General Order 12.2

Last Revised: 03-01-2017


This order consists of the following numbered sections:

12.2.1    Policies and procedures system

12.2.2    Policies and procedures: preparation, review, and revision

12.2.3    Policies and procedures: issuance, dissemination, and storage

12.2.1 Policies and procedures system

The Olympia Police Department utilizes a written policies and procedures system, as follows:

I.    Authority is vested in the Chief of Police (or his/her designee) to issue, modify, and approve Department policies and procedures.

II.    Policies and procedures are used by Department management to:

A.    Set organizational values;

B.    Establish reasonable rules and regulations;

C.    Clarify performance and behavior expectations, and determine operating methods and equipment;

D.    Establish methods, processes, and schedules by which Department work is accomplished.

III.    The policies and procedures contained in this system apply to all Department employees. Contract or statute (e.g., Civil Service rules, union contract, or memorandum of understand) may, however, establish a context in which a policy or procedure, or part thereof, does not apply.

IV.    Policies and procedures by type and issuing authority are as follows:

A.    General orders: issued by the Chief of Police

B.    Procedures: issued by management staff

C.    Special orders: issued by members of the management staff

D.    Instructives: issued by management/supervisory personnel or training personnel

V.    The format of all policies and procedures is in approved outline form.

VI.    Policies and procedures serve the following purposes:

A.    General orders are used to establish organizational values and clarify management’s performance and behavior expectations for all employees. General orders announce department-wide adoption or revision of policies and direct procedures, department-wide, for the indefinite future.

B.    Procedures are routinely used as the guiding sources of reference for procedural (“how to”) matters.

C.    Special orders are used to implement procedures or policies needed to govern a specific, short-term objective or event. Special orders are also used to implement interim changes to general orders. Special orders are self-canceling after the objective is reached, the event is completed, or the affected general order is revised.

VII.    The Department is also subject to the City of Olympia policies. All Department policies, rules, and regulations are contained within the General Orders manual, City of Olympia policies, or special orders.

VIII.    Each employee is responsible for knowledge of, and compliance with, all official policies, rules, and regulations pertinent to his/her assignment.

IX.    Written orders and memoranda issued at any level shall not conflict with established policies and procedures directed by a higher authority.

12.2.2 Policies and procedures: preparation, review, and revision

I.    Written policies and procedures preparation authority

New and revised policies and procedures may be written by members of the management staff or their designees.

II.    Review and revision of policies and procedures

Policies and procedures are reviewed at regular intervals or at the request of management staff, training personnel, or employees in order to ensure that they:

A.    Reflect current best-practices in law enforcement;

B.    Reflect appropriate case law and court decisions;

C.    Can be clearly understood by Department employees and the public.

12.2.3 Policies and procedures: issuance, dissemination, and storage

I.    Each general order, procedure, special order, and instructive has na implementation or last revision date designated by its author.

II.    Training is completed prior to the designated implementation date.

III.    On issuance of new or revised general orders, directives, or special orders, each employee is notified by email.

IV.    The official version of all written policies and procedures are posted on the City website by employees of the Administrative Services Division for reference and review.

V.    Obsolete copies of general orders, procedures, special orders, and instructives are retained according to the State of Washington retention schedule in an electronic file form and maintained by the Administrative Services Division.