21.00.200     Cold Credit Cards


Theft of credit card numbers is an increasing problem. The use of these stolen numbers results in millions of dollars of loss each year. Conducting investigations of these crimes is very difficult. In order to better investigate these crimes the Bellevue Police Department Investigations Section in cooperation with the City's Finance Department, maintains cold credit cards.


The credit cards will remain locked in the Investigations Section safe where access is limited to Investigations Supervisors and Command Personnel. Personnel wishing to employ one of these cards must first draw a case number and prepare a follow-up report that clearly states the suspected crime, location, and any other pertinent information, to include an estimate of the expected expense. In no case will an expense of more than $100 be approved without the permission of the Investigations Section Major.


Permission to use a card must first be obtained by an Investigations Section Supervisor. If a Supervisor grants permission to use the card, the Supervisor must notify the Section Commander (Major) via the chain of command. The Supervisor or Commander issuing the card will enter the date and time the card is given to an Investigator/Officer; the case number; card number; and the Supervisor's signature on a log maintained in the Investigations Section safe. When the card is returned, the Investigator/ Officer will notify an Investigations Section Supervisor who will place the card in the safe and log the date and time returned.


The issuing Supervisor will notify the City’s Finance Department whenever the card is issued, unless such notification may compromise the case. The Investigator/Officer will retain all receipts when the card is used in a transaction. The Investigator/Officer must make three copies of the receipt; one for the case file, one to be attached to the log in the safe, and one for Finance. The Finance Department will forward the monthly statement for the card to the Investigator/Officer.


The credit card and receipt will be booked as evidence into the Property Room when fraud occurs on the card. Finance will be notified and the card will be cancelled with the bank. Reconciliation of the transaction will be processed under established procedures for City credit cards, which will be handled by police staff. If fraud occurs on the card, the Police Department will work with Finance to dispute the charges with the bank. The Police Department is responsible for the financial amount charged to the card during the investigation.