15.080 - Follow up Unit Notification & Follow up Investigation

Effective Date: 12/15/20

15.080-POL-1 Follow-Up Unit Notification

1. Follow-Up Units are Available to Respond to a Crime Scene on a 24-Hour Basis if the Circumstances Justify an Immediate Response

The follow-up unit sergeant and the primary unit sergeant will normally determine whether immediate follow-up response is appropriate. The primary unit sergeant must consider the facts of the incident in light of the guidelines listed, prior to contacting the dispatch supervisor or the follow-up unit sergeant.

If the incident occurs during daytime hours, an attempt shall be made to contact the appropriate follow-up unit first, via telephone. Whenever feasible, the primary unit sergeant shall provide the dispatch supervisor with a telephone number where the follow-up unit sergeant may contact the primary unit sergeant.

Watch lieutenants have the discretion to order a detective follow-up response if, in their judgment, the situation requires it.

2. Sergeants of Primary Investigating Units are Required to Notify Appropriate Follow-Up Unit Sergeants of Certain Incident on a 24-Hour Basis

a. SWAT (Contact SWAT by phone through the Communications Section)

Whether for a planned operation or an incident in-progress, factors that may justify calling out the team include, but are not limited to:

- A suspect who is reported to be armed with a firearm, or is reported to have access to automatic weapons or explosives.

- A suspect with a violent criminal history.

- The suspect is in a fortified location / barricaded.

- The crime(s) involved is often associated with weapons.

- A suspect who is affiliated with a violent, anti-social or anti-government group.

- A suspect who made threats of violence towards police.

- Other hazardous conditions.

Planned operations include, but are not limited to:

- Search warrant service

- Arrest warrant service

- Dignitary protection

- Vehicle / foot takedown

- Demonstration management

- Special event security (Seahawks, Parades)

In-progress incidents include, but are not limited to:

- Barricaded subjects

- Hostage situations

- Riots

- Active shooter(s)

Barricaded subjects appropriate for a SWAT response include, but are not limited to, situations where:

- There is probable cause to believe that the person committed or is committing a violent felony crime.

- There is a reasonable possibility that the person is armed with a deadly weapon.

- The person is located within a structure (residence, building, vehicle or other protective surrounding) and the person is noncompliant (not complying with the lawful authority of on-scene law enforcement personnel).

A hostage situation includes these elements:

- The suspect has physical or coercive control over another person.

- The suspect threatened to kill or cause serious bodily harm to the victim, and there is a reasonable belief that the suspect has the means to carry out the threat.

Other incidents that are appropriate to request SWAT include, but are not limited to:

- Acts of terrorism or weapons of mass destruction

- Active shooter

- Sniper situations

- Civil disturbance/unrest at the scene of a hostile crowd

- Any situation, by its apparent nature, is life-threatening and beyond the scope of normal police response or capabilities.

- Response requires special equipment, tactics or training not available to patrol operations.

Unless exigent (active shooter, hostage situation, terrorist event) the on-duty lieutenant should be on scene to make an assessment prior to contacting the SWAT commander. The following considerations should be in place prior to contacting the SWAT commander (if feasible) or prior to SWAT arriving on scene:

- Containment in place

- Arrest team in place

- HNT on scene and attempts at negotiation have occurred

- Command Post established

- A separate tactical frequency that is monitored by Dispatch

b. The Homicide and Assault Unit ((206) 684-5550) is contacted for a possible response in the following incidents:

- Homicide

- Assault with injuries likely to result in death

- Any death investigations (including natural, accidental and adult suicide) involving questionable circumstances

- Every death involving a child under the age of 18 (TCIS handles all traffic collisions that result in deaths including a child under the age of 18)

- Any death or life-threatening felony assault resulting from domestic violence

- Kidnapping, other than custodial

- Fire deaths or fire injuries likely to result in death at the request of an Arson/Bomb Unit sergeant

- Death of any police personnel

- Serious assault on an officer in which there was not reportable force used on the suspect

- Serious assault on an officer in which Type III reportable force is used in the incident

- Missing person, where it is apparently a homicide or kidnapping

- Other personal injury incidents that because of their nature (victim status, unique crime) will likely generate media attention

- Any found bones that are likely human, such as a skull or a partial skeleton

- All industrial accidents resulting in death, either of a paid employee or a volunteer

c. The Force Investigations Team (FIT) ((206) 684-9292) is contacted for a possible response in the following incidents:

- Type III use of force, to include officer-involved shooting

- Outside agency officer-involved shooting

- Unintentional firearm discharge

- Animal shooting

- Any death where that individual is in custody, or had been in custody within the past 72 hours, of the Seattle Police Department, or any law enforcement agency within the city of Seattle including the King County Jail and King County Youth Service Center

- Any seriously injured subject in Seattle Police Department custody

- Serious assault on an officer in which reportable force used in the incident, if any, is less than Type III

d. The Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit ((206) 684-5575) is contacted for a possible response in the following incidents:

- Any rape where the suspect is a stranger and a crime scene exists

- Serious injury to a child (birth to 12 years) involving questionable circumstances, and when the Homicide Unit has declined to respond

- In accordance with the call-out guidelines for the Homicide and Assault Unit, first call-out request shall be made requesting their response

- If Homicide and Assault Unit declines to respond, request through the Communications Section that a second call – out attempt be made to the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit (SAU)

- Any rape where the victim sustains serious physical injuries in addition to suffering a sexual assault

- Sexually based incidents involving custodial or institutional settings (jail, day care, school)

- Sexual assaults incidents likely to generate significant media and/or community interest

- A rape where a suspect is arrested and it is advantageous that a detective interview the suspect immediately

e. The Robbery Unit ((206) 684-5535) is contacted for possible response in the following incidents:

- Bank robbery

- Robbery incidents involving:

- Shots fired

- Restraints used on the victim(s)

- Serious injuries

- Extensive media interest

- Incidents involving high dollar loss, (currency and/or property)

- Home Invasion Incident

- Possible pattern or serial robberies

- Large scale commercial robberies

f. The Arson/Bomb Squad ((206) 684-8980) is contacted for a possible response in the following incidents:

- A fire of suspicious origin, obvious arson, serious injury or death of a person

- Whenever an explosion has occurred which resulted in an injury or property damage, however slight. This includes incidents where the explosive used was common “fireworks”

- Suspected or known explosive devices

- Suspected or known WMD agent dissemination devices

- An explosion that involves an improvised explosive device (homemade bomb), regardless of damage, injury or intent

- An abandoned or suspicious item/package suspected to contain an explosive or WMD agent dissemination device

- An incendiary device

- A site used to illegally manufacture explosives, including flash powder and fireworks, or to fill containers with an explosive agent

- Found military ordnance, commercial explosives, or any type of improvised/homemade explosive

- A large quantity of small arms ammunition, or any quantity of ammunition 50 caliber or larger or any ammunition that is in a deteriorated state

- Common fireworks in quantities of more than a few pounds, and any quantity of M-80s or larger

- Any incident involving any chemical, biological, or radiological agents, or nuclear agents, where there has been a release or threat of a release, or any suspicious circumstances involving such agents

- Any arson or suspicious fire

- The Seattle Fire Department

Fire Investigation Unit (Fire Marshall 5) is tasked with determining origin and cause. They will normally be requested to respond by first responder fire fighters. In the event SFD – FIU does not respond, the patrol sergeant should screen the incident with ABS personnel.

g. The Bias Crimes Unit ((206) 233-3898) is contacted for a possible response in the following incidents:

- Incidents likely to generate significant media and/or community interest

- When there is a question as to whether or not an incident meets the definition of a criminal act under either the malicious harassment ordinance, SMC 12A.06.115 or the state statute, RCW 9A.36.080, contact the Bias Crime coordinator during regular business hours for screening. Outside of regular business hours contact the on-duty or on call Homicide Unit sergeant.

- The incident shall be thoroughly investigated. When circumstances are questionable, the incident shall be treated as a bias crime initially, all appropriate procedures shall be followed, and all the appropriate boxes on the Incident Report shall be checked, including the “Bias Crime” box.

h. The Domestic Violence Unit ((206) 684-0330) is contacted for a possible response in the following incidents:

- A serious domestic violence assault in which the suspect has been arrested and is available for interviewing prior to booking

- A serious domestic violence assault incident which includes a crime scene containing substantial physical evidence (bloodstain patterns, gunshot residue, broken furniture, scarred walls), regardless of whether or not the suspect has been arrested

- In cases where the victim has suffered injuries likely to result in death, the Homicide and Assault Unit should be notified and given the opportunity to respond prior to the DV Unit. In the event that the screening Homicide sergeant declines to respond, the DV Unit should then be contacted.

- Domestic violence allegations involving Seattle Police Department employees – whether as a suspect or victim. An on-duty lieutenant is required to respond to the scene.

- Domestic violence allegations involving employees of another law enforcement agency – agency whether as a suspect or victim. An on-duty lieutenant is required to respond to the scene.

i. The Gun Violence Reduction Team ((206) 615-1048) is contacted for a possible response in the following incidents:

- Drive-by shootings with injury or serious risk of injury, regardless of whether a suspect has been located

- Any violent crime related to gang activity or involving gang members and or associates

- Assaults upon officers by suspected gang members

- Riot/disturbance situations with gang involvement

- Serious assaults involving juveniles

- Serious assaults with a crime scene where Homicide and Assault Unit detectives would not be required

- In accordance with the call-out guidelines for the Homicide and Assault, first call-out request shall be made requesting their response

- If Homicide and Assault Unit declines to respond, request through the Communications Section that a second call-out attempt be made to the Gun Violence Reduction Team.

j. The Narcotics Unit ((206) 684-5797) must be notified for possible response to all incidents involving:

- The seizure of currency in the amount of $10,000 or more related to a narcotics transaction. Refer to Seattle Police Manual Section 7.090 - Evidence Money Submission

- A clandestine drug lab or suspected lab

- A significant marijuana grow operation

- Presence of financial documents indicating assets of $10,000 or more related to a narcotics transaction

- Found safe deposit keys or documentation, such as a bank statement, that may indicate a safe deposit box related to narcotics

- Any unusual circumstances that an on-scene sergeant believes should be reviewed immediately by a Narcotics sergeant, such as credible information of a large quantity of narcotics or a major dealer


k. The Human Trafficking Unit ((206) 684-8660) or ICAC ((206) 684-8657) is contacted for a possible response in the following incidents:

- Production/Distribution/Possession of child pornography with a suspect in custody

- Luring of a child via the Internet, involving the attempt or actual meeting of the suspect and child

- When investigating a missing child deemed to be endangered and it is believed that a computer contains evidence as to the whereabouts of the child

- Escort service investigations involving minors

- Whenever a child is arrested for prostitution and she/he is willing to cooperate in the investigation

- Incidents involving a large gambling operation where expertise from detectives is deemed important

- Crimes that have been committed with the use of a computer and assistance is needed for the proper take down of the system, due to extenuating circumstances such as networked systems

l. The General Investigations Unit is contacted for a possible response in the following incidents:

Burglary Crimes

- First degree burglary or an extensive loss

- Large–scale commercial burglary

- Specialized/high value burglary (art, antiques)

- The scene cannot be protected until 0800 hours and/or an evidence technician is not available

- Any sensitive incident that may draw significant community or media attention

Fraud/Forgery Crimes ((206) 684-8981)

- Where there is production of financial instruments (currency, credit cards, debit cards, ATM cards, checks)

- Whenever a large number of identity instruments and/or credit cards are co-located with equipment (computers printers, engravers,) capable of producing them

- Whenever large, commercial type operations for producing counterfeit software or compact disks, especially those creating “CD platters” are discovered

- Whenever locations are discovered where a computer lab has been established for the purpose of pirating or extracting (collecting) data from numerous other computer hard drives

- When officers serve a warrant or enter a premise where false identification are being produced and computers are being used

- When large quantities of identification instruments, identify information, or obvious fraud/forgery instruments are located

- Complaints of money laundering and/or illegal overseas transactions. Complaints of complex, large scale or commercial fraud, forgery or illegal bank transactions

Auto Theft Crimes ((206) 684-8940)

- Whenever a location is discovered where several stolen vehicles are being stripped

- Whenever a suspect (18 years or older) has been arrested and is willing to provide information on other auto thieves and the suspect has a prior auto theft booking into the King County Jail

- Whenever there are multiple suspects (18 years of age and older) with three or more stolen vehicles involved in the same incident

- Whenever a suspect is attempting to sell a stolen vehicle

m. The Missing Person Unit ((206) 684-5582) is contacted for a possible response in the following incidents:

- When there are questions regarding missing persons incidents, contact the Missing Person Unit detectives during regular business hours for screening.

- Outside of regular business hours contact the on-duty or standby Homicide and Assault Unit sergeant.

- Consult Seattle Police Manual Section 15.130 - Missing Persons.

n. The Traffic Collision Investigation Section (TCIS) ((206) 684-8923) is contacted for a possible response for certain collisions. See Seattle Police Manual Section 15.260 - Collision Investigations for information concerning TCIS call out procedures.

o. Crime Scene Investigation Unit (CSI) ((206) 684-0972)

- The function of this unit will be to respond to certain types of crime scene and process then for physical evidence. The case investigation responsibility for all major crimes will remain with the appropriate follow up units.

p. Any other crime which the field supervisor believes should be brought to a follow-up unit’s attention.

q. In the event of the death or serious injury of a police officer, notification will be made to the appropriate follow-up unit, the Media Response Unit, the chain of command, and a member of the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild or Seattle Police Management Association. See Seattle Police Manual Section 14.070 - Serious Injury or Fatality to Officer.

r. Any incident of a sensitive nature which may bring public notoriety upon an officer or the Department should be brought to the attention of a sergeant. The sergeant will determine if the incident should be brought to the attention of a member of the Public Affairs Unit. The ranking supervisor will decide if those higher in command should be notified, up to and including the Chief of Police.

s. Other crimes or incidents may also require immediate follow-up investigation, the need for which will be determined by the special investigative skills required and current investigative policies. In all cases where the necessity for immediate follow-up investigation has been determined, the appropriate detective unit will be notified and given the option of immediate response.

t. Refer to Seattle Police Manual Section 15.260 - Collision Investigations when determining follow-up requirements for traffic collisions.

u. Incidents to which follow-up units will respond require the primary investigator to preserve and protect the scene. See Seattle Police Manual Section 14.060 - Serious Incident Plan.

v. Incidents occurring where a follow-up unit has been contacted and does not respond, require the primary investigator to complete the investigation as thoroughly as possible.

w. If immediate follow-up investigation will not be required, the primary investigation will be conducted in such a manner as to ensure that the follow-up unit will receive all available information, via reports and statements, concerning the incident.

15.080-POL-2 Follow-Up Unit Investigation

The Seattle Police Department conducts follow-up investigations in certain cases, as determined by either Criminal Investigations Bureau or precinct personnel. While the course of an investigation is dependent on the particular facts of the incident, the goals may include identification, apprehension, and prosecution of involved suspects as well as the recovery of stolen property.

1. Follow-Up Investigations Will Include Certain Minimum Components

a. Analysis and Review

- All previous and related reports should be reviewed and assessed for relevance or intelligence value.

- The criminal history files of any suspects should be collected and included in the file.

- An attempt should be made to link the suspect to other crimes through a modus operandi analysis.

b. Investigative Operations

- When appropriate, the case detectives will contact and interview listed suspects, witnesses, and victims. When necessary, detectives should consider contacting uniformed personnel for additional information.

- Generally, case detectives should consider viewing the scene of the crime. Any physical evidence located shall be packaged and submitted per Seattle Police Manual Section 7.020 - Evidence, Private Property Collection and Release. Crime scene searches should be systematic and thorough.

- If a crime scene is large or outdoors, detectives should consider requesting the assistance of other units. Such requests should be coordinated through the case detective’s unit lieutenant.

c. Case Preparation

- Case files shall be prepared to satisfy standards established by the prosecuting attorney’s office. The Criminal Investigations Bureau will publish these standards.

- Detectives shall respond to requests for additional information from the prosecutor. Any concerns regarding these requests should be communicated to the detective’s sergeant.


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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