The Port of Seattle Police Department is comprised of an Administrative Bureau and a Patrol Bureau. Several divisions within these bureaus ensure the safety and security of passengers and Port of Seattle property while maintaining professional integrity. Read below for more information and click the links to find out about divisions.
The primary mission of the Administrative Bureau is to provide support to the Patrol Bureau. The Administrative Bureau consists of the Criminal Investigations Division, Fleet and Supply and the Professional Development and Standards Division.
Criminal Investigations Division
The Criminal Investigations Division consists of a sergeant and six detectives who conduct follow-up and investigate criminal cases reported within the Port of Seattle jurisdiction. This includes offenses for assault, narcotics, fraud, theft, and other property crimes. Detectives interview victims, witnesses, and suspects; they write and serve search warrants; they locate, identify, and preserve physical evidence; and they identify, locate, interview, and arrest suspects. Detectives also conduct background investigations on individuals wishing to work at the department.
A detective is assigned to dual duties as the property and evidence room custodian and crime scene specialist. He is responsible for maintaining the chain of custody for all property seized and submitted by POSPD officers. These properties are either designated as evidence, contraband, or safekeeping. Each item is recorded, inventoried, and stored in the secured property room.
Additionally, four detectives are assigned to regional joint task forces which include the Valley Narcotics Enforcement Team (VNET), the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Task Force. VNET detectives play a major role in interdicting drugs at the airport and the jurisdictions surrounding the airport. The detective assigned to the JTTF is instrumental in keeping POSPD officers informed about individuals who may be committing crimes or may be suspected of terrorist activities. Our detective assigned to ICE works with several federal agencies on crimes that violate federal immigration and customs laws.
Professional Development and Standards Division
The Professional Development and Standards Division consists of: the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), the Accreditation Unit, and the Training Unit. The Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) functions to ensure that all POSPD employees conduct themselves professionally at all times. The unit’s primary purpose is to investigate allegations of misconduct and to determine whether or not the allegation is founded or not. OPA also tracks citizen complaints, manages the department’s Internal Affairs PRO system, and completes annual reports on officer-involved use of force incidents, pursuits, officer-involved collisions, and bias-based policing complaints.
The Accreditation Unit has the primary mission of ensuring that the department meets the high accreditation standards defined by the Commission for the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC). The department has been WASPC since 1989 and is undergoing CALEA accreditation this year. This will be done by meeting 177 CALEA standards. The Police Department was recently earned the prized accreditation held by only two port forces nationwide.
The Training Unit has the primary responsibility to ensure that all employees meet legislated training requirements and also have adequate training to do their job effectively and efficiently.
Administrative Services Division
The Administrative Services Division is staffed with civilians dedicated to supporting the administrative functions of the department. The Division includes a Manager, Administrative Supervisor, and Police Specialists. The team provides professional administrative support covering Police Records, Reception, Finance and Budget, Payroll, Scheduling, Training, Accreditation and general support for the other department divisions.
The Patrol Bureau is the most visible representation of the Department while patrolling our jurisdictions within and around the airport and seaport. Uniformed members serve our community in many ways to include responding to 911 calls, assisting the public, providing proactive patrol, and facilitating the safe and expeditious movement of traffic. Officers may be called to take a report of a crime from a travelling member of the public, intervene in a physical confrontation or respond to a security breach within the airport.
The Patrol Bureau has three patrol divisions – Airport/Day, Airport/Nights, and the Seaport. Officers at the airport have additional duties in our Bomb Disposal Unit and our Explosive Detection Canine Unit. At the seaport, officers staff a Marine Patrol Unit and Dive Team that is very active during cruise season which peaks every summer. Bureau officers also staff a Crowd Management Unit, a Crisis Communication Unit, a Bike Team, an Honor Guard, and a ProActive Anti-Crime Team.
In 2010, over 31 million airline passengers travelled through the Sea-Tac Airport and over 931,698 passengers boarded cruise ships docked at the seaport. Our officers continue to routinely interact with many members of our diverse communities which include our domestic and international travelers, employees, and those who use the services of the airport and seaport.
A unique section of the Patrol Bureau is represented by units that carry out specialized work.