SPD Overhauls K9 Policy After Review

Today, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) is releasing video of a canine team taking a robbery suspect into custody.

This video was released to a media outlet in fulfillment of a public disclosure request, and due to public interest in police accountability, we are also releasing the video publicly, as well as a clip edited for length.

Although Chief Carmen Best found the actions of the canine team consistent with 2018 department training, Chief Best also believed the deployment was not consistent with SPD’s Use of Force policy nor the values of our department.

In late 2018, Chief Best ordered a thorough review of how SPD uses canines. The department worked with the Office of Police Accountability, the court monitor, and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), as well as two independent canine training experts to develop meaningful policy recommendations.

These recommendations led to a new policy, approved by our federal court monitor, the Department of Justice, and ultimately the federal court. SPD included this update as part of its July filing, which is available here (pdf).

Separately, the OIG is currently auditing SPD K9 operations.

The Department continues to update policies and provide data with the goal of providing greater transparency of our practices in turn creating more opportunities for us to work collaboratively with the community to drive Department policies and priorities.


Originally posted 7/31/2019

SPD Recommends Canine Policy Update, Files Latest Report on Type I and Type II Use of Force

Today the Seattle Police Department made recommendations to the federal court regarding updates to its canine policy, 8.300 – POL – 1 Use of Force – Canine Deployment. One of the updates, if approved by the court, would limit the deployment of the canines only for serious circumstances such as felony and misdemeanor crimes. These would include situations such as homicide, serious assault and kidnapping just to name a few. Additionally, the Department filed with the federal court the latest report on Type I and Type II use of force: “Reporting, Review, and Investigation of Use of Force Report – July 2019.”

The Department continues to update policies and provide data with the goal of providing greater transparency of our practices in turn creating more opportunities for us to work collaboratively with the community to drive Department policies and priorities


Resources:

Download the 2018 Use of Force Report.

Download the 2017 Use of Force Report.

Access the dashboards: Use of Force | Officer Involved Shootings

For more information on our use of force policy and investigations visit:

8.300 – POL – 1 Use of Force – Canine Deployment