10.060 - Holding Cell and Security Video

Effective Date: 03/01/2019

This policy applies to the use, storage, and maintenance of most Department video systems such as holding cells, BAC rooms, sally ports, and building security.

This policy does not apply to In-Car Video or Body-Worn video covered under Section 16.090.

1. Information Technology Department (ITD) Maintains Holding Cell and Security Video Systems

ITD will perform periodic status checks and facilitate any necessary hardware and/or software repair, replacement, or upgrade.

If there is any malfunction with holding cell or security video systems, a sergeant will contact ITD for repair and notify a lieutenant.

ITD will also maintain user permissions in the back-office software for viewing recorded holding cell and security video. Employees requesting higher than basic-level access will submit the request to ITD via their supervisor.

2. The Department Will Post Signage Providing Notice in Areas That are Being Recorded

3. Employees Will Not Interrupt or Hinder Holding Cell or Security Video Recording

Exception: Recording may be intentionally deactivated for routine maintenance, upgrade, or troubleshooting if a malfunction occurs.

If deactivation occurs in a holding cell, employees will make an effort to avoid using the affected areas until the system is recording again.

For strip searches see SPD Manual Section 6.210

4. Employees May Review Recorded Holding Cell and Security Video

A supervisor, or other employee with the appropriate user permissions, may allow another employee to view holding cell or security video to review an incident for the purposes of completing a report or statement.

Exception: Employees involved in a Type III use of force or officer-involved shooting may not review relevant video until cleared to do so by the Force Investigations Team (FIT).

5. The SPD Video Unit Fulfills Requests for Department Video

Employees may request a copy of recorded video for legitimate purposes such as preparing statements or bringing the video to court. Employees may make internal requests for copies via the electronic form located on the internal homepage.

The SPD Public Disclosure Unit handles requests from outside SPD and will forward the request to the Video Unit.

No other employees may make copies of recorded video without written authorization from a captain

6. Supervisors May Not Routinely or Randomly Review Holding Cell or Security Video to Monitor Officer Performance

A supervisor may conduct a performance review using holding cell video or security video only when there is an articulable reason justifying such review.

The supervisor will present any requests for copies of this video to the precinct/section captain for approval. If approved, the captain will forward the request to the video unit for processing.

A supervisor will provide the subject employee and the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) notice of the performance review. The employee will have the opportunity to have Guild representation present during the review.

Exception: This subsection does not limit or restrict the Department’s review of recorded imagery as part of an official Department investigation, including matters referred to OPA Investigations Section, personnel complaints, early intervention inquiries, civil claims, or other administrative investigations.


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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