13.060 - Specialty Vehicles & Equipment

Effective Date: 8/19/2003


The Seattle Police Department will utilize special vehicles and equipment as needed throughout the city and will ensure that all personnel assigned to operate these specialized vehicles and equipment are trained in their proper operation, maintenance, and the special tactical considerations unique to each individual vehicle or piece of equipment. This equipment includes, but is not limited to: animals used by canine and mounted patrols, bomb van, mobile precincts, motorcycles, prisoner transport van, SWAT vehicles and water craft. It is a requirement that each affected unit have this information written into their unit policy.

I. Training and Qualifications

A. An officer will be qualified to operate special vehicles or equipment while on assignment, after they have successfully completed the Department approved training for the operation of that specific vehicle or equipment.

B. Unit Captains will ensure that officers assigned to operate special vehicles or equipment keep their skills current with on-going in-service training, and may designate training days to work on specific skills. The unit’s manual will include this training requirement and specifically indicate which type of training is required for each specific piece of equipment or vehicle.

C. A list of officers who are qualified and trained to operate special vehicles and equipment will be maintained by the unit to which the vehicle or equipment is assigned.

II. Objectives of Operation

A. Special vehicles and equipment can be applied in many police functions. Special vehicles and equipment can be deployed in any area that requires special vehicles or equipment. The Unit Captain and the sergeant assigned to the unit will determine when the use of the special vehicle or equipment is appropriate and safe.

B. Due to their unique functions and in some cases unique appearance or function, they can be deployed at community events as static demonstrations with an operator on scene to answer the publics questions about their function and deployment.

C. The use of special vehicles and equipment will operate year round. It is at the discretion of the Unit Captain and sergeant to determine if weather conditions make it unsafe or impractical for operation.

D. The Unit Captain and the sergeant assigned to the unit will determine the limitations of the use of the special vehicles and equipment, and may develop a unit manual to address specific operational procedures.

E. Officers operating special vehicles and equipment will usually not be dispatched to calls, but will respond to calls when they are available and it is practical to do so.

III. Maintenance

A. Officers will perform basic maintenance and safety checks on their vehicle or equipment, as taught during training. Maintenance and repairs that are beyond the officer’s training or ability will be conducted by authorized personnel.

IV. Equipment

A. Each officer will be equipped with Department approved specialized uniform and gear that is required for the operation of a special vehicles or equipment.

B. Specialty vehicles and equipment will be equipped based on the generally accepted standard for their intended use as pertains to police applications. Additional equipment may be added as approved by the Unit Captain. Equipment should be checked regularly. Unit Captains will document their inventory control measures for any specialized equipment items.

C. Any damage to the specialty vehicle or equipment will be reported to the Unit Captain.


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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