Tag Archives: Procedure

Phoenix and Tucson Police Directives

The Tucson provides their directives online on governmental websites (a link is at the bottom of the post).  It appears there is some type of trend for the most populous cities in the United States to provide their directives online, either voluntarily or through a court order.

I think it is great police are posting their directives online.  It is a win-win for all.  Some might not think allowing anyone with an internet connection to see the inner-workings of the largest police stations in the state and nation would be a good thing, but let me explain first.

When voluntarily provided the police are able to set the terms on what and how it is distributed.  For example, in the Phoenix Police Directives, Section-9, which describes tactical plans is omitted from public view (for a while the Phoenix Police directives were available on the Phoenix Police website, which does not appear to be the case anymore).  When police voluntarily share information with the public they are the arbiters of what is included, like when the Phoenix Police decided their tactical plans should remain private.  I think that should be applauded.  If the public is able to reference police procedures, it can build trust within the community.

For example, the Tucson Police General Orders, subsection 2200 Constitutional Issues, indicates the do not pay for informants — good to know.  If someone ever claiming to be a police officer offers me money for information, I will know to be suspect of the situation.  Knowing Tucson’s police current policy and being able to reference it quickly via the internet instills trust and confidence that I have in them.

Phoenix Police Department Procedure / Manual

Phoenix Police Department Procedure / Manual

This is an example directive taken from the Tucson police manual.
Tucson Police Department Manual / Procedure.

I have not yet have had the time to go through and compare the procedures of Phoenix, Tucson, and Mesa on every single point.  What I think would be really interesting is to see what if any differences there are between the different departments.  My guess is that there may not be too much of a difference because there are companies that provide boilerplate for police departments.

One thing I did look for is how the police treat citizens who they know suffer from mental health.  The Phoenix Police have several policies that deal with mental illness — some of which go above and beyond what other major cities apparently require.  I will go into detail further at a later date.

Access the directives here:

Phoenix Police directives (this is a direct link and the file is more than 1,200 pages in length.  Please be advised it is a large file).  Note: It appears that the Phoenix Police Department at least has temporarily removed their directives from their website.  The copy provided below is what I previously downloaded while it was publicly available on the internet.

Tucson Police directives

See my earlier post about the city of Mesa Police directives.

***It is important to note police directives may be updated at any time.  Thus, there may be new directives or revised directives that are not included.


Mesa, Arizona Police Department Directives

Through an Open Records Request, the Mesa Police Department shared with me their directives.

Mesa Police Directives Theft Investigations
Mesa, Arizona Police Directives Theft Investigations

Police directives come by several interchangeable names including procedures and manuals. Basically are two types of directives for police: written and unwritten.  Written directives are crafted for scenarios that are foreseeable that police may encounter.  Oral directives are left for times where the scenarios are unforeseeable.  It can be argued that the written directives set a self-imposed standard of care.  By looking at the directives, a person will have one sign post in which to to help make a determination if which the police acted in accordance with their own standards.

Here are the Mesa Police directives (it is a large file almost 1,300 pages in length, so it is probably best to download it to a place where you can read it).

*** It is important to note police directives may be updated at any time.  Thus, there may be new directives or revised directives that are not included.