General Order 43.1

Last Revised: 03-01-2017


This order consists of the following numbered sections:

43.1.1    Special investigations function

43.1.3    Maintenance and security of files

43.1.4    Investigative funds

43.1.5    Surveillance and undercover equipment

43.1.6    Covert operations

43.1.7    Special investigative operations

43.1.8    Advisement of the managers and Chief of Police

43.1.1 Special investigations function

I.    Narcotics

A.    Responsibility for the investigation of major narcotics and drug activity is vested in the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force by inter-local agreement.

B.    Responsibility for the investigation of street level narcotics and drug activity is vested in The Patrol Division

II.    Other special investigations

The Special Operations Lieutenant has responsibility for coordination of the Department’s other special investigations.

43.1.3 Maintenance and security of files

I.    All original records and reports relating to special investigations are assigned Department case numbers and are maintained in the Department’s Records Management System, with the exception of major narcotics cases.

II.    Records on major narcotics cases are maintained by the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force.

43.1.4 Investigative funds

Investigative funds are available to assist with narcotics and special investigations. Such funds are subject to the policies, rules and regulations specified in General Order 17.6.

43.1.5 Surveillance and undercover equipment

I.    The Department authorizes the use of audio listening and recording devices; video recording devices, still photography equipment, motion sensing devices, low-light devices and other surveillance and undercover equipment, as permitted by law.

II.    In narcotics and other special investigation applications, Department-owned surveillance and undercover equipment is used only with the approval of the Patrol Lieutenants or the Special Operations Lieutenant (or designee).

43.1.6 Covert operations

Members of the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force and Department personnel designated by the Patrol Lieutenants or the Special Operations Lieutenant may be authorized to conduct covert operations.

43.1.7 Special investigative operations

I.    Complex cases may involve a number of special investigative operations, including, but not limited to, the following:

A.    Surveillance operations;

B.    Undercover operations;

C.    Decoy operations;

D.    Raid operations.

II.    The planning and command of special investigative operations are the responsibility of the Patrol Lieutenants or the Special Operations Lieutenant

III.    All special investigative operations are carefully planned and executed. That planning and execution includes, but is not limited to, the following:

A.    Thorough analysis of the involved crimes, victims, suspects, physical environments and other circumstances.

B.    Consideration of logistical issues that may affect the operation, such as:

1.    Personnel;

2.    Supervision;

3.    Equipment;

4.    Communications;

5.    Investigative funds, special credentials, etc.

C.    Potential involvement of the Prosecutor’s Office or other law enforcement agencies.

IV.    For local operations (within the Department’s jurisdiction), the on-duty patrol supervisor is advised of the circumstances in advance. The information provided to the patrol supervisor includes general information about the purpose and scope of the operation; the location(s) involved; and any patrol support that may be required.

V.    For operations occurring outside the Department’s jurisdiction, the supervisor in charge of the operation shall notify, in advance, either the Chief of Police (or Sheriff, if in a county area) or his/her designee in whose jurisdiction the operation will take place of the presence of the operation. The supervisor in charge will provide the other department with sufficient information to assure that the operation can proceed unimpeded and safely.

43.1.8 Advisement of the managers and Chief of Police

The supervisor authorizing a special investigative operation is responsible for notifying the managers and the Chief of Police of the general nature and scope of the operation. Whenever possible, this notification will be provided prior to the execution of the operation. In no case shall such notification be provided to the division managers and Chief of Police later than the next regular business day following the execution of an operation.