11.010 - Detainee Management

Effective Date: 03/01/21


This policy applies to all employees who have contact with a detained person.

1. Department Holding Cells are for the Temporary Confinement of Detainees

Detainee: The word “detainee” in the Seattle Police Manual refers to someone in police custody.

Holding Cell: Department holding cells are considered “lockups” by the Department of Justice. For the Seattle Police Manual, the term “holding cell” is synonymous with “lockup”.

- Holding cells are under the control of law enforcement

- Holding cells are used for the temporary confinement of individuals who have recently been arrested, detained for investigative purposes or who are in the process of being transported.

- The holding cell of a mobile precinct is subject to this policy.

See 11.010-TSK-1 Securing a Detainee in a Department Holding Cell

2. Officers Will Enter the Required Detainee Information on the Appropriate Detainee Log Sheet

Detainee information is recorded on the Adult Detainee Log Sheet (form 4.1) or the Juvenile Detainee Log Sheet (form 12.4).

3. Officers Will Perform an Inventory Search Before Placing the Detainee in a Holding Cell

See Seattle Police Manual Section 6.181 - Performing Inventory Searches

4. Detainees Shall be Handcuffed Behind Their Back While in a Holding Cell

Exception: Circumstances may require an alternative method of restraint. Officers will notify a sergeant if restraints other than handcuffs are used on a detainee in a holding cell.

5. In Department Facilities, Employees Will Secure Detainees in Areas Monitored by Cameras, Where Available

Employees will not deactivate or avoid camera coverage areas despite any detainee’s objection to being recorded.

Exception: To protect detainee privacy, strip searches will not be recorded.

See also Manual Section 6.210 – Strip Searches.

If the video system is not functioning properly, employees will record interactions with detainees using body-worn video (BWV).

The Department encourages the use of BWV when interacting with detainees in department facilities.

6. Officers May Secure Detainees to a Fixed Object in the Holding Cell

A detainee’s behavior may require additional restraint within the holding cell. Only fixed objects specifically designed for this purpose are used:

- Eye bolts secured to the floor

- Steel bars built into the holding cell bench

Officers will transport detainees secured to a fixed object as soon as possible.

Officers will document the use of a fixed object in the Report.

7. Employees Will Conduct Welfare Checks on Detainees In Person

Employees will conduct in-person welfare checks on detainees in intervals of not more than 30 minutes and log the times on the detainee log sheet.

Employees are not required to interact with the detainee, but the welfare checks must be in-person. Viewing the detainee via video feed only is not sufficient.

8. Officers Will Assist Detainees with Reasonable Requests for Water and Restroom Access

Officers will not allow detainees to eat, drink or smoke in the holding cells.

When providing restroom access, at least one officer of the same gender will escort the detainee to the restroom, when feasible.

If the detainee is transgender and has a preference, at least one officer of the gender requested will escort the detainee to the restroom, when feasible.

If the transgender individual does not specify a preference, at least one officer of the same gender as the transgender individual’s gender expression will provide the escort.

9. Officers Will Seek Medical Assistance for Detainees

Officers will request Seattle Fire Department respond when a detainee has an obvious injury or illness, or when the detainee makes a complaint of injury or illness.

Officers will document the assistance provided in the Report.

10. Employees Will Take Reasonable Steps to Ensure the Safety of Detainees While in Department Custody

Employees will take steps to safeguard detainees during emergency situations involving the Department Facility.

Employees will notify a sergeant or above of an emergent situation that may put a detainee at risk.

11. Officers Will Obtain a Supervisor’s Authorization for Detentions Over Two Hours

Officers will document the reason for the extended detention and the name of the screening supervisor on the log sheet.

Pursuant to RCW 13.04.116, employees will not detain juveniles in department holding facilities for more than six hours, provided that the confinement is separate from the sight and sound of adult detainees.

12. Sergeants and Above Will Review the Detainee Log Sheets

See 11.010-PRO-1 Reviewing Detainee Log Sheets

13. The Watch Lieutenant Will Assign a Sergeant to Inspect the Holding Cells at the Beginning of the Watch and Record the Inspection on the Detainee Log Sheet

Sergeants will check the holding cells and the holding cell area for:

- Unattended Detainee Property

- Unattended Evidence

- Contraband

- Sharps Container

14. The Department Will Not Tolerate the Victimization of Detainees Through Sexual Abuse or Sexual Harassment

15. Incidents of Sexual Abuse or Sexual Harassment of a Detainee Will be Reported and Investigated

16. Employees Will Protect Persons Likely to be Victimized in a Detention Setting

- Employees will isolate known sex offenders from other detainees.

- Employees will separate restrained detainees from unrestrained detainees.

17. Detainees of Different Gender Identities Will be Detained Separately

Detainees will not be searched to determine their gender.

See also Manual Sections 11.020 Transportation of Detainees and 16.200 Interaction with Transgender Individuals.

18. Adults and Juveniles Must be Detained Separately

Juveniles are detained out of the sight of adult detainees.

Employees will take reasonable steps to prevent juvenile detainees from hearing adult detainees.

Officers shall not hold juvenile status offenders and non-offenders in locked cells

Officers shall place status offenders and non-offenders in an “unsecured area” (e.g., non-locking interview room, or precinct lobby).

If a status offender or a non-offender must be held in a locked room for officer safety reasons, then it must be documented on the Juvenile Detainee Log Sheet (Form 12.4) and the Report.

A status offender is a juvenile that is taken into police custody for an offense that would not be a crime if committed by an adult.

- Runaway

- Underage possession or consumption of tobacco and alcohol products

- Truancy

- Curfew violations

- or a warrant for any of the above

A non-offender is a juvenile under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court for reasons other than legally prohibited conduct.

- Abuse

- Neglect

- Dependency

- or a warrant for any of the above

19. Detainees Held in a Room Designated as an Interview or Interrogation Room Must Be Under Constant Observation

Officers will observe Detainees in person or by video monitor while in the interview or interrogation room.

20. Employees Will Pass on Information About a Detainee at Risk of Sexual Assault to Other Agencies that are Taking Custody of the Detainee

21. Detainees with Disabilities Require Special Consideration

Employees will provide reasonable accommodations to a detainee with a disability.

22. The Use of the Spit Sock Hood Requires Special Application, Reporting and Screening

See 11.010-PRO-2 Application of the Spit Sock Hood

Officers may use the spit sock hood if the detainee is actively spitting on officers, or the officers have a reasonable belief that the detainee will spit on them.

23. Officers Shall Ensure That Detainees Are Transported to Jail in a Timely Fashion

When a detainee will be booked into jail, the arresting officer(s) shall arrange for a transport once it is no longer necessary for the detainee to remain at the precinct.

If it is necessary for the detainee to be transported to jail by the next watch (e.g. when the arrest occurs toward the end of the watch,) the arresting officer(s) shall inform a supervisor from the next watch that they have a detainee in a holding cell that needs to be transported. The supervisor shall ensure that an officer on their watch makes the transport as soon as feasible.

11.010-PRO-1 Reviewing Detainee Log Sheets

Watch Lieutenant

1. Assigns a sergeant to review log sheets for their watch.


2. Reviews log sheet entries at the start of their watch and throughout their watch.

3. Corrects omissions or mistakes.

4. Submits the log sheets for that watch to the watch lieutenant.

Watch Lieutenant

5. Reviews the log sheets for that watch and approves if appropriate.

- If there is a mistake or omission, sends the log sheet back to the sergeant for correction.

6. Submits the approved log sheets to the administrative specialist.

Administrative Specialist

7. Retains Detainee Log Sheets for 2 years plus current.

11.010-PRO-2 Application of the Spit Sock Hood


1. Applies the spit sock hood once the subject is under control.

2. Affixes the spit sock hood to the subject’s head using the built-in elastic band.

3. Notifies a sergeant that the spit sock hood was applied.

4. Observes the subject continuously (in person or via video) while he or she is wearing the spit sock hood.

- Removes the spit sock hood and requests medical assistance if there are any indications of respiratory distress.

5. Assesses the continued need for the spit sock hood.


6. Screens the use of the spit sock hood and documents in the Arrest Screening Supplement.


7. Disposes the used spit sock hood in a biohazard waste container.

8. Documents in the Report the use of the spit sock hood by Seattle Police or any other agency (e.g., Seattle Fire, King County Jail, etc.), including:

- Why the spit sock hood was applied,

- Whether the officer observed any ill effects to the subject—or lack thereof—caused by the application of the spit sock hood.

9. Indicates on the appropriate Detainee Log Sheet that the spit sock hood was applied.

11.010-TSK-1 Securing a Detainee in a Department Holding Cell

When securing a detainee in a Department holding cell the officer:

1.   Performs an inventory search of the detainee and their property.

See: 11.050-PRO-1 Securing and Transporting Detainee Property

2. Removes potentially hazardous items from the detainee.

3. Enters the required information on the appropriate detainee log sheet.

4. Inspects the holding cell before placing the detainee in the holding cell.

5. Secures the detainee in the holding cell.

6. Performs a welfare check on the detainee every 30 minutes and records the check on the appropriate log sheet.

7. Informs the transport officer that a detainee is ready for transport if applicable.


Adrian Diaz, Chief of Police
Address: 610 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104-1900
Mailing Address: PO Box 34986, Seattle, WA, 98124-4986
Phone: (206) 625-5011
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