and note that the event was recorded by their BWV.
10. Officers Shall Flag Videos of Certain Events
If any of the following events are captured on an officer’s BWV, the officer shall flag the video and enter the GO Number (at minimum) into the video record:
11. Officers Shall Upload Recorded Video Before Going Out of Service
Officers will upload captured video according to the training guidelines for the relevant unit model.
If the upload is not complete before the end of shift, officers will notify a sergeant.
16.090-POL-2 Reviewing Body-Worn Video
This policy applies to all employees who review body-worn video recordings.
1. Recorded Video May Be Viewed For Appropriate Purposes Only
Video recorded by BWV may be viewed for the following purposes:
2. Users Shall Note the Purpose for Viewing Video
Each vendor’s viewing application automatically logs the identity of a user who accesses a particular video, as well as the date and time of access.
Any employee viewing a video shall manually make an entry in the application stating the purpose for viewing the video.
3. Recorded Video Shall Not Be Used for Training Purposes Without Permission of the Involved Officer(s)
4. Employees Shall Not Make Copies of Recorded Video for Personal Use