The mission of the Olympia Police Department is to consistently earn the trust of the residents and visitors in our community. We accomplish our mission through a team approach to proactive policing, corrections, community education and support services. We are recognized as being compassionate, respectful, highly-trained, innovative and as people who are dedicated to making a positive difference in the City of Olympia.
See the Department's Strategic Plan, 2015-2020 for detailed information about how we achieve our mission.
What Services Does the Department Provide?
The Olympia Police Department operates two primary programs - Policing Services and Corrections Services. Each of the programs employs specific strategies developed for the efficient and effective delivery of services.
Policing Services Program
The Policing Services Program is responsible for carrying out the law enforcement services the City is mandated to provide by State law. These services include the enforcement of all criminal and traffic laws within the municipal boundaries of the City. While the most visible elements of the Policing Services Program are those done by uniformed officers out in the community, the Program also involves both civilian and commissioned staff doing the full range of investigative, administrative, record-keeping and support tasks that are required to fulfill the Department's legal obligations and provide Olympia residents with top quality police services.
The Department also pursues a variety of activities that contribute to the overall mission of the Department, including a dynamic and vigorous volunteer unit, security alarm response and a Police Explorer youth program. The Department's crime prevention and crime resistance efforts are all built on a foundation of self-help activities staffed by citizen volunteers.
Corrections Services Program
The Corrections Services Program is responsible for ensuring that the City meets its legal mandate to provide for the incarceration of misdemeanor offenders. To that end, the City operates a 28-bed, short-term municipal jail and contracts with other providers for longer-term service. The Corrections Services Program also works closely with the Olympia Municipal Court and Olympia Probation Department to assure that alternatives to incarceration are appropriately used.
How is the Department Organized?
Functional Organizational Chart
Office of the Chief
The Chief of Police is the Chief Executive Officer of the Department. The Office of the Chief is responsible for providing vision and overall direction to the Department. The Chief is assisted by the administrative secretary and the Professional Standards Lieutenant (in his/her internal affairs role).
Executive oversight of the Department is provided by the Department’s Management Team. The Management Team is comprised of the Chief of Police, the Operations Commander, four Lieutenants, the Administrative Services Manager, the Records Manager, the Jail Manager, and the Administrative Secretary.
Chief of Police
Professional Standards Lieutenant
Corrections Services Division
The Operations Division is managed by a Commander and is responsible for day-to-day enforcement of the law, response to calls for service throughout the City and the upholding of the Department’s mission – ‘to proactively address crime and reduce victimization while safeguarding the constitutional rights of all people’. The Operations Division consists of three main units:
The Patrol Unit is the largest unit and consists of officers assigned to Patrol duties out in the Community. Two Traffic officers, two K-9 officers and two School Resource Officers are included in Patrol teams. These teams are managed by three Lieutenants and six Sergeants. The officers staff three 10 hour and 40 minute shifts each day. This schedule provides 8 hours of ‘overlap’ time each day (time where two shifts of officers are working concurrently), which permits the Department to have extra personnel on-duty during times of the day when service demands are higher.
The Detective Unit is managed by a Lieutenant and consists of a Sergeant, six Detectives and a Crime Analyst. The Sergeant tasked with Training and Hiring also reports to the Detective Lieutenant.
The Volunteer Program is another piece of the Operations Unit and includes:
Explorers – a program focused on exposing youth to the possibilities of careers in law enforcement.
Harbor Patrol – promoting safety on the water through education and enforcement.
VIPS – a more generalized opportunity for citizens to be involved with the Police Department.
These three units all work in conjunction with each other to provide effective and efficient service to the citizens of Olympia.
Administrative Services Division
The Corrections Services Division is managed by a civilian Jail Manager and is responsible for the City’s 28-bed, short-term municipal jail. The Division consists of a Corrections Supervisor, 11 Corrections officers and a Warrants Processor (who handles warrants coming from the Courts, making them available for service from patrol officers).
The Administrative Services Division is overseen by a division manager. One of the main services of this Division is provided by our Records Unit, which is responsible for processing and maintaining all of the official records of the Department, for providing reception services, for processing and disseminating public information and responding to public records requests.
The Division is also responsible for maintaining evidence and other property held by the Department. It also includes a computer support specialist who provides system administration support to the regional records management system for the Department as well as providing support for the Department’s mobile computing environment. In addition, the Division provides fiscal management and technology system administration support to the Department.
Administrative Services Manager
How are Department Employees Held Accountable?
An important element in earning and maintaining community trust is holding officers and other employees to high standards of integrity, behavior and service (see General Orders 1.1 and 26.1). When citizens have complaints about service or treatment from employees, OPD thoroughly investigates every complaint. Olympia has developed a very sophisticated system for handling complaints about police employees that involves independent review at two levels (see General Order 52.1). The purpose for having such a system is to provide citizens with as much assurance as is practically possible that they get a fair shake when they have a problem with one of the Department's employees.
On the management level, investigations of complaints about serious misconduct are conducted by a Professional Standards Lieutenant who works directly for the Chief of Police. Those investigations are subject to active review and oversight by an independent attorney (i.e., not a City employee). The attorney actually participates in the investigation process and has the authority to direct additional work, as needed, to assure that finished cases are thorough, complete and fair, and that the rights of all parties are respected and protected.