12.090 - Departmental Correspondence

Effective Date: 3/8/2012

I. Definitions


A. Outgoing correspondence: Any official communication by letter emanating from the Seattle Police Department.

B. Original letter: Any original correspondence from the Office of the Chief of Police, Deputy Chief, Bureau Chief or Section Captain.

C. Form letter: All pre-printed correspondence sent out from any segment of the Department under the signature of the Chief of Police, Deputy Chief, Bureau Chief or Section Captain.

II. Requirements


A. Bureau and Section Captains shall:


1. Ensure that all concerned personnel comply with the established format for original and form letters.

2. Be the approving authority for all outgoing correspondence originating from their respective Bureau or Section.

3. Provide copies of all printed form letters to the Compliance Section prior to ordering the printing of any form letter.

B. The Compliance Section shall:


1. Maintain a complete and accurate file of all form letters in use by the Department.

2. Screen all new and reordered form letters to ensure they conform to the established format.

III. Memorandums


A. Official written communications within the Department shall be by Memorandum.


1. The sender shall initial next to their name in the “from” block.

2. If practical, first names, rather than initials, shall be used.

3. See sample Memorandum:

Example of a Seattle Police Department memorandum

IV. Outgoing Correspondence


A. Departmental correspondence, including official letters and emails, addressed to entities outside the Department must be signed or approved by a Lieutenant or higher authority. Blanket approval for routine/repetitive correspondence may be granted by a Lieutenant or higher. Such routine correspondence shall be reviewed for content and compliance with policy on at least an annual basis.

B. When placing your name and address on any mailing list associated with Seattle Police Department correspondence, please use your unit name instead of unit number and use your exact building address instead of 610 5th Avenue (unless you work in Police Headquarters in which case use the Department P.O. Box Address).


Example: Seattle Police Department

Detective Jane Doe/East Precinct Burglary

1519 12th Avenue

Seattle, WA 98122

C. All original letters shall be in the following format:

1. On Department letterhead stationary, using block text with mixed punctuation.

2. See Outgoing Correspondence letter example:



Example of a Seattle Police Department letter.