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6.010 - Arrests

Effective Date: 07/26/2019


This policy applies when any on-duty or off-duty officer arrests a person.  For charge-by-officer, see 15.020 – Charge-By-Officer (CBO.)  For stops and detentions, see 6.220 - Voluntary Contacts, Terry Stops and Detentions.

Employees shall not engage in enforcement, investigative or administrative functions that create conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest. (See 5.001 - Standards and Duties.)

1. Officers Must Have Probable Cause That a Suspect Committed a Crime in Order to Effect an Arrest

2. When Taking a Suspect Into Custody, Officers Must Identify Themselves, Inform the Suspect that He or She is Under Arrest, and State the Reason for the Arrest As Early as Practical

3. Officers Shall Advise All Arrestees of Their Full Miranda Rights

Officers shall give this advisement to all persons taken into custody, regardless of interview, as soon as practical.  See Manual Section 6.150 – Advising Persons of Right to Counsel and Miranda.

4. Officers are Required to Report Arrests

An officer will notify a sergeant and complete an Arrest Report for each person arrested.

When a person is arrested for assaulting an on-duty or off-duty officer, the sergeant will notify a lieutenant. See Manual Section 15.330 - Responding to Threats & Assaults on Officers.

In addition to all other pertinent information, the Report shall include the name of the sergeant who reviewed the incident and the location where the review took place.

If an officer arrests a subject but then discovers that probable cause for the arrest no longer exists, the officer may not extend the subject's detention to await the arrival of or screening with a supervisor. The officer shall immediately release the subject.

Incidents where a subject has been arrested and then released shall be documented in a Report.

5. Sergeants Must Screen All Arrests Prior to Booking or Release

The sergeant shall screen the arrest in-person if the person detained has been handcuffed by SPD, is injured or claiming injury, or has been the subject of a reportable use-of-force.

Sergeants screen detentions for involuntary mental health evaluations, with no reportable use of force, per Manual Section 16.110- Crisis Intervention.

When a sergeant is the primary officer, a different sergeant or above will review the incident.

6. Screening Sergeant Will Approve Report

The same sergeant that screened the arrest will be the one to review all documentation related to the event.

Exception: Another sergeant may review the documentation if it is impractical for the initial sergeant to do so. The screening sergeant will locate an alternate to perform the review and will inform the reporting officer of the change.

The screening sergeant will complete the Sergeant Arrest Screening Supplement.

7. Reports Must Be Completed by End of Shift

The primary officer will complete the Report as soon as practical after the arrest, and in all cases, before going out of service.

For all bookings, officers shall directly notify the screening sergeant after the Report has been sent. The sergeant will review the Report immediately for approval. See 6.010-PRO-1.

8. Felony Arrests Require a Label and an Alert Email

For felony arrests, officers shall complete an Alert Email with copies of paper documents attached. See 6.010-TSK-2.

Sergeants will apply a label to the report for the appropriate investigative unit. See 6.010-PRO-1.

6.010-PRO-1 Officer Reporting the Arrest


1. Arrests a person.

2. Advises the person of his or her Miranda rights.

3. Notifies sergeant of the arrest.


4. Screens the incident. See 6.010-TSK-1.


5. Completes an Arrest Report for each person arrested.

a. For booking, also completes a Superform.

b. For felony arrests, also completes an Alert Email. See 6.010-TSK-2.

6. Submits the completed Report when finished.

7. Notifies the screening sergeant that the completed report has been sent.


8. Completes a Sergeant Arrest Screening Supplement

9. Applies a label to the report for the appropriate follow-up unit..

Data Center Unit

10. Attaches any paper documents to the Report.

6.010-TSK-1 Sergeant Screening and Approving An Arrest

When screening an arrest, the sergeant:

1. Reviews, the circumstances surrounding the incident and the physical condition of the person arrested or detained.

- This review must take place in-person if the person detained has been handcuffed, is injured or claiming injury, or has been the subject of a reportable use-of-force.

2. Determines the appropriateness of the offense charged and the disposition of the person arrested or detained.

3. Completes a Sergeant Arrest Screening Supplement.

- This applies even if the subject is released.

4. Reviews the reports for completeness.

5. Applies a label to the report for the appropriate follow-up unit.

6.010-TSK-2 Officer Assembling an Alert Email

When completing an Alert Email for a felony booking, the reporting officer:

1. Compiles copies of any paper documents from the investigation and a printout of the E-Superform.

a. For narcotics cases, includes a Certification of Probable Cause-Narcotics with an original signature in blue ink.

2. Scans and Emails the paper documents to the appropriate follow-up unit.

3. Routes original paper documents to Data Center through normal distribution processes.

4. Completes a Report if additional Alert information becomes available.

a. Follows the same Alert procedures to forward the new information.


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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