5.020 - Gifts and Gratuities

Effective Date: 8/15/2012


This policy applies to any item of value received by an employee in the course of their duties.

1. Department employees shall not accept any gift or other item if it appears that the person offering the gift is trying to influence the employee.

a. Several gift/gratuity situations are prohibited.

  • Soliciting or receiving any thing of monetary value that would, to a reasonable person, appear to have been accepted with the intent to give or obtain special consideration or influence.
  • Using or attempting to use their official position for a purpose that is for the private benefit of the Department employee or any other person.
  • Soliciting or accepting any gift or gratuity from other Department employees if such items would adversely affect the actions of the employee in connection with police operations.
  • Offering or agreeing to purchase any item of private property from a non-criminal justice employee, when the contact with the owner or agent of the owner is as a result of the employee performing his/her Department duties, without Department approval.  This prohibition to purchase specifically includes firearms and real property.
  • Becoming financially or otherwise indebted to any other employee to the extent that work performance is affected.
  • Soliciting any personal notoriety and/or award or soliciting or accepting any reward for services rendered incident to their position or duty as an employee of the Department.
  • Soliciting or accepting free admission to the theaters and other places of amusement for themselves or others, except in the line of duty.

b. Employees receiving prohibited gifts or gratuities are required to report and document such items.

  • See 5.020-PRO-1

2. Employees may accept the following unsolicited items unless it would appear to a reasonable person that the item had been offered with the intent to influence the employee’s official actions.

  • Advertising or promotional items valued at $25 or less.
  • Items valued at $25 or less that are placed in a common area where they are shared with coworkers.
  • Items with an aggregate value that does not exceed $50 from a single source in a calendar year.
  • Tokens or awards of appreciation in the form of a plaque, trophy, desk item, wall memento, or similar item.
  • Informational material, publications, or subscriptions related to the recipient’s performance of official duties.
  • Food and beverages consumed at hosted receptions.
  • Admission to, and the cost of food and beverages consumed at events sponsored by or in conjunction with a civic, charitable, governmental or community organization.
  • Gifts that are accepted on behalf of and retained by the Department.
  • Gifts of nominal monetary value, not to exceed $25.
  • Purchases made by a community member for an individual officer (e.g., a cup of coffee, a snack or beverage), with the total value being $5 or less.
  • Anonymous purchases of food for an individual officer, with the total value of $10 or less.
  • Gifts motivated by a family or personal relationship (and not due to the recipient’s status as a police officer).

5.020-PRO-1 Reporting Prohibited Gifts and Gratuities


1. Sends an email or SPD Memorandum (form 1.11) through their chain of command to the captain of the Compliance Section explaining the circumstances.

a. Retains the item(s) until a decision is made regarding their ultimate disposition.


2. Forwards this email/memo to the officer/detective’s lieutenant.


3. Forwards this email/memo to the officer/detective’s captain.


4. Forwards this email/memo to the captain of the Compliance Section.

Captain of the Compliance Section

5. Receives this communication from the officer/detective’s captain.

6. Notifies the officer/detective’s chain of command regarding the item’s disposition.

7. Determines the appropriate disposition of the item.

8. Notifies the Compliance Section Administrative Assistant.

Section Administrative

9. Keeps a log regarding items received and their disposition.

10.Sends correspondence to the citizen, if known, who gave the officer/detective the item(s).


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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