16.00.150     DEPARTMENT COMMUNICATION                     (CALEA 12.1.4)

 

Written Correspondence

 

The Department will respond to any written correspondence within five business days.  In the event that more time is required to adequately research the question(s) or issue(s) presented, an interim letter will be sent to the author of the correspondence stating the reason for the delay and an estimate of when a definitive response can be expected.

 

Electronic communications (E-mail and/or Internet) will be treated in a manner similar to other written communications, except the response time should be as short as practical, not to exceed the five day limit without an explanation.

 

All return correspondence must include a contact person’s name and telephone number to allow the correspondent to make any necessary follow-up contact.

 

Copies of correspondence to the City Manager and/or City Council will go through the Chief’s office only.  Copies of correspondence will not routinely be sent to the City Manager and/or City Council except in the following circumstances:

 

v     Subject of the correspondent’s letter is controversial and would likely be of unique interest to the City’s leaders

 

v     The written Compliment is unique, special, or of a nature that the City’s leaders should be aware of exceptional work by an officer, employee, or unit

 

v     A copy of the response to a complaint originally directed to the City’s leaders will be sent to them with a memo, when deemed necessary, to clarify the issue and/or offer a more detailed explanation

 

For tracking purposes, the Chief’s administrative secretary will maintain a copy of all correspondence pursuant to the City’s record retention schedule.

 

Complaint Response

 

Any letter directed to the Chief of Police regarding a complaint will be followed with a return letter at the conclusion of the appropriate Department review and/or investigation.  The Department review and/or investigation will be handled in a manner consistent with Department’s Complaint policies. The return letter will advise the complainant how the matter was concluded.  Correspondence will be drafted for the Chief’s signature with copies sent to the Division, Section, and/or Unit Manager and, when appropriate, to the officer(s) and/or employee(s) involved.

 

Any supervisor or manager in the Department receiving a complaint about an officer and/or employee must comply with the policies set forth in the Complaint policy chapter of this manual.  Copies of this correspondence will be directed to the Section and Division managers, and the Chief’s office.

 

When a manager determines that a complaint is more appropriately directed to the Chief for a response, a draft copy will be submitted to the Chief via hard copy, E-mail attachment, and/or diskette using the word processing program established by the City.

 

Compliment Response

 

Any letter directed to the Chief of Police regarding a compliment will be followed with a return letter thanking the author for the Complimentary letter.  This correspondence will be drafted for the Chief’s signature with copies sent to the Division, Section, and/or Unit Manager and, when appropriate, to the officer(s) and/or employee(s) involved.

 

Any supervisor or manager in the Department that receives a Compliment about an officer and/or employee may respond directly to the Compliment, or forward the Compliment to the Chief of Police for a response.

 

Copies of this correspondence will be directed to the Section and Division managers, and the Chief’s office.

 

When a manager determines that a Compliment is more appropriate directed to the Chief for a response, a draft copy will be submitted to the Chief via hard copy, E-mail attachment, and/or diskette using the word processing program established by the City.

 

Bulletin Information

 

Employees will acquaint themselves daily when on duty, and immediately upon return from an absence, with all posted and circulated information pertinent to themselves or their assignment.

 

Employees will not mark, alter, or deface any posted notice of the Department.  Notices, announcements, or other material will not be posted on Department bulletin boards without permission of a supervisor.

 

General Correspondence

 

Employees will not:

 

v     Enter into correspondence with any person concerning their official activities except as provided by Department regulations, policy or procedures

 

v     Use Department stationery or FAX machines for private correspondence

 

v     Employees will not use the Department address for private purposes

 

Business Cards

 

Business cards issued to employees by the Department will be used by the employee only in connection with official business.  Employees will only use business cards that are of the design approved by the City and/or Department.

 

Forwarding Communication to Higher Command

 

Any employee receiving a written or verbal communication for transmission to a higher command will, in every case, forward such communication without delay.  An employee receiving a communication from a subordinate directed to a higher command will endorse it, indicating approval, disapproval, or acknowledgement.

 

On Duty Communications

 

Employees on duty, or when officially on call, will be available by normal communications - or will keep their office, headquarters, or supervisor informed of the means by which they can be reached when not immediately available.

 

Electronic Communications and Records

 

All employees will comply with the City Policy regarding Electronic Public Records.  Refer to City of Bellevue Administrative Order 94-03.

 

Meetings

 

All management team personnel shall attend periodic staff meetings.  The staff meetings are intended to facilitate the exchange of information, enhance cooperation, communication, and to coordinate the goals of the Department.  Additional formal and informal meetings are held as needed.

 

All employees are encouraged to attend other Section/Unit briefings for the purpose of exchanging information and improving communications.  Routine attendance where no presentation is anticipated does not require prior notification.  Employees wishing to attend another Section/Unit briefing should contact the on-duty supervisor if they wish to present information.

 

Exchange of information is also accomplished throughout the Department by reviewing, discussing, and dissemination of:

 

v      Activity Watch Summaries

 

v      Daily Activity Logs

 

v      Attendance by investigators at roll calls

 

v      Attendance by Communications Section personnel at roll calls

 

v      Distribution of Crime Analysis Bulletins

 

v      Directives, memoranda, general orders

 

v      Department Newsletter, “Off the Cuff”

 

Flow of Information

 

Employees of the Department are required to make notifications via the chain of command when they become aware of incidents or actions involving the Department or its employees that may raise public concern or otherwise affect the operation of the Department.