General Order 41.1

Last Revised: 03-01-2017


This order consists of the following numbered sections:

41.1.1    Continuous patrol coverage

41.1.2    Deployment

41.1.3    Briefing

41.1.4    Special purpose vehicles

41.1.1 Continuous patrol coverage

The Patrol Division is staffed by uniformed police officers who are on duty 24 hours a day.

41.1.2 Deployment

I.    Teams and squads

The Patrol Division consists of two uniformed patrol teams: Blue Team, Gold Team. Each Team has three squads of officers (dayshift, swing shift, & grave yard shift).

A.    Patrol officers are considered ‘first responders’ who patrol the city limits of Olympia.

B.    Patrol officers have a wide range of responsibility including; responding to calls for service, enforcement, education, and proactively addressing crime.

C.    Officers build community trust by engaging with the community and develop partnerships to help problem solve identified crime trends and other police related concerns.

II.    Patrol areas

A.    Generally, patrol officers are assigned geographic areas. Area boundaries are based on call-for-service history and are reviewed and modified, as needed.

B.    Having the same officers regularly assigned to service specific areas is strongly encouraged to promote familiarity and close working partnerships between neighborhoods and their officers.

C.    Teams are able to redeploy personnel, as needed, to address specific problems and issues that are identified.

41.1.3 Briefing

I.    Members of each squad attend a briefing prior to engaging in field activities.

II.    Briefing protocol

When reporting to briefing, officers are in full uniform and have at hand all of the equipment needed for the work day.

41.1.4 Response to routine and emergency calls for service

I.    In routine operations and in response to calls for service where no emergency exists, employees shall proceed without the use of emergency equipment and in compliance with all traffic regulations.

II.    In response to emergency and “in progress” calls for service, response is determined by the officer(s) involved within the guidelines of this order, unless otherwise directed by a supervisor. Although life-threatening situations may warrant temporary suspension of traffic regulations, as permitted by law, speeds above the posted limits and driving against traffic control devices must always be done in a manner that is safe and prudent for the existing conditions. An officer who is involved in a traffic accident on the way to a critical call for service is not able to provide assistance to the person(s) who originally called for emergency help.

A.    In response to calls to a crime or situation in progress, officers are authorized to proceed using the Opticom system and emergency lights as necessary and prudent.

B.    Some emergency circumstances may make utilization of emergency equipment undesirable. An example of this would be when a patrol vehicle is in the immediate area of an in-progress call and the officer’s use of the emergency equipment may alert the suspect to the approach of police. Whenever an officer elects not to use a patrol vehicle’s emergency equipment in responding to an emergency situation, he/she shall obey all traffic regulations, with the following exceptions:

1.    Officers may, with caution, violate regular traffic and/or parking rules, if such action is necessary to access the location of the emergency;

2.    Officers may, with caution, violate regular traffic and/or parking rules if such action is necessary to position themselves for a safe response to the emergency.

III.    The provisions of this section do not relieve the driver of an emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons, and they do not protect the driver from the consequences of reckless or negligent disregard for the safety of others. [RCW 46.61.035 (4)]

IV.    Officers will utilize emergency equipment only when required by the nature of the assignment, or when situations confront them that indicate the need for the use of emergency equipment.

A.    Emergency lights

1.    Emergency lights are used to signal other users of the roadway that emergency conditions exist and the right-of-way should be relinquished to the patrol vehicle.

2.    Emergency lights are appropriate for use in the following circumstances:

a.    In situations described in 41.1.4(II.A).

b.    When stopping traffic violators;

c.    When a patrol vehicle is parked and/or stopped on the roadway;

d.    When assisting motorists parked and/or stopped in hazardous locations.

B.    Siren

1.    The siren should be used in circumstances described in 41.1.4(II.A) and when in an authorized pursuit.

2.    The siren may also be used to signal violators to stop when other means of attracting the violator’s attention have failed.

3.    The siren is used only in conjunction with emergency lights.

41.1.5 Field Interviews

I.    Officers make field contacts of citizens in accordance with Department training, written and case law.

II.    Officers shall use the Field Interview Report in RMS when documenting field contacts involving temporary detention in hand-cuffs when no associated case report is generated.

41.1.6 Notifications

I.    Coroner

Whenever an officer is called to investigate any criminally caused, suspicious or unattended death (not in the presence of a physician, emergency medical technician or registered nurse) the Thurston County Coroner’s office will be notified.

A.    The investigator will coordinate custody and care of the body with the Coroner’s office and the deceased’s family, if present.

B.    Notification of next of kin is the responsibility of the Coroner’s office.

C.    Identification of deceased persons to the media is the responsibility of the Coroner’s office, and all media inquiries will be directed to that agency.

II.    Prosecutor

Whenever an officer is called to investigate any criminally -caused death, the Olympia Police Department Detective Division will be notified. The Detective Lieutenant or designee will notify the Thurston County Prosecutor’s office.

III.    Next-of-kin

Notifications to next-of-kin in cases of serious injury are handled in a courteous, respectful and compassionate manner. Employees with responsibility for next-of-kin notifications (normally commissioned officers) may enlist other persons including clergy, friends or neighbors to assist in these notifications.

A.    Notifications of local relatives regarding seriously injured persons are conducted in person, whenever possible.

B.    Members may assist other agencies with in person death/serious injury notifications, if requested.

IV.    Public works department

An officer who observes a potential or actual hazard on a roadway is to request immediate response from the appropriate department to correct the hazard.

V.    Utilities

An officer who observes a potential or actual safety hazard caused by damage to or misuse of a utility’s property is to request immediate response from the appropriate utility company.

VI.    News media

The Public Information Officer, or designee, is responsible for media advisories regarding accidents, road blockages and other incidents of interest to the public. When the PIO, or designee, is unavailable, advisories will be handled by the Division Manager or on duty supervisor. (see GO 45.1)

41.1.7 Foreign nationals

I.    Foreign Diplomats and Consulate Personnel

Officers coming in contact with persons who claim diplomatic privilege should contact the Watch Commander as soon as practical. Foreign diplomats and consulate officers are immune from traffic violations, except for DWI or reckless driving. [see 61.1]

II.    Foreign Nationals

A.    A foreign national who is arrested and booked into any detention center by an officer of the Olympia Police Department shall be afforded the right of notification, without delay, to the consulate or embassy of his/her country of citizenship.

B.    In accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, notification of the consulate or embassy by on officer of the Department (i.e., the on-duty supervisor or his/her designee) is mandatory when a detainee is a citizen of one of the following countries:

Albania1, Anguilla4, Antigua, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bermuda4, British Virgin Islands4, Brunei, Bulgaria, Caicos Islands4, China (Peoples’ Republic), Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Hong Kong4, Hungary, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Moldova, Monserrat4, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, St.Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincents/Grenadines, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovak Republic, South Korea, Taiwan (Republic of China)2, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad/Tobago, Turkmenistan, Turks4, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom4, USSR3, Uzbekistan, Zambia.

1Notification must be provided to a responsible representative within 72 hours of arrest and detention.

2The nearest office of the Coordination Council for North American Affairs (the unofficial entity representing Taiwan’s interests in the U.S.) is to be notified when a Taiwan national, carrying a Republic of China passport, is detained.

3All USSR successor states are covered by the Vienna Convention.

4Residents carry British passports.

C.    A detainee who is subject to mandatory notification of his/her consulate or embassy shall, on completion of that notification, be advised thereof.

D.    It is not mandatory for an officer of the Department to directly notify the consulate or embassy of a detainee who is a citizen of any country other than those listed in Section II.b (e.g., Canada, Mexico or India). However, in such instances, the detainee must be advised, without delay, of his/her right to have the consulate/embassy of his/her home country notified. If notification is requested by the detainee, it shall be facilitated in a timely manner by the on-duty supervisor (or designee). If notification is not requested by the detainee, that choice shall be noted, in writing, on the arrest report and on the other documentation required by this policy.

E.    Documentation of compliance with this policy shall be provided on a “Detention of Foreign Nationals” form, and the prescribed form shall be completed in every case in which a foreign national is detained by an officer of the Olympia Police Department. Consulate/embassy notifications shall be made by FAXing a copy of the arrest report face sheet to the appropriate entity, or, for consulates/embassies without FAX numbers, by telephone and U.S. mail.

F.    Foreign consular officers have the right to visit, converse and correspond with, and arrange for representation of their nationals, subject to the local laws and regulations governing access to detained persons.