15.090 - Investigating Graffiti Incidents

Effective Date: 05/07/2019


1. Officers Will Fully Investigate Graffiti Incidents and Complete a Report As Needed

2. Officers Will Photograph Graffiti With a Digital Camera

3. Officers Will Report Graffiti Incidents to Seattle Public Utilities Through Communications or the SPU Web Site When:

The property owner cannot be identified.

City property is involved.

4. Officers Will Wear Protective Gloves When Handling Etching Acid and Identify the Substance as Etching Acid to the Evidence Unit Staff

15.090-TSK-1 Officer Investigating Graffiti

An officer investigating the report of graffiti:

1. Photographs the graffiti to include a complete picture of the “piece” and any associated “tags”.

2. Uploads the photos to DEMS.

3. Interviews suspect to determine:

  • The suspect’s tag.
  • Lists the suspects tag as an alias in the Mark43. If the suspect is unknown, then list the tag in the "possible name field".

4. Collects and submits evidence:

  • Discarded paint cans; submit for latent prints.
  • Graffiti sketchbooks, or other paperwork produced by suspects.
  • Computers, camera phones and cameras that might have been used to photograph graffiti.

5. Completes a Report that includes:

  • Victim information if known.
  • The object that was damaged indicating size and material composition.
  • How the graffiti was applied; for example, spray paint, marker, etching acid.
  • Description of the graffiti and what the graffiti says.
  • Estimated cost to remove the graffiti.
  • If the graffiti involves a rail car, then the Officer will record the rail car identification number in the Report.
    • An example of an identification number on a railcar owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway would be “BNSF 45941.”


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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