14.100 - Special Event Planning

Effective Date: 11/01/2018


1. Special Event Planning Definitions

Special Events

Special Events are city approved, pre-planned events that require police services which go beyond normal daily assignment duties. 

These events include but are not limited to:

- Sporting events

- Parades

- Concerts

- Fun runs

- High profile dignitary protection

- Community/neighborhood events

- Fairs, exhibits, and celebrations

- Selected events which require on-duty or overtime police services


Planned or unplanned assemblies, permitted or unpermitted marches and/or free speech events.

Briefing Sheet (form 28.6)

The Briefing Sheet (form 28.6) shall be completed and forwarded to SPD Command Staff by the assigned IC or designee as soon as practicable, when an identified upcoming Special Event or Demonstration will require substantial police resources above normal deployment levels. 

- Include in the briefing sheet any expected impacts on the public, public places, parks, businesses, transit, governmental property or private entities.

The Briefing Sheet shall include information to sufficiently advise the Chief of Police or other executive level officials as to the situation

The Briefing Sheet shall also include the SPD resources assigned, command structure, concept of operation, staffing numbers and on-duty and overtime hours anticipated to be incurred

Incident Action Plans (IAP)

An Incident Action Plan (IAP) formally documents incident objectives, operational period objectives, and the response strategy defined by incident command during response planning.

It contains general tactics to achieve objectives within the overall strategy, while providing important information on event and response parameters.

IAP requirements vary with the incident complexity.  If the Special Event or planned demonstration exceeds normal operational capabilities and the appropriate ICS positions are going to be assigned, an IAP shall be completed.

Note: See the SPOC folder on the share drive for all needed forms.


Development of an Incident Action Plan (IAP) to handle:

- Special events

- Demonstrations

The plan includes a cost estimate of proposed staffing as indicated on the Briefing Sheet and/or the planning worksheet (1st page of the precinct event IAP workbook). See: SPOC ICS Forms.

Provide overview of Situation, Mission, Incident Objectives and the Concept of Operations.

List any logistical needs specific to the event. Examples may include temporary fencing, transportation, food and beverage for deployed officers, use of the mobile precinct, etc.

If a monitored or unmonitored TAC frequency is required, see: 12.010-Communications and Deployment (12.010-POL-5 Planning Special Events).


Documentation of department personnel and mutual aid agencies working the event must be completed.

Acceptable formats include a Personnel Check In (form 28.7) on event date and an Event Overtime Summary (form 15.6). The Event Overtime Summary must include regular hours assigned to the event and overtime hours incurred.

Event Debrief (form 23.5)

Sergeants complete the Event Debrief (form 23.5) post-event.  Staffing utilized for the event is captured on the reverse side of the form, broken down by Regular and Overtime hours.

After Action Report (PDF form)

See: 14.010 - After-Action Report

An After-Action Report (AAR) is required for all Special Events and Demonstrations where an Activity ID and Project Number are issued by SPOC. 

Note: The Briefing Sheet (form 28.6), Event Debrief (form 23.5) and the Personnel Check-in (form 28.7) are all located in the SPD Word templates under the Special Event folder.  The After-Action Report is a PDF form that is accessible through the 14.010-After-Action Reports manual section.

2. The Seattle Police Operations Center (SPOC) Coordinates Special Events

SPOC serves as the primary representative, and contact point of the Department for special events.  This includes but is not limited to:

- Attending the Office of Economic Development Special Event committee meetings

- Facilitating weekly SPD Special Event meetings

- Coordinating with other City agencies

SPOC advises Precincts/Sections of upcoming events affecting operations and assists them in development of required Incident Action Plans (IAP).

SPOC assists the identified Incident Commanders in developing Incident Action Plans (IAP), staffing plans, and/or coordinating special events.

SPOC serves as a repository for:

- Briefing Sheets, to include: staffing level deployment plans

- All IAP’s

- Debrief Forms

- After Action Report

In concert with other department sections or units that have knowledge and/or planning responsibility of upcoming events, facilitates communication to Command Staff.

SPOC advances AAR recommendations for continuing or repeated special events.

SPOC serves as the contact point with the City’s Emergency Operations Center.

3. The Seattle Center Detail Handles Special Events at the Seattle Center

The Seattle Center Detail is at the Command of the West Precinct Captain.  The Detail plans and staffs routine events on the Seattle Center grounds to include:

- Bumbershoot

- Folklife

- Bite of Seattle

- Major concerts

- Events requiring overtime resources beyond sixty (60) hours on the Center grounds

- Events requested by the Seattle Center Office

The Seattle Center Detail commander is the primary liaison between Seattle Center administration and SPOC.  The commander will update SPOC on all Seattle Center events.

The Seattle Center Detail will coordinate with SPOC on events falling under SPOC responsibilities (i.e. planning, staffing).

4. Precinct Events Not Assigned to SPOC

Precinct captains or designees will plan all events, not assigned to SPOC, occurring within the borders of the Precinct.

- This may also include crime suppression emphasis details that require temporary increased staffing.

The Precinct Commands will coordinate with SPOC for staffing planning assistance if an event exceeds normal operational capabilities.

All Precinct Operations Lieutenants or designee shall attend the weekly SPOC Special Events meeting, via Skype, conference call, or in person.

- Operations Lieutenants will review the meeting agenda, special event applications and be prepared to provide staffing information and recommendations for Special Events assigned to the Precinct management.

Precinct will provide staffing for events planned by the Precinct to include:

- Requesting assistance from specialty units

- Notifying personnel internally of their assignment

If the Special Event or planned demonstration exceeds normal operational capabilities and the appropriate ICS positions are going to be assigned, the Precinct will complete an Incident Action Plan (IAP).

SPOC will issue an activity ID number and precinct project code to assist in accounting of financial costs.

5. Traffic Section Events

The Traffic Section develops Traffic Plans and will staff the event with Traffic Section personnel.

If event staffing requires more resources beyond Traffic Section personnel, Non-Traffic volunteers are solicited, via an SPDALL email.

Per collective bargaining agreements, SPOC may need to draft personnel to work Traffic Section events if insufficient staffing for the event is identified.  The Traffic Section notifies SPOC of the need to draft personnel no later than 40 days prior to the event date.

6. Section or Bureau Specific Events

The Captain of the Specialty Unit or their designee is the Incident Commander for events staffed primarily by Specialty Units to include: ABS Sweeps, Dignitary Protection details assigned to SWAT, Harbor events, etc.

The Captain of the Specialty Unit or their designee:

- May arrange with SPOC for event planning assistance

- Updates SPOC with the event staffing plan

- Receives an activity ID number and unit project code issued by SPOC to assist in accounting of financial costs

- NOTE: An AAR is required for any section or bureau events issued an Activity ID

- May utilize Unit/Section specific Operation’s Orders in lieu of an Incident Action Plan (IAP) if the threshold requiring completion has not been met

7. Event Planning

Special Events

SPOC is responsible to assist the identified Incident Commander in developing IAP’s and staffing plans for these events:

- City-wide Special Events

- Demonstrations requiring staffing deployment beyond precinct capabilities

SPOC coordinates staffing for films permitted by the Office of Film and Music


The Precinct of the event location has command responsibility, unless otherwise specified.

Primary responsibilities for planning and staffing are assigned to the Precinct.

- The Precinct may request planning assistance from SPOC

Specialty Unit Emphasis Deployment

Responsibility for planning, staffing and deployment falls with:

- Unit, Section, Precinct, or Bureau coordinating or deploying the resources

The Captain of the primary deploying or coordinating Unit, Section, Precinct, or Bureau commands the event.

When several Units are involved, one of the following may plan the event:

- Primary Unit involved; or


8. Staffing Special Events

SPOC facilitates staffing for SPOC planned events.

SPOC coordinates the following for On-Duty and/or Overtime Events:

- Attempts to solicit volunteers for staffing

- Publishing a Special Order requiring officers and/or sergeants to staff the event

NOTE: Short-term notice events may require notification in person, via email or by phone

- Assigning personnel with special skills, equipment, or area familiarity, if required

- Drafting personnel if sufficient volunteers are not obtained

- Drafting is based on serial number, with the least senior officers drafted first

- Employees may refer to Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) for guidance

- Exempting personnel based on CBA guidance and only via Deputy Chief authorization

Exemptions and Unit/Section Duty

- See: 4.010-Employee Time Off (POL-15, 16, 17, 18 & 19) for personal exemptions from a restricted day-off event

9. Event Command

Special Events/Demonstrations

City wide Events (i.e. Torchlight Parade, Seafair):

- The Chief of Police or designee will develop a rotating schedule for Incident Commander assignment

Events Planned/Staffed by Precincts:

-Are commanded by the Precinct Captain or designee

Events staffed primarily by Specialty Units:

- The Incident Commander will be the Captain of the Specialty Unit or designee

Select Seattle Center Events are commanded by the West Precinct Captain or designee.



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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