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16.040 - Community Police Teams

Effective Date: 1/8/2008


Community Policing emphasizes the use of innovative, non-traditional methods of impacting crime and the resultant fear within the community. The concept involves direct, cooperative interaction between the community and the Police Department to identify factors which support crime and to implement solutions which focus on solving the underlying problems rather than the symptoms.


The mission of the Community Police Team is to closely interact with the community to resolve neighborhood problems and concerns through the use of traditional and non-traditional police tactics and the coordinated application of resources beyond those available within the criminal justice system.

I. Definitions

A. Contact Log: A one page report completed by an officer when a complaint is handled with minimal effort. A contact has not real time restrictions, but is generally short-term due to the fact that the contact does not require any follow-up. A contact is resolved on the spot or with a simple phone call.

B. Case Log: An on-going file which is similar to a detective’s follow-up case file. It is updated by an officer whenever action is taken by the case officer or when the officer is aware of new developments. The complaints addressed by the case originate from the community, Seattle Police Department, or members of other city, county, state, or federal agencies.

C. Project: Projects require pre-planning and approval by the respective Precinct’s Operations Lieutenant. Projects are generally long-term in nature and always require a S.A.R.A. Order complete with mission statement and goal. Projects may require coordination with multiple agencies and at the very least, demands the attention of multiple officers. An example of a project would be the cleanup of the transient encampments which require multiple agency coordination.

II. Team Members

A. Responsibilities

1. Enlist the support and aid of the community and its leaders to carry out the action plan.

2. Utilize creative problem solving techniques, such as brainstorming sessions, which involve non-traditional police tactics.

3. Perform duties and activities within the target areas assigned.

4. Act as coordinator of individual projects as assigned.

5. Stay aware of events occurring within their respective project areas and make suggestions relative to deployment of resources.

6. Maintain close contact with the community through personal interaction to identify fears and concerns from our citizen partners.

7. Engage in high visibility directed patrol in assigned areas.

8. Take necessary enforcement action when a criminal act occurs and complete all required reports.

B. Selection

1. Requires three years experience as a police officer. Education may be considered in lieu of desired minimum.

2. Be willing to work a varying and flexible assignment schedule.

3. Possess the level of interpersonal skills necessary to interact and coordinate with varied community groups comprised of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, various public and private agencies, and community leaders.

4. Possess the desire and sensitivity necessary to work with all facets of the community in an unbiased manner.

5. Be able to work in a non-structured environment which emphasizes personal creativity as a problem solving technique.

6. Attend specialized training courses as required.

7. Demonstrate consistent work habits which reflect a high standard of performance and initiative.

8. Possess satisfactory performance ratings and assessments by sergeants.

9. Demonstrate ability to maintain self control in situations of high stress, and the capacity to impart an intelligent and energetic display of confidence in all situations.

10. Be subject to a thorough review and assessment of personnel records, internal investigations files, and supervisory evaluations.

11. Possess ability to work individually and as a member of a team.

12. Possess an above average ability to interview, write, and speak effectively.

C. Training

1. A forty hour training program is necessary to prepare team officers for the attitudes and demands necessary to function in the team.

2. Specialized training includes

a. Identification and utilization of community resources

b. Public speaking and effective communications

c. Interpersonal skills

d. Problem solving techniques

e. Crisis intervention

f. Crime prevention

g. Positive interaction skills

h. Stress management

D. Tenure

1. Barring unforeseen circumstances, Precinct Captains should attempt to return CPT personnel to the watch of their origin at the conclusion of their assignment.

E. Work Hours

1. Due to the nature of the CPT mission, a wide range of flexibility in work hours is necessary.

2. The Operations Lieutenant assigns tasks considering the needs of the projects, the needs of the Department, and the affected collective bargaining agreement.

3. Overtime

a. Approval of shift extensions are authorized by the Sergeant.

b. Approval of discretionary overtime is subject to the prior approval of the Operations Lieutenant.

F. Uniforms and Equipment

1. Position is a uniform assignment.

EXCEPTION: Operations Lieutenant may modify the dress code when deemed necessary due to the nature of the assignment.

2. Extended plainclothes assignments require the approval of the Precinct Captain.

G. Problem Identification

1. Use the following sources for identifying projects for the team:

a. Precinct Captain

b. Precinct Advisory Council

c. Community groups

d. Citizen partners

e. Crime Prevention Unit

f. Patrol officers & Sergeants

g. Crime Analysis statistical information

h. Social agencies

i. Other government and private agencies

III. Target Selection

A. Action Plan Development

1. Upon receipt of a target assignment from the Precinct Captain:

a. Identify and verify factors causing concern in the community.

b. If no significant cause for concern exists:

(1) Operations Lieutenant may elect to withdraw the team.

(2) Inform Precinct Captain of initial contact, the evaluation of the perceived problem, and the justification for the withdrawal of team resources.

(3) Utilization of normal patrol resources may be advised if appropriate.

c. If a problem is deemed appropriate for team intervention:

(1) Formulate action plan, including:

(a) Nature of perceived problem.

(b) Evaluation of possible methods to be used to resolved the problem.

(c) Proposed implementation of strategy using those methods.

(d) Probable results expected.

(e) Short and long term goals to be achieved to resolve the problem and stabilized the community.

(2) Submit plan to the Precinct Captain for approval.

2. Deployment

a. Deploy resources at the direction of the Sergeant after approval from Precinct Captain.

b. Sergeant will monitor target areas.

c. Plan will/should include:

(1) Number of personnel.

(2) Specific tasks to be performed.

(3) Working hours.

(4) Support available from other units and outside agencies.

(5) Project time table.

3. Project Closure

a. Based upon the Operations Lieutenant’s evaluation of whether the long or short term goals have been accomplished.

b. Evaluate community concerns.

c. Determine if goals can be obtained.

d. Document activities performed.

e. Determine if a maintenance program will be instituted to ensure problems do not reappear after the team’s withdrawal.

f. Sergeant is responsible for ensuring that extended community contact is maintained and that accomplishments and commitments are preserved.

B. Requests for the team

1. Direct to the Operations Lieutenant.

2. Explain the specific need for the team.


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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The Seattle Police Department (SPD) prevents crime, enforces laws, and supports quality public safety by delivering respectful, professional, and dependable police services. SPD operates within a framework that divides the city into five geographical areas called "precincts".

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