TACOMA POLICE DEPARTMENT
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE POLICY
following terms shall have the meanings given them:
Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear
of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family
or household members; (b) sexual assault of one family or household
member by another; or (c) stalking as defined in RCW 9A.46.110 of
one family or household member by another family or household member.
or Household Members
former spouses, persons who have a child in common regardless of
whether they have been married or have lived together at any time,
adult persons related by blood or marriage, adult persons who are
presently residing together or who have resided together in the
past, persons sixteen years of age or older who are presently residing
together or who have resided together in the past and who have or
had dating relationship, persons sixteen years or age or older with
whom a person sixteen years of age or older has or has had a dating
relationship, and persons who have a biological or legal parent-child
relationship, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents
social relationship of a romantic nature. Factors that the
court may consider in making this determination include: (a)
the length of time the relationship has existed; (b) the nature
of the relationship; and (c) the frequency of interaction between
items necessary for a person's immediate health, welfare, and livelihood.
Essential Personal Effects includes, but is not limited to,
clothing, cribs, bedding, documents, medications, and person hygiene
Violence Order for Protection
is the most commonly requested order. It is a civil order
from the court telling the family or household member who threatened
or assaulted the petitioner not to do so again.
protection order can:
the respondent not to threaten or hurt the petitioner
the respondent not to enter the petitioner's residence
one parent temporary custody of children
a schedule for visitation with minor children
the respondent to leave a shared residence
the petitioner possession of essential personal effects
the petitioner use of a vehicle
the respondent to attend counseling.
protection order cannot:
most property to either party
permanent child custody or use of the shared residence
is broader than a domestic violence protection order since it can
deal with property issues, child support, spousal support, as well
as domestic violence and temporary custody issues. A restraining
order is filed as part of a divorce case, a paternity case, or other
family law case.
type of order does not require a petition because it is part of
a criminal action. The court will decide whether to issue this order
when it determines if the Respondent is to be released on bail or
personal recognizance, or when the Respondent is arraigned or being
sentenced. Generally this order does not last as long as a
protection order and it does not award custody, establish visitation
or order counseling.
order typically applies to situations when the persons are not married
or related to each other, for example, in disputes between neighbors
and in stalking (stranger-stranger) situations. This order is helpful
when a person is being harassed but has not been assaulted or threatened
with physical harm.
Family Coordinator is assigned by the Chief of Police to act as
liaison between advocacy groups and the victim/family. The
Family Coordinator will not participate in either a Criminal or
Administrative Investigation. The primary function of the Family
Coordinator will be to assist with the victim's safety through advocacy
organizations. This position will be furnished regular training
in domestic violence - officer involved issues and will train all
employee on policies and related laws.
TO EMPLOYEE RELATED DV CALLS/DISPATCH
And Employees Will Act Immediately When Notified
notified of any domestic violence call/incident, whether inside
or outside the city, involving an employee of the Tacoma Police
Department, the supervisor/employee receiving the information shall
immediately notify his/her chain of command or the Command Duty
Officer (CDO)/Shift Lieutenant. In the event the information
is about an assistant chief the CDO/Shift Lieutenant will notify
the Chief of Police. If the information concerns the Chief
of Police the Command Duty Officer/Shift Lieutenant will immediately
notify the City Manager, Mayor, and the Pierce County Prosecutor.
a domestic violence call/incident rises to the level of criminal
activity and occurred within the City of Tacoma, LESA Dispatch will
be notified and a supervisor/officers will be dispatched. A
report shall be completed immediately by the employee/officer receiving
the information. This report, which will supplement the officers/supervisors
report, must include details on dates, times, location, circumstances,
names, officials notified, and actions taken.
any employee of the Tacoma Police Department receives a call that
involves a Tacoma Police Department employee and is criminal in
nature but occurred within another jurisdiction, the other jurisdiction,
if not already notified, will be notified by the Tacoma Police Chief
or his/her designee. The Tacoma Police Department will advise
the other agency of the location, people involved and any other
pertinent information the other agency may need for their investigation.
The Tacoma Police Department will also request a copy of all
reports generated from the incident.
DV Investigations Require Two Officers And A Supervisor
Department will send a minimum of two officers and a permanent rank
supervisor, preferably of a higher rank than the involved officer,
to investigate any officer involved domestic violence call within
the City of Tacoma regardless of the involved officer's jurisdiction.
If a higher ranking supervisor is not available the CDO/Shift Lieutenant
will respond immediately to the scene.
the incident occurs in another jurisdiction and is a TPD employee
involved domestic violence call, a permanent rank supervisor, with
the approval of the CDO/Shift Lieutenant, will respond to the scene.
The supervisor will obtain as much information concerning
the incident and the officer without interfering with the other
jurisdictions investigation and/or the officer/employee rights.
a supervisor is unable to respond to another jurisdiction, the CDO/Shift
Lieutenant or Chief's Office will explain the Department's policy
and requirements to the other agency and refer them to their Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) with the Tacoma Police Department (if a party
to an MOU). The Department will not condone interference by
its employees and will ask the outside agency involved to contact
the Chief's Office as soon as practical to report any interference.
an on-duty Tacoma police officer is investigating the scene of a
domestic violence incident, which involves subjects who could cause
the officer to experience emotional, political or career pressures
such as City Council members, judges or prominent citizens, the
officer is to request a supervisor respond to the scene. Should
the supervisor feel subjected to the pressures listed above he/she
should immediately call the CDO/Shift Lieutenant for direction including,
if necessary, having the CDO/Shift Lieutenant respond to the scene.
Upon completion of the preliminary investigation the supervisor
will ensure all required documentation is completed.
officers shall perform at a minimum the following actions upon their
medical attention if needed
the immediate and future safety of the victim(s)
an unbiased investigation under the guidance of the responding
supervisor and in accordance with RCW 10.99
to locate accused employee if he/she has left the scene
involved officers will write supplemental reports.
Scene Supervisor Duties:
permanent rank supervisor shall respond to the scene of all domestic
violence incidents within the City of Tacoma involving any Department
employee, and any other law enforcement officer identified as a
supervisor will ensure that the victim's immediate safety needs
supervisor will ensure that any children located at the scene are
safe and secure; to include transporting to another location deemed
safe by the supervisor, if appropriate.
needed, will request CID domestic violence detectives through the
CDO/Shift Lieutenant or family violence unit coordinator.
Supervisor will request that Internal Affairs respond to the scene
when deemed necessary.
a domestic violence victim may recant the allegation of the incident,
the supervisor/officers must perform a complete, thorough, preliminary
supervisor shall ensure that photographs of the scene are taken
when appropriate for evidentiary reasons.
supervisor will ensure that a thorough and unbiased investigation
is conducted and where probable cause exists the supervisor and/or
CDO/Shift Supervisor will make the arrest according to Washington
State Law, RCW 10.31.100. The supervisor/CDO will physically book
the arrested employee.
probable cause exists to arrest the employee for domestic violence
but the employee has left the scene, the on-scene supervisor will
notify his/her chain of command or the CDO/Shift Lieutenant of the
circumstances surrounding the incident.
the supervisor/officer decides to not arrest the employee, the circumstances
surrounding that decision shall be documented by the supervisor
and forwarded to his/her chain of command.
an officer is arrested, the supervisor shall relieve the accused
officer of all service firearms, even if a member of another Department.
If the firearms have not been used in the commission of a
crime and are not needed for evidentiary reasons, arrangements will
be made to return the service firearm to the appropriate agency.
supervisor will confiscate personal firearms if they were used in
the commission of the crime, were in plain view, or if they were
voluntarily relinquished by the involved officer or owner.
administratively secured weapons will be placed in the Tacoma-Pierce
County evidence room. A firearm (Department and/or personally
owned) will only be released to the Chief of Police or his/her designee.
If the arrested subject is the Chief of Police the weapons
will only be released to the Pierce County Sheriff or his/her designee.
an officer of the Tacoma Police Department is arrested, the on-scene
supervisor and/or the CDO/Shift Lt. will impose an emergency suspension
(MRP #2.09.001VI) on the involved officer and confiscate the officer's
service firearm, badge, commission card, and assigned vehicle. The
supervisor will inform the employee of the reasons for the action
and order the employee to report to the Assistant Chief of that
bureau at 0900hrs. on the next regular office day or as otherwise
advised by higher authority. If the next day is not a regular
office day, the CDO is responsible for authorizing return to duty.
Supervisor will ensure that all reports are forwarded through the
chain of command to the Chief of Police.
Notifies All Interested Parties Upon Clarification of Situation
a Tacoma Police Employee is arrested or there is probable cause
for an arrest but the employee has left the scene, the CDO/Shift
Lieutenant will notify the Chief of Police, Internal Affairs, and
the family violence unit coordinator.
a Law Enforcement Officer other then a Tacoma Police Department
employee is arrested and/or there is probable cause for an arrest
and the officer has left the scene, the CDO/Shift Lieutenant will
notify the involved officer's department.
the arrested officer is the Chief of Police, the CDO/Shift Lieutenant
will notify the City Manager, the Mayor, and the Pierce County Prosecutor.
CDO/Shift Lieutenant will debrief all involved officers and inform
them that confidentiality is of the utmost importance to the investigation
as well as the safety of the victim and will prohibit all officers
from discussing the incident and/or the whereabouts of the victim
except as official police business.
Affairs Will Assist In Ongoing Investigation
Affairs will respond to the scene of all domestic violence arrests
of Tacoma Police Department employees within the City of Tacoma
and will coordinate its administrative investigation with the Domestic
Violence Unit's criminal investigation.
Affairs will administratively investigate all incidents of domestic
violence involving Tacoma Police Department employees whether or
not it occurred in the City of Tacoma.
a Tacoma Police Department employee is being investigated criminally,
Internal Affairs will not question any of the participants without
the approval of the criminal investigator. The criminal investigation
will take precedence.
investigations shall be in accordance with the employee's labor
contract and constitutional rights.
Family Violence Unit Coordinator Performs Follow Up With Victim(s)
Family Violence Unit Coordinator shall:
to all domestic violence arrests of Tacoma Police Department
employees and those officers from other jurisdictions, who are
arrested within the City of Tacoma
out CID Domestic Violence Detectives when needed
as a liaison between the Department and the victim
to the victim the Tacoma Police Department policy as it relates
to domestic violence
contact between the victim and domestic violence advocates and
the CID Sergeant immediately assigns a detective to the case,
unless the Chief of Police assigns the investigation to another
police agency, in which case the FVU coordinator will act as
liaison to ensure an investigation is completed in a timely
and effective manner
that the investigation is unbiased and unobstructed
that the chain of command, to include the Chief of Police, is
regularly briefed on both the administrative and criminal investigations.
that all employees of the Tacoma Police Department are trained
on the officer involved domestic violence policy and all associated
Firearms & Property Will Be Seized With Probable Cause
a Tacoma Police officer is arrested for domestic violence. An
order for protection or a civil anti-harassment order is in existence
and/or there is probable cause for an arrest on a domestic violence
related offense, the supervisor shall relieve the accused officer
of his/her Department service firearm(s).
an armed officer from another jurisdiction is arrested, all firearms
that can be removed legally shall be removed and placed into safekeeping.
allowable under State Law or Federal Law, all other firearms owned
by or at the disposal of the accused employee may be removed to
reduce the victim's risk. Because the victim may want a firearm
for protection, the Department will consider his/her wishes as to
the removal of all firearms.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INVOLVING EMPLOYEES
Partners" Academy Provides Skills To Employees & Partners
Department will implement a "life partners" academy for
all new employees and will encourage their "significant other(s)"
to attend. "Life Partners" will help provide employees/officers
and their families with realistic information concerning police
work and its ramifications on their relationships.
will also help families recognize any personal issues they may have
related to the law enforcement career and provide resources for
dealing with these issues.
Provides Domestic Violence Prevention Training
Department will regularly develop training protocols for all Department
employees to ensure information relating to domestic violence is
being received by employees.
Department employees will receive mandatory instruction covering
various domestic violence topics, which may include the following:
Domestic Violence Officer/Employee Involved Policy
Signs of Domestic Violence by Police Officers
State, and Federal Domestic Violence Laws
of Local Domestic Violence Advocates
Programs for Tacoma Police Department Employees
responsibility in regards to employee/officer domestic violence
Department shall continuously use a variety of training techniques
including in-service training, roll call training, field training
officer instruction and training bulletins to regularly reinforce
all policies concerning officer/employee involved domestic violence.
Will Refer Employees to State Qualified Professionals
Department will respond to all requests for assistance (whether
from the employee or those concerned with the well-being of the
employee, themselves, or the employee's children) by referring them
to a list of non- punitive, confidential domestic violence state
certified professionals for assistance.
employees are encouraged and entitled to seek assistance through
employee assistance programs and similar counseling functions in
an effort to prevent a problem from escalating to the level of criminal
conduct against an intimate partner or family member.
Department shall publish and promote the procedure for seeking confidential
internal and external referrals to all officers seeking help in
the area of domestic violence.
Department Will Work With Local Victim Advocacy Groups
Department will establish and maintain ongoing relationships with
victim advocates and domestic violence professionals in the community.
These may include shelter staff, hotline crisis workers, social
service providers, State approved treatment providers, coordinating
councils/coalitions, or others knowledgeable about the challenges
facing DV victims. They can serve as essential partners in
effective community policing.
Department, when requested by local domestic violence victim advocacy
organizations, shall provide copies of all domestic violence training
curricula, protocols, and policies for review and comment.
training curricula may include the following:
policies and protocol
DV investigations and evidence collection
with victim advocates
aggressor/self defense determination
and limitation of danger assessment tools
and civil liability
removal and seizure
Department shall provide the opportunity for local domestic violence
advocacy groups and approved domestic violence treatment providers
to be part of domestic violence training as both trainers and students.
Will Ensure Cross-Jurisdictional Cooperation
Department shall develop cross-jurisdictional cooperation with LESA
Dispatch and all surrounding law enforcement jurisdictions to ensure
timely notification of any incident involving a TPD officer/employee.
Disclosure Of Domestic Violence Participation Not Entitled To Confidentiality
on duty or off duty Tacoma Police Department employee who discloses
to any employee of the Tacoma Police Department that they have committed
domestic violence against a significant other are not entitled to
confidentiality, reporting is mandatory. The disclosure will
initially be reviewed and if required investigated administratively
Tacoma Police Chaplains will not have clergy privilege in any incident
where a Tacoma Police Employee has committed a crime to include
domestic violence as defined by RCW.
Police peer group counselors will not have "privileged communications"
concerning the disclosure of a crime by a Tacoma Police employee,
including domestic violence as defined by RCW 5.60.060 (6A)
Department will not condone any employee concealing or interfering
with domestic violence cases brought against fellow employees.
a Tacoma Police Employee is served with an "order of protection"
and/or a domestic violence/stalking "Civil Anti-Harassment"
order, they are required to notify a Tacoma Police Department supervisor
Domestic Violence Victims Not Required To Report
Tacoma Police Department does not require employees who are victims
of domestic violence to report even if the abuser is a TPD employee.
However, they are strongly encouraged to contact a domestic violence
advocacy group for assistance if they choose not to report.
Shall Train How To Recognize/Report Abusive Behavior
shall be trained on how to recognize abusive behavior potentially
indicative of domestic violence.
must report any observed abusive behavior indicative of domestic
violence by other employees to their chain of command immediately.
Department Resources To Commit Domestic Violence is Prohibited
employee, who threatens, harasses, or abuses someone using City
resources such as work time, workplace phones, Fax machines, mail,
E-mail, or other means shall be subject to corrective or disciplinary
Tacoma Police Department will not tolerate domestic violence against
any employee or an employees' significant other while in city offices,
facilities, vehicles, or while conducting city business.
EMPLOYEE-RELATED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Will Conduct Separate Investigations
Department shall conduct separate and parallel administrative and
criminal investigations (if crime occurred within the City of Tacoma)
of all alleged incidents of domestic violence by an employee of
the Tacoma Police Department in a manner that maintains the integrity
of both investigations
Department shall conduct a separate administrative investigation
of all allegations of domestic violence occurring outside the jurisdiction
of Tacoma by an employee.
Department will adhere to and observe all procedures to ensure an
accused employee's departmental, union and legal rights are upheld
during the administrative and criminal investigations.
Affairs Unit Normally Conducts Administrative Investigation
Department's Internal Affairs Unit will complete the administrative
investigation of an employee's domestic violence whether the crime
was committed in Tacoma or elsewhere.
the Chief of Police may request an outside law enforcement agency
conduct the administrative investigation.
the investigation reveals a violation of policy, the Chief of Police
will decide the appropriate discipline, up to and including termination
regardless of whether an arrest was made or criminal charges filed.
City Manager, in consultation with the Mayor and the Pierce County
Prosecutor will decide who will perform the administrative investigation
when the Chief of Police is the subject of a domestic violence investigation.
Will Take Administrative Action With Sufficient Evidence
after a preliminary investigation there is a reasonable allegation
that a TPD employee is involved in a domestic violence incident
then the Department will investigate. During the investigation
the Department shall also carry out administrative action which
may include placing the accused employee on other assignments such
as administrative duties or administrative leave.
Department will assign the accused employee to duties that do not
require response to domestic violence cases pending the administrative
and criminal investigations for alleged acts of domestic violence
and/or violation of Department policies.
employees will be treated with respect and all contractual agreements
will be followed throughout the investigation.
Will Investigate and Discipline All Employees Involved
Department shall investigate and take disciplinary action in cases
where the administrative (I/A) or criminal investigation reveals
that other employees are improperly and/or illegally involved. Situations
where other employees might be implicated in improper or illegal
conduct may include (but are not limited to):
with knowledge of an incident of domestic violence who did not
report it as provided by this policy
who engaged in actions that could reasonably be perceived to
interfere with the investigation
who by harassment, intimidation cause the victim to abandon
Department shall refer all such matters to the prosecuting attorney
for review and possible prosecution.
Violence Unit Detective Conducts Criminal Investigation
CID Domestic Violence Unit Detective will investigate criminal allegations
involving any Tacoma Police Department employee accused of domestic
violence if the incident occurred within the City of Tacoma.
Chief of Police may ask an outside law enforcement agency to conduct
the criminal investigation. In the event that the allegations
are made against an Assistant Chief(s) or the Chief of Police, the
City Manager, the Mayor and the Pierce County Prosecutor will be
notified. The City Manager will decide if the investigation
will be handled within the department or given to another law enforcement
investigating detective shall conduct criminal investigations involving
employees in the same manner as any other criminal investigation.
investigating detective shall completely investigate the allegations
and refer the case for prosecutorial review even if the victim recants.
investigating detective, in accordance with the employee's and victim's
rights, shall ensure sufficient interviews be conducted, to include
friends, witnesses and family. Even though an initial report may
already exist concerning an employee, reports of any subsequent
or additional criminal incidents, which may include other employees
engaging in surveillance or intimidation shall be documented separately,
assigned a case number, and investigated thoroughly.
Domestic Violence Unit detective shall work closely with the prosecuting
attorney on each case. This detective shall present all the
information to the appropriate prosecuting attorney for action and
ask that a decision about the adjudication of the case be made as
soon as practical.
officer convicted of domestic violence through criminal proceedings
shall be dismissed as a police officer for the City of Tacoma.
State & Federal Laws Will Be Upheld In All Dismissals
Chief of Police or designee, upon the decision to dismiss an officer
shall do the following in accordance with Department and City personnel
policies as well as union rights and state laws:
that the victim is alerted prior to notification of the dismissal
and offered available assistance, to include safety planning
administered by a qualified domestic violence professional.
the officer of available support resources, to include counseling.
the Washington State law enforcement certification officials
of the termination
APPLICANTS PRIOR TO HIRING OR PROMOTION
Hires Require Thorough Background Investigation
Department shall conduct thorough background investigations of all
new lateral and entry-level applicants considered for employment.
All applicants shall be questioned about past allegations,
arrests and/or convictions of domestic violence, sexual assaults
and stalking as well as past and present protective orders.
to promotion, the Department, in conjunction with the LESA director,
will conduct an extensive criminal records check on the officers
selected for promotion, regardless of rank.
With a History of Violence Will Not Be Hired
applicant considered for employment with a history of committing
violence, such as domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, stalking,
animal cruelty, sexual assaults, etc., will not be hired.
Shall Advise Applicants of Routine Checks on Employees
Department shall advise applicants considered for employment that
computer criminal checks are conducted routinely on employees for
possible protection orders.
Shall Receive a Polygraph Exam and Follow-Up Review
Department polygrapher will give each applicant considered for employment
a polygraph exam. The polygrapher and assigned background
investigator will also conduct a follow-up interview with the applicant.
Shall Receive a Psychological Exam and Follow-Up Interview
Department psychologist or psychiatrist will conduct an initial
psychological exam and follow-up interview with all applicants considered
for employment. The exam and the interview shall assist the
psychologist/psychiatrist in assessing applicants for abusive or
Hiring Requires Joint Staff Approval
Department will not hire any applicant without a joint meeting of
those staff members involved with the applicant, i.e., hiring officer,
psychologist/psychiatrist, background investigator, and Human Resources
representative. These members will work in concert to ensure
all applicants are suited for a career in law enforcement.
VICTIMS OF EMPLOYEE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Victim Information Shall Be Kept Strictly Confidential
confidentiality and safety of the victim are of the utmost importance
to the Tacoma Police Department.
if the victim wishes to be placed in an undisclosed "safe home"
he/she may use a domestic violence advocacy representative for the
transport and placement. This procedure is to limit the Tacoma
Police Department's contact with victims thus enhancing their confidentiality.
those employees who do have contact with victims shall keep all
information concerning them confidential, including their whereabouts
and safety plans.
Will Connect Victims With Advocacy Agencies
Department shall work with community resources and advocacy agencies
to connect victims, families and children with appropriate services.
Violence Unit Coordinator Acts as Department Liaison to Victims
Violence Unit Coordinator shall assist the victim by ensuring that
a safety plan and a lethality report are completed by a domestic
Department Employees Will Watch For Suspect Activity
regular training, Department personnel shall be made aware of the
increased danger to victims when they leave an abusive partner and/or
when the Department terminates an employee. The family violence
unit coordinator and the domestic violence advocate liaison shall
caution the victim to be alert and report stalking activities on
the part of the abuser.
shall also be aware of possible witness or victim intimidation.
Whenever employees suspect this is occurring, they shall immediately
contact their supervisor, prepare a report and immediately deliver
it through their chain of command to the Chief of Police.
Employees Will Not Accompany Suspects To Court Proceedings
Police Department Employees will not accompany police officers/employee
suspects to any domestic related court proceedings while on duty
unless subpoenaed to appear or ordered to do so by their chain of
command. If appearing while off duty they will neither carry
nor display any Tacoma Police Department equipment to include assigned
firearms(s) or insignias on their person, concealed or not. They
must be aware of the fact that their mere presence in domestic violence
related actions may appear intimidating to the victims.
Enacted Feb. 23, 2004,