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Atlanta Police Department

Policy Manual










Special Order



Effective Date

August 15, 2011



Written Directive Update

August 2011

Applicable To: All employees

Approval Authority:  Chief George N. Turner

Signature:  Signed by GNT

Date Signed:  8/5/2011


  Table of Contents    

1.          PURPOSE  PAGEREF _Toc299974484 \h 1

2.          POLICY  PAGEREF _Toc299974485 \h 1

3.          RESPONSIBILITIES  PAGEREF _Toc299974486 \h 1

4.          ACTION   PAGEREF _Toc299974487 \h 1

4.1           New Directives  PAGEREF _Toc299974488 \h 1

4.1.1        APD.SOP.3131 Mobile Video & Audio Recording  PAGEREF _Toc299974489 \h 1

4.1.2        APD.SOP.5011 General Investigations Squad  PAGEREF _Toc299974490 \h 2

4.1.3        APD.SOP.7010 Community Services Division  PAGEREF _Toc299974491 \h 2


4.2           Updated Directives  PAGEREF _Toc299974492 \h 2

4.2.1        APD.SOP.2130 Dress Code  PAGEREF _Toc299974493 \h 2

4.2.2        APD.SOP.3087 Passengers in Police Vehicles  PAGEREF _Toc299974494 \h 3

4.2.3        APD.SOP.6143 Limited English Proficiency Plan  PAGEREF _Toc299974495 \h 4

5.          DEFINITIONS  PAGEREF _Toc299974496 \h 8

6.          CANCELLATIONS  PAGEREF _Toc299974497 \h 8

7.          REFERENCES  PAGEREF _Toc299974498 \h 8



1.               PURPOSE


This order summarizes revisions to existing directives and new directives. The full text to all current directives can be found on the Horizon intranet site at “http://horizon”. 


2.               POLICY


The Atlanta Police Department will keep its written directives up to date and promptly notify affected employees.


3.               RESPONSIBILITIES


3.1              Bureau, division, and section commanders will implement these changes in their commands, making sure that affected employees are notified.


4.               ACTION


4.1              New Directives


4.1.1           APD.SOP.3131 Mobile Video and Audio Recording


1.    This directive shall provide officers and supervisors with procedures for the use and maintenance of the Watch Guard DV – 1 Mobile Video / Audio System, as well as the storage, duplication, and retention of all DVD recordings, that shall be treated as possible evidence in the prosecution of criminal and traffic offences, as well as departmental internal investigations.


2.    This directive was developed throughout  in compliance with Standards of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) 5th Edition.


3.    Form APD 607 “Daily Activity Report”  was revised to include a section to document the mechanical condition of the mobile audio / video recording system and the on – board vehicle cameras.


4.    Form APD 695 “Original DVD Recording Log” was created to document all original DVD recordings from the Watch Guard DV – 1 System at each worksite where the system is in use.


5.    Form APD 696 “Watch Guard Maintenance Log” was created to document the Watch Guard DV – 1 Systems at each worksite that are undergoing maintenance.


6.    Form APD 697 “Watch Guard Copy Log” was created to document duplicates of original DVD recordings from the Watch Guard DV – 1 System at each worksite.


7.    Form APD 699 “Original DVD Recording / Drop – Box Log” created to document all original DVD recordings from the Watch Guard DV – 1 System that were extracted from the system during a tour of duty that shall be placed in the worksite DVD drop box until a time when the Watch Guard Liaison came transfer them from the drop box to the secure cabinet.


4.1.2           APD.SOP.5011 General Investigations Squad


1.    This directive was newly created and successfully completed both the Expert and Command Review.


4.1.3           APD.SOP.7010 Community Services Division


1.    This directive was newly created and successfully completed both the Expert and Command Review.


4.2              Updated Directives


4.2.1           APD.SOP.2130 Dress Code


1.    The policy was amended to reflect the change from the Red Dog unit to the APEX unit throughout.


2.    Section 4.3.1 was revised to include:  The Class A Uniform for the Rank of Captain and Above.


3.    Section 4.3.2 was revised to include:  The Class A Uniform for the Rank of Lieutenant and Below.


4.    Section 4.3.3 was revised to include:  Class B Uniform.


5.    Section 4.3.4 was revised to include:  Class C Uniform.


6.    Section 4.3.12, paragraph 14, was revised to include:  Employees assigned to the Community Oriented Policing Section (COPS) shall wear a COPS rocker patch beneath the Atlanta Police Department patch on each shoulder of their uniform shirt, sweater, and jacket.


7.    Section 4.3.18, paragraph 14, was revised to include:  The handcuffs shall be carried in a handcuff case on the equipment belt to the rear of either the radio or expandable baton.


8.    Employees may carry a second pair of handcuffs in either a handcuff case or secured by a belt keeper. Hinged handcuffs are prohibited. Handcuffs must be silver or grey in color.


9.    Section 6 was revised to cancel, APD. SOP. 2130 “Dress Code” (Issued: January 15, 2009).


4.2.2           APD.SOP.3087 Civilian Passengers in Police Vehicles


1.    Throughout the directive was developed in compliance with Standards of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) 5th Edition


2.    Section 1 was revised to include:  To provide citizens with an opportunity to experience the Atlanta Police Department’s operations and gain a better understanding of the law enforcement profession.


3.    Section 2 was revised to include:  The Atlanta Police Department shall give Section commanders discretionary authority to allow civilians to ride as observers in police vehicles and to allow officers under certain situations to give courtesy rides to civilians.


4.    Section 3.1 was revised to include:  Section commanders may approve applications for Civilian observers, except for news media representative, who must submit their applications to the Chief of Police for Approval in accordance with Section 4.1.2 of this Standard Operating Procedure.


5.    Section 3.2 was revised to include:  Watch Commanders and Supervisors shall ensure that Officers and Civilian observers comply with this directive.


6.    Section 3.3 was revised to include:  Escorting Police Officers shall be responsible for the general safety of the observer, ensuring that their ID is properly displayed, and that they follow reasonable orders designed to keep them safe and prevent interference with police operations.


7.    Section 3.4 was revised to include:  Civilian observers shall be responsible for complying with this procedure and following appropriate directions of the escorting Police Officer.


8.    Section 4.1.1, paragraph 2, was revised to include:  Minors (under 18 years old), mentally incompetent persons, convicted felons, persons with medical conditions that could create hazards, an Officer’s spouse or immediate family member may not ride as observers with that Police Officer. Youth enrolled in the Law Enforcement Explorers Program (APD.CM.05.07 “Law Enforcement Explorers Program”) or the APD Junior Police Cadet Program (APD.SOP.2200, “APD Junior Police Cadet Program”) shall be excluded from this rule, and shall be permitted to participate as a Civilian observer.


9.    Section 4.1.1, paragraph 3, was revised to include:  Applicants must complete the Civilian observer Application and Waiver form (APD 639) and submit a copy of a photo ID, such as Driver’s license, school ID, passport, etc. to the approving authority five working days before the date of ride along.  The completed form and accompanying documentation shall be kept on file for three years.


10.  Section 4.1.1, paragraph 4, was revised to include:  The Section commander shall select Officers or Supervisors within their command to escort Civilian observers.  It is understood that a certain degree of danger is inherent with law enforcement duties but the escorting Officer or Supervisor shall show due regard in the performance of those duties.


11.  Section 4.1.1, paragraph 5, was revised to include:  Watch Commanders shall maintain a supply of Civilian Observer identification cards.  Civilian observers must wear the identification card on the upper left side of their outer garment.  The escorting Officer shall return the card to their Supervisor at the end of the observation ride.


12.  Section 4.1.1, paragraph 6, was revised to include:  If a Civilian observer interferes with police operations, the escorting Officer shall notify their Supervisor and return the Civilian observer to the place of departure.  A written report shall be completed and the Supervisor shall conduct an investigation.  The Civilian observer's privileges may be suspended pending a review by the approving authority.  The escorting Officer shall attach to the Civilian observer’s “Application and Wavier Form” (Form APD 639) his or her report and the investigative findings of their Supervisor.


13.  Section 4.1.2 was revised to include:  Members of the news media must submit their applications to the Chief of Police for approval.  They shall wear their media identification card and comply with all other provisions of this written directive.


14.  Section 4.1.3 was revised to include:  Section commanders shall limit the number of Civilian observers to avoid interference with operations and the number of times an individual may ride.


15.  Section 4.2.1, paragraph 1, was revised to include:  Courtesy rides are appropriate when a citizen is a victim of a crime or involved in a motor vehicle accident and has no reasonable transportation available.


16.  Section 4.2.1, paragraph 3, was revised to include:  Generally courtesy rides shall be limited to the officer’s beat or the immediately adjacent beat. Travel outside the zone is not desirable. Travel outside the City is not authorized, except to meet an officer from another jurisdiction who shall continue the courtesy ride.


17.  Section 4.2.2, paragraph 1, was revised to include:  Prior to giving someone a courtesy ride, an officer shall obtain permission from his or her supervisor and briefly explain the facts that justify the courtesy ride and the destination.


18.  Section 4.2.2, paragraph 2, was revised to include:  Once approval is given, an officer shall advise Radio to hold them out on a courtesy ride and give the beginning mileage and receive a time check.  Upon completion of the courtesy ride, an officer shall give the ending mileage, receive a time check, and advise radio that they are back in service.”


19.  Section 4.2.2, paragraph 3, was revised to include:  Officers shall record on his or her Daily Activity Sheet (Form APD 607) all courtesy rides during their tour of duty.


4.2.3           APD.SOP.6143 Limited English Proficiency Plan


1.    This directive was revised throughout to include the CALEA 5th Edition Standards.


2.    The title of the directive was changed from “Foreign Language Resources” to “Limited English Proficiency Plan.”


3.    The Purpose Section was revised to include:  This directive identifies resources and procedures for assisting people with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) in their interaction with The Atlanta Police Department, which recognizes the importance of communicating effectively with the people it serves.


4.    The Policy Section was revised to include: The Atlanta Police Department shall provide translation and interpretation assistance to persons with LEP needing police services.


5.    Section 3.1 was revised to include:  Division and Section Commanders shall ensure that each worksite has an up-to-date and full set of directives pertaining to language access services. (CALEA 5th ed. Standard 12.2.1c)


6.    Section 3.2 was revised to include:  The Training Unit Commander is responsible for issuing, reviewing, and maintaining training material and shall coordinate training on new and revised directives, ordinances, and laws pertaining to language access services. (CALEA 5th ed. Standard 12.2.1c)


7.    Section 3.3 was revised to include:  Officers shall inform the Department of their foreign language skills to assist in providing language access services when necessary.


8.    Section 4.1 was revised to include:  Interpretation Services: Calls to 911.


9.    Section 4.1.1 was revised to include:  When an operator receives a telephone call from a  member of the general public and determines that the individual is LEP, the operator shall inform the caller that they shall be placed ‘on hold’  while they connect them with an on-duty bilingual 911 operator or dispatcher. If none are available, the operator will connect them with an interpreter via the Language Line (APD.SOP.6010 ‘Communications’ Section 4.15.12). They shall follow the standard operating procedures for 9-1-1 calls (APD.SOP.6010 ‘Communications’, Section 4.4.4).


10.  Section 4.1.2 was revised to include:  The operator shall advise the dispatcher that the caller is an LEP individual and indicate their primary language, if known, so the responding officer shall know prior to arriving at the scene. The dispatcher shall make every effort to dispatch a bilingual officer to the scene.


11.  Section 4.1.3 was revised to include:  The department shall take reasonable steps to develop in-house language capacity in the Communications Section. The department shall determine its Communications Section’s staffing needs, and work with the Personnel Department to recruit and hire qualified staff with foreign language skills.


12.  Section 4.2 was revised to include:  Officers Requesting Interpretation Services.


13.  Section 4.2.1 addition to include:  Officers shall attempt to identify the LEP individual’s primary language with use of a Language Identification Guide and contact the Communications Section for access to the Language Line (APD.SOP.6010 Communications, Section 4.15.12). 


14.  Section 4.2.2 addition to include:  Officers should only use the general public for interpreting in an informal, non-confrontational context, and only to obtain basic information at the request of the LEP individual.


15.  Section 4.3 was revised to include:  Bilingual Officer Interpreters.


16.  Section 4.3.1 addition to include:  Interpretation services shall be available to all officers when interacting with LEP individuals. The Communications Section shall be the central instrument for connecting officers with an on - duty bilingual officer interpreter.


17.  Section 4.3.2 addition to include:  Under exigent circumstances, such as, but not limited to, obtaining descriptive information about a fleeing suspect or identifying an injured person, an officer may use the most reliable temporary interpreter available, such as:


a.    A neutral bilingual adult bystander who offers to help,


b.    An adult bilingual family member or friend of the LEP individual.


c.    A bilingual minor of the LEP individual’s family or other bilingual juvenile.


18.  Section 4.4 was revised to include, Conducting Interrogations and Interviews.


19.  Section 4.4.1 was revised to include:  Criminal interrogations and interviews of witnesses may involve statements with evidentiary value that may be subject to impeachment in court. Accuracy in obtaining these statements is a priority. Failure to protect the rights of LEP individuals during arrests and interrogations presents risks to the integrity of the investigation. Officers must recognize that miscommunication during interrogations or interviews may have a substantial impact on evidence presented in any criminal proceedings. Officers who are proficient in the spoken language of the suspect or witness shall conduct the interview or interrogation.


20.  Section 4.4.2 was revised to include:  Miranda warnings and all other vital documents shall be made available to LEP suspects and witnesses in their primary language, if resources permit. If LEP suspects and witnesses are illiterate or speak a language where forms or vital documents are not available, a bilingual officer interpreter shall be made available to read the forms in their primary language. In the event that a bilingual officer interpreter is not available, the Language Line (APD.SOP.6010 ‘Communications’ Section 4.15.12) shall be used.


21.  Section 4.5 was revised to include:  Complaint Procedures.


22.  Section 4.5.1 addition to include:  LEP individuals who have grievances against an officer may file a complaint with the Office of Professional Standards (OPS). The OPS investigator assigned to the complaint shall use a bilingual officer interpreter, if available, when conducting any interviews. If a bilingual officer is not available, the Language Line shall be used to assist in the interview. OPS shall provide written notice of the disposition of the investigation to the complainant in their primary language, if resources permit.


23.  Section 4.6 addition to include:  Public Notification of Language Services.


24.  Section 4.6.1 addition to include:  All Departmental worksites shall have signs posted at each public access point in the most commonly spoken languages in the City, stating that interpretation services are available.


25.  Section 4.6.2 addition to include:  The Atlanta Police Department shall provide to LEP individuals, who may be illiterate or speak a language in which vital documents are unavailable, a bilingual officer to read forms and other vital documents in their primary language, if resources permit.  The bilingual officer interpreter shall assist these individuals in completing any forms or vital documents to comply with the law or safeguard their rights. In the event that a bilingual officer interpreter is not available, the Language Line (APD.SOP.6010 ‘Communications’ Section 4.15.12) will be used.


26.  Section 4.7 addition to include:  Monitoring Services.


27.  Section 4.7.1 addition to include:  The Hispanic Liaison Unit shall be responsible for coordinating and implementing all Departmental services to the LEP community.


28.  Section 4.7.2 addition to include:  The Hispanic Liaison Unit shall consult with community-based organizations to determine if additional language services should be provided.


29.  Section 4.7.3 addition to include:  Section Commanders or their designee shall be responsible for consulting with community-based organizations to ensure that the department is providing meaningful access of services to LEP individuals in their area of command. They shall work closely with the Hispanic Liaison Unit in conducting this assessment.


30.  Section 4.7.4 addition to include:  If an incident occurs where language assistance services are provided, the officer shall document the use of these services in their incident report.


31.  Section 5.1 was revised to include:  Bilingual:  The ability to read, write, and speak two languages proficiently.


32.  Section 5.2 was revised to include:  Interpretation: The listening to a communication in one language and converting it orally or written to another language while retaining the same meaning. 


33.  Section 5.3 addition to include:  Limited English Proficiency (LEP): designates individuals whose primary language is not English and who have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or comprehend English. These individuals may be competent in certain types of communication, such as speaking, or comprehending, but deficient in other communication skills, such as reading or writing. Similarly, LEP designations are context-specific: an individual may possess sufficient English language skills to function in one setting, but these skills may be insufficient in other situations.


34.  Section 5.4 addition to include:  Primary Language: An individual’s native tongue or the language in which they most effectively communicate.


35.  Section 5.5 addition to include:  Translation: The conversion of written text in one language into written text in another language while retaining the same meaning.


36.  Section 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, and 4.1.4 these sections were deleted from the revised directive.


5.               DEFINITIONS




6.               CANCELLATIONS




7.               REFERENCES