16.00.140      WRITTEN DIRECTIVE SYSTEM      (CALEA 12.2.1)


To facilitate communication within the Department, it is necessary to establish definitions, format, and authority for preparation and issuance of written Departmental directives.  The following policy establishes a review process and procedures for a formal distribution and storage system to ensure that all employees have rapid access to written directives relating to the performance of their duties.


The Department shall establish a formal mission and values statement that will become part of the written directive system.  This statement is found near the front of the Department's Policy Manual.




Purging, updating, and revising of written directives shall be done on a continual basis at the direction of the Chief of Police.  Only the Chief of Police and the Deputy Chiefs may authorize and issue an Executive Order or revise an Executive Order.  All Executive Orders will be reviewed annually by the Commander of the Office of Professional Standards.




v       Policy:  A broad statement of Department principles.  Policy statements may be characterized by such words as "may" or "should" and should be adhered to unless circumstances dictate that another course of action is more appropriate


v       Procedure:  A standard for carrying out Department activities.  A procedure may be made mandatory in tone through the use of "Shall" rather than "should," or "must" rather than "may."  Procedures sometimes allow some latitude and discretion in carrying out an activity.


v       Rules and Regulations:  A set of specific directions to which all employees must adhere.


v       Written Directive:  Any written documents used to guide or affect the performance or conduct of Department employees.  The term includes Executive Orders, memoranda, emails, policy and procedures, rules and regulations, and instructional material.


v       Department Manual:  A collection of Department policies, procedures, rules and regulations, and/or other written directives that may be in hard copy or electronic format.  Organizational units of the Department may have their own manuals specific to the functions they perform, such as Traffic, Records, K-9, etc., but those manuals will be subject to approval by the Chief of Police or the Chief's designee before becoming effective.  Once approved by the Chief of Police or designee these manuals become policy and supplement this policy manual.


v       Order of Policy, Procedure, Rule or Regulation, Order, Announcements:  These are "Executive Orders," permanent directives concerned with policy, rules, and procedures, announcements and/or orders usually affecting more than one organizational component of the Department.  Only The Chief of Police or Deputy Chief can issue Executive Orders.  Examples of Executive Orders include but are not limited to: policy changes, procedural changes, announcements of changes in the status of personnel such as new hires, transfers, promotions, demotions, suspensions, retirements, resignations, dismissals, temporary command assignments, and awards for merit or valor.


v       Instructional Material:  Training guides, bulletins, and checklists.


v       Memorandum:  An informal written document that may or may not convey an order.  The memorandum is generally used to clarify, inform, or inquire.  If it is used to direct compliance or conveys an order, it must be issued by the Chief of Police or Deputy Chief.

 Chief's Authority


The authority to issue, delete, modify and approve all written directives pertaining to Policy, Procedures, Rules, Regulations, and Executive Orders is vested with the Chief of Police.


Written directives should not conflict with established policy or procedures unless short-term extenuating circumstances exist or the directive constitutes a revision or replacement of an existing policy or procedure.


Department Policy Manual


The Department Policy and Procedure Manual will be published in electronic format as the primary method of dissemination, although printed copies of the manual will still be available on a limited basis.  Whenever a change is made to a policy, the electronic manual will be updated. 

The Commander of the Office of Professional Standards is responsible for revising the Manual and providing policy manual updates as necessary.  The Commander of the Office of Professional Standards is responsible for keeping an accurate record of Manual updates.


The Commander of the Office of Professional Standards will coordinate the annual review of each policy and procedure, rule and regulation, in order to ensure they are current, via delegation of the affected section commanders, police legal advisor, Deputy Chiefs and the Chief for their input.  Any changes will be recommended to the Chief of Police and then processed as indicated above.


Policy revisions will be provided to all employees immediately upon publication.  Supervisors are expected to facilitate review of new and revised policies; however, it will be the responsibility of the employees to familiarize themselves with any revision and to comply with any revisions. 


At the time of hiring, all employees will  be provided access to the Bellevue Police Department's Policy and Procedures Manual.  The Manual will include the Department's Mission Statement, Organizational Philosophy Statement, rules and regulations, and the agency’s policy guidelines and procedures for providing police services to the community.


Each employee is responsible, and will be held accountable, for reading and familiarizing themselves with the Manual and will acknowledge in writing an understanding thereof.  If an employee is unsure of the meaning of any portion of the Manual, it is their responsibility to seek out assistance until they achieve clear understanding of its contents and meaning.


The Department encourages employees to suggest revisions or new Department procedures.  These suggestions will be forwarded to the Chief of Police via the Chain-of-Command for review and consideration.  Prior to implementation of any policy, rule, regulation or procedure, Section Commanders will be supplied with a copy of the proposed rule or procedure for their review and input.


Other Publications


In addition to the manual, employees are expected to regularly familiarize themselves with all other official Department publications such as Intelligence Bulletins, Training Bulletins,  Legal Opinions, and individual section or unit manuals.


The Office of Professional Standards will ensure consistency with existing authority, compliance with CALEA standards and correct format.  All proposals will be reviewed for gauging the directive's impact on operations.

    Gender of Words


Written directives will be drafted using non-gender terms or titles such as "Officer", "Employee", "Supervisor", "Specialist", ”Commander", "Chief" instead of generally using a pronoun, "he" or "she" to apply to all Department employees of both genders.


 Department Procedures


Procedures for carrying out departmental activities are documented in the Department Policy Manual, including Rules and Regulations.  The Policy Manual may refer the employee to additional resources containing procedural information, standard operating procedures, and/or memorandums of understandings such as, Emergency Management manuals, or collective bargaining agreements.


 Management Staff Review


Normally, proposed policies, procedures, rules, or changes will be reviewed by the Management Staff.  Also, when and where appropriate, the affected personnel can be contacted for additional input.  Review of proposals and changes will be part of regular agenda at the scheduled Management Staff meetings.


All proposals creating new policies, procedures or rules, or changing existing policies, procedures or rules, must be approved by the Chief of Police prior to implementation.


 Dissemination of Written Directives      (CALEA 12.2.2)


Proposed changes to policies, procedures, rules and/or regulations, will be coordinated and distributed through the Office of Professional Standards with assistance from the Legal Advisor.


The Administrative Assistant assigned to the office of the Chief of Police shall be responsible for the distribution of Executive Orders.  Responsibility for dissemination of Policy, Procedure, Rule and Regulation rests with the Commander of the Office of Professional Standards.  Dissemination of new or newly revised written Directives may be made in hard-copy form or through a computerized documentation system.  When the computerized system is used, each Section and Division Commander will maintain backup hard copies for ready access by Department employees.


Section Commanders are responsible for guaranteeing dissemination to their respective employees in the following manner:


v       Executive Order


Executive Orders will be distributed to:


1.      All employees if the authority is the Chief of Police.


2.      To the respective divisional employees if the authority is a Section Commander.


3.      To the affected employee and employee's Section Commander.


4.      To the Chief's Administrative Assistant.


5.      To the employee's personnel file where appropriate.  Copies of all directives are available through Section Commanders for reference by affected personnel.


6.      To the Executive Order Database.

Policy, Procedure, Rules and Regulations


These orders will be distributed to all employees electronically.  Electronic distribution will be done in such a manner as to track employee acknowledgment of each policy change/update. 


Confirmation of Receipt


Whenever a new or revised directive is disseminated, distribution will occur electronically.  Electronic methods of distribution include email and/or posting on the network.  When directives are posted, Section Commanders are responsible to ensure dissemination has occurred.  Supervisors will review the directive to ensure that their employees are aware of its contents.  Supervisors will document the fact that a review of the new or revised policy has taken place and who attended.


Storage of Written Directives


The Administrative Assistant assigned to the office of the Chief of Police shall maintain an independent set of master files on all Orders of Policy and Executive Orders.  Copies are available through Section Commanders for reference by affected personnel.


Each employee has a unique sign-on code consisting of a username and password.  The sign-on code permits the employee to access computerized written directive documentation stored on the network.