Police Vehicle Operation & Specialty Vehicles

Chief William E. Ridgway
Departmental Standards Directive
04. 22. 13
04. 22. 13
4.9 (10.07.10)
The purpose of this Directive is to establish guidelines and standards for the operation and
maintenance of all vehicles in the inventory of the DeLand Police Department.
The efficiency of the DeLand Police Department is directly related to the competence and wellbeing of all members of the Department (both sworn and non-sworn).
In order to properly address problems within the City of DeLand, it is necessary for the Police
Department to utilize certain types of specialized vehicles. The type of vehicle and the manner in
which the vehicle is operated has a direct bearing on the amount of confidence that is placed in the
Department by the general public and in the Department’s ability to effectively carry out the duty
of enforcing the law.
It is the policy of the DeLand Police Department that all Departmentally owned vehicles, operated
by members of the Department, will be properly equipped, properly maintained and operated in a
safe manner in accordance with all laws governing the operation of law enforcement and non-law
enforcement vehicles.
Marked Police Unit - As used in this Directive, a marked police unit is any vehicle visibly marked
as a law enforcement vehicle/vessel to include automobiles, vans, motorcycles, bicycles, all terrain
vehicles and boats.
Unmarked Police Unit - As used in this Directive, an unmarked police unit is any motor vehicle
used by sworn personnel in the official performance of law enforcement duties with the exception
of patrol duties. The unmarked units are not required to have any specific equipment however,
these unmarked units must be in a safe mechanical condition.
Special Purpose Vehicle – A vehicle used because of considerations of weather, terrain, or the
need of inconspicuous appearance, quietness, storage requirements, special operational needs, etc.
Includes SWAT trucks, bomb disposal vehicles, mobile command posts, boats, aircraft, prisoner
transport vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, and animals.
Police Equipment - As used in this Directive, police equipment includes, but is not limited to,
weapons, emergency equipment, mechanical gear, machinery or any other item either designed for
police or, adapted for police use.
Police Fleet Manager – Operations Deputy Chief
Support Supervisor - Those persons designated by the Chief to handle fleet related issues for
the department. Will monitor the assignment of all department vehicles and prioritize new
vehicle assignments by identifying replacement needs
Maintenance – Routine maintenance will be done on all department vehicles ever 3000 miles.
Repairs – All vehicles will be taken to Public Works maintenance garage for repairs. Vehicles
under warranty will be taken to the nearest competent authorized dealership for warranty repairs
and will be coordinated through the Fleet Manager at the City of DeLand Public Works
Vehicle Assignment – Vehicle assignment will be the responsible of the Operations Deputy Chief
(Police Fleet manager)
4.9.1 Normal, routine patrol functions will be carried out with the use of a marked police unit
only, an unmarked unit will not be utilized for this function. These marked vehicles must
be equipped with the following items:
Functioning warning lights, red and blue in color; (exception: bicycles)
Functioning siren; (exception: bicycles)
Exterior spotlight (except bicycles & motorcycles);
Safety barrier designed to keep the prisoner from gaining access to the front passenger
compartment. The vehicle shall also have safeguards in place to prevent the prisoner from
being able to open the rear doors;
Functioning public address speaker (except bicycles);
Markings on both sides of the vehicle (or vessel) identifying the unit as a police vehicle or
police vessel;
A functioning police radio.
4.9.2 A radio may be mounted in the vehicle/vessel or a portable radio with sufficient power to
transmit and receive from inside the vehicle/vessel may be used.
4.9.3 All personnel assigned to the field shall have access to a portable or vehicle mounted radio.
4.9.4 Equipment that is required in each Patrol Vehicle
Fire Extinguisher
First Aid Kit
Crime Scene tape
Flash Light
Personal Protective Equipment
Finger print kit
Evidence collection bags
Officers shall ensure that all equipment is accounted for and in proper working order. Officers
on routine patrol are required to have a sufficient supply of all department report forms readily
accessible during his/her tour of duty.
4.9.5 Each officer utilizing a marked police unit shall ensure that supplies are replenished or
replaced as needed.
4.9.6 No addition to, modification of or alteration of installed telecommunications equipment
will be permitted without written permission of the Operations Deputy Chief or Chief.
All request for testing and evaluation of new equipment or products will be forward to the
Operations Deputy Chief for approval and coordination
4.9.7 All Department employees are required to use seat belts when occupying any police or City
vehicle in accordance with State Statue 316.614. Note: This applies only to vehicles
equipped with seat belts.
4.9.8 All operators of Department or City vehicles shall ensure that any passenger, employee or
non-employee, riding in a police or City vehicle shall utilize an installed seat belt, with the
following exceptions:
Prisoners transported in the rear caged section of a patrol unit or in a prisoner transport van;
When there is a preexisting condition or injury which may be aggravated by the use of a seat
4.9.9 At no time are police employees permitted to operate or ride in the front seat of a police
vehicle without using a seat belt. No medical waivers for the use of a seat belt will be
granted to any police employee while using a Department vehicle.
4.9.10 In the event juveniles five ( 5 ) years of age or under are transported in a police vehicle
they shall be restrained in accordance with State Statue 316.613.
4.9.11 At no time will any member of the Department use a vehicle, with an inoperative or
malfunctioning seat belt. The vehicle will be immediately placed out of service and the
maintenance facility will be notified.
4.9.12 When arriving at an emergency call or when initiating a traffic stop the seat belt may be
removed prior to the police vehicle coming to a complete stop. This action is to facilitate
a quick exit from the vehicle if the situation warrants such action.
4.9.13 Once a vehicle has been involved in a crash where the safety belt was stressed, the vehicle
shall be placed out of service until the belt is replaced with an approved new belt.
4.9.14 It is the policy of the DeLand Police Department that all employees who operate City or
Department vehicles posses a valid Florida drivers license and have it in their immediate
possession when operating police or City vehicles.
4.9.15 Those employees who are in a position where they may operate City or Department
vehicles, will have periodic checks of their drivers licenses completed by the Professional
Standards Section or their immediate supervisors.
4.9.16 The safe operation of a motor vehicle is essential in the performance of law enforcement
duties. Those employees who fail to maintain safe, prudent driving records, while on
duty, may be required to complete additional drivers training.
4.9.18 It is the policy of the Department that police vehicles will be dispatched to and arrive at
the scene of calls as quickly and as safe as possible.
4.9.19 The officer is required to obey all applicable traffic laws during normal operation of the
police vehicle.
4.9.20 Whenever the police vehicle is in motion the screen on the Mobile Data Computer shall
be in the down/closed position.
4.9.21 Response to calls for service will be classified in accordance to the urgency at which the
officer is needed at the scene.
4.9.22 In determining the response, factors to be considered include, but are not limited to:
The nature of the call;
Injured persons and the nature of the injury;
Potential harm to the victim or the public;
Potential for property damage or loss;
Passage of time;
The likelihood of apprehending the perpetrators of an in-progress crime.
4.9.23 Police vehicle response is categorized into three levels; those levels are:
CODE 1 Routine Response - Units will respond by observing all traffic laws and regulations.
Situations where the protection or preservation of life is not a consideration, units will
proceed with no emergency lights or siren activated. Traffic violations and minor infractions
may be addressed while enroute to the call for safety reasons.
CODE 2 Expedited Response - Proceed directly to the dispatched call while observing all
traffic laws and regulations. Do not stop to address traffic violations or minor infractions.
Emergency lights or sirens will not be used in this response mode.
CODE 3 Emergency Response - Officers in this mode of response may disregard traffic
control devices and traffic laws, after slowing down for safe operation and as long as they do
not endanger life or property. When responding in this mode, the emergency lights and siren
will be activated. In situations such as in-progress calls, the emergency lights and siren may
be turned off prior to arrival so the offender will not be warned of the police response.
4.9.24 Only police units equipped with functioning emergency lights and siren are designated
emergency vehicles in the DeLand Police Department.
4.9.25 The exemption from complying with traffic laws is granted to emergency vehicles in
Section 316.072 and 316.126(3), Florida State Statues.
4.9.26 The provisions granted to the operator of an emergency vehicle shall not relieve the
operator from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons, nor shall such
provisions protect the operator from the consequences of his/her reckless disregard for the
safety of others.
4.9.27 An emergency vehicle is authorized to disregard traffic control devices only when
emergency equipment is activated. This includes visual warning (flashing lights) and
audible warning (siren). In situations such as in progress calls, the emergency lights and
siren may be turned off prior to arrival so the offender will not be warned of the police
4.9.28 Responding to the following situations shall be considered an emergency and warrant an
emergency ( Code 3 ) response:
In progress calls where there is an immediate danger of death or great bodily harm; ( i.e.
armed robbery, rape, home invasion);
Calls where immediate danger of death or serious injury is present. ( i.e. seriously sick or
injured persons, crash with injuries);
All officer needs assistance calls of an urgent nature. Also where there is a reasonable
indication of imminent danger to the officer and the dispatcher is unable to ascertain the
status of the officer on the scene;
Any calls where the supervisor determines an emergency response is required;
Calls or situations where the personal knowledge of the officer justifies an emergency
response. This information should be conveyed to a supervisor prior to initiating the
emergency response;
Pursuit of a violator when the violator refuses to stop, and the continuing use of emergency
lights and siren are necessary in the interest of warning others of the hazardous conditions.
All pursuits shall be conducted in accordance with Directive 17-8 “Vehicle Pursuits”.
4.9.29 Responding to the following situations shall warrant an expedited ( Code 2 ) response:
Residential and business alarms or 9-1-1 hang-ups; where there has not been a confirmation
of an actual crime in progress;
Crashes where there is no report of injuries or the injuries are known to be only minor;
Disputes, to include domestic disputes, that are verbal in nature and there is no indication of
pending violence;
Sick or injured person calls of a non-serious non-life threatening nature;
Calls regarding suspicious persons, vehicles or incidents.
4.9.30 All other calls for service will warrant a routine ( Code 1 ) response mode.
4.9.31 At no time will unmarked units that are not equipped with both emergency lights and
siren be operated in an emergency mode. In addition, unmarked units equipped with
emergency equipment must exercise extreme caution due to the limited visibility of
emergency lights on an unmarked police unit.
4.9.32 At the beginning of each shift the Officer shall be responsible to thoroughly check their
assigned vehicle for any damage. Should any new damage be discovered, the officer
shall check the vehicle damage book in operations to determine if the damage has been
reported. If the damage has not been reported, the officer shall contact their supervisor
and report the damage, prior to going into service the officer shall also check the vehicle
for missing or damaged equipment, and or Contraband that might be concealed in the
vehicle. Officers will be responsible for new damage, and missing or damaged equipment
that is discovered and not reported
4.9.33 Each duty day, each officer will be responsible for checking the fluid levels of their
assigned vehicle. This includes checking the oil, inspecting the coolant reservoir, fan belts
and tires.
4.9.34 The shift Sergeant will inspect each vehicle assigned to their shift on a monthly basis
(Every 4 weeks). This inspection will include the interior and exterior for cleanliness or
fresh vehicle damage. This also includes vehicles that are not driven on a regular basis,
such as pool cars. This inspection will be for unreported damage, missing, damaged or
expired equipment and a determination if service is past due.
4.9.35 In the event a vehicle is found to have inoperable emergency equipment or dangerously
low fluid levels the vehicle will be placed out of service and the supervisor shall be
4.9.36 Under no circumstances will a vehicle with inoperable emergency equipment or other
equipment related to the safe operation of the vehicle be used for any reason.
4.9.37 Those personnel who operate individually assigned vehicles are required to complete the
above inspections periodically.
4.9.38 Required maintenance shall be requested via the emergency vehicle repair sheet. Repair
sheet must be accurately completed with all required data. The location of the vehicle
should be noted on the vehicle repair sheet. The white and yellow copy of the repair sheet
accompanies the car. The pink copy of the repair sheet is forwarded to the Fleet Manager
or his designee. When repairs are completed the yellow copy of the repair sheet is turned
in to the Fleet Manager or his designee. It is the responsibility of officers to deliver their
vehicle to the Public Works garage for any type of maintenance that is required.
4.9.39 Each Division Deputy Chief will be responsible for insuring the vehicles assigned to their
respective divisions are properly maintained. This maintenance shall include:
Periodic interval maintenance;
Speedometer calibration for those vehicles in the patrol division;
Required maintenance of the vehicle mounted police radio and computer equipment.
4.9.40 Each operator of a police vehicle is responsible for the cleanliness (interior and exterior)
of the vehicle, the reporting of any vehicle deficiencies and the minor maintenance of the
vehicle ( Minor maintenance includes gas, water, oil or other fluids and bulbs ).
4.9.41 Any deficiencies shall be reported to the supervisor as soon as possible. Once a
supervisor has been advised that a vehicle has some type of equipment or operational
problem the supervisor shall determine the following:
If the equipment is removable emergency equipment, independent of the proper functioning
the vehicle such as shotgun, fire extinguisher or critical incident kit the supervisor shall
obtain replacement items and place the vehicle back into service.
If the problem relates to the proper mechanical operation of the vehicle the vehicle shall
remain out of service and maintenance personnel will be notified.
4.9.42 During the hours that the vehicle maintenance facility at city yards is open, repairs may be
affected by the employee taking the vehicle to the facility with the approval of his / her
4.9.43 If the problems occur during the hours that city yards are closed the vehicle shall remain
out of service. The maintenance personnel will be notified on the next regular work day
for city yards.
4.9.44 If the breakdown occurs or a deficiency is noted and the vehicle is not in a secure area the
vehicle shall be towed by the approved Department towing company.
4.9.45 Under no circumstances will a disabled police vehicle be left unattended in an unsecure
4.9.46 All vehicle maintenance will be accomplished either through the vehicle maintenance
facility at city yards or the vehicle factory dealer. The determination of where the
maintenance is to be performed will rest with the city fleet operations and maintenance
4.9.47 Vehicles that are assigned on a daily basis shall have any maintenance deficiencies noted
and forwarded to the vehicle maintenance facility at City yards.
4.9.48 Each Division Deputy Chief shall designate personnel within the division to ensure that
required vehicle maintenance is scheduled or accomplished.
4.9.49 All employees individually assigned a vehicle (motorcycles, boats etc.) shall be
responsible to ensure that the required maintenance is scheduled or accomplished.
4.9.50 All specialty vehicles (motorcycles, boats) will be maintained by factory authorized or
factory recommended repair facilities. The responsibility for maintaining specialty
vehicles shall rest with the employee who is assigned the vehicle.
4.9.51 As long as the resources are available cars will be assigned to each sworn member.
Assignment will be by a system approved by the Chief of Police.
4.9.52 Should the assigned vehicle becomes inoperable the officer will contact the shift
supervisor for the assignment of a replacement vehicle if available. Temporary
replacement vehicles should be pool vehicles. Any vehicle that is not assigned to an
officer on a regular basis shall be signed out before use and signed back in after use.
4.9.53 Special use vehicles shall be operated only by trained and approval personnel. (I.e. ATVs,
Buses, & Motorcycles)
4.9.54 Department assigned vehicles are the responsibility, of that officer to make sure all
maintenance is performed and the vehicle is kept clean.
4.9.55 It is the responsibility of each officer to immediately report any damage that a vehicle
receives while assigned to that officer to his or her supervisor.
4.9.56 All officers have the responsibility to keep their assigned vehicle clean and fueled as
needed. Pool cars will also be left clean and fully fueled after each use.
4.9.57 All city owned vehicles are Smoke-Free in accordance with the “Florida Clean Indoor Act”
(Florida Statute 386) and the City of DeLand Personnel Rules and Regulations (Section 22 Page
4.9.58 Vehicles shall be assigned to individual employees in accordance with current City
Guidelines at the discretion of the Chief of Police.
4.9.59 The reasons vehicles will be individually assigned include, but are not limited to:
To facilitate a timely response for those personnel in a paid on call status;
Due to inadequate storage facilities for the vehicles;
Individual contractual obligations.
4.9.60 Vehicles will be used only in the performance of official duties.
4.9.61 The Special Services Division shall maintain a current listing of all individually assigned
vehicles and the personnel to whom they are assigned.
4.9.62 No modification of any vehicle shall be accomplished without the authorization of the
employees Division Deputy Chief.
4.9.63 The Police Motorcycle may be used to enhance traffic safety coverage within our
jurisdiction as well as special events as deemed necessary by the Special Operations
4.9.64 Only those personnel who have completed a Police Motorcycle Operators Course shall
operate a Department motorcycle.
4.9.65 Those personnel assigned a police motorcycle shall be responsible for obtaining
maintenance and maintaining the cleanliness of the motorcycle.
4.9.66 The police motorcycle shall be equipped with the necessary equipment required to
perform daily duties.
4.9.68 The Prisoner Transport Van may be used to augment patrol operations within our
jurisdiction as well as special events as deemed necessary by the Operations Supervisor.
4.9.69 Only those personnel who have had orientation as to the operation of the prisoner transport van
shall operate it.
4.9.70 The prisoner transport van shall be equipped with the necessary equipment required to
perform daily duties.
4.9.71 The Police Bicycle may be used to enhance patrol coverage within our jurisdiction as well
as special events as deemed necessary by the Special Operations Supervisor.
4.9.72 Only those personnel who have completed a Police Bicycle Training Course shall operate
a Department bicycle.
4.9.73 Those personnel authorized to use the Police Bicycle shall be responsible for its
maintenance and cleaning.
4.9.74 The police bicycle shall be equipped with the necessary equipment required to perform
daily duties.
4.9.75 Only the designated Department crime scene technician or designee shall be authorized to
operate the crime scene vehicle.
4.9.76 The crime scene technician shall be responsible for obtaining maintenance and
maintaining the cleanliness of the crime scene vehicle.
4.9.77 The crime scene vehicle shall be equipped with the necessary supplies to perform crime
scene duties. This equipment shall include, but not limited to:
Camera with Tripod;
Portable Lighting;
Extension Cords;
Portable Generator;
Bio-Hazard Protective Wear;
Fingerprint Processing Kit;
Crime Scene Tape;
Evidence Vacuum;
Evidence Collection / Submission Containers;
Blood Collection Kit;
Gunshot Residue Kit;
Rake, Shovel, Ladder;
Measuring Tapes 25 & 500 Foot.
Metal Detector
4.9.78 Those personnel assigned to the Criminal Investigative Unit shall be required to maintain
the following equipment in their vehicle. This equipment shall include, but not be limited
Traffic Vest
Crime Scene Tape
Body Armor
Fingerprint Kit
4.9.79 The animal control officers shall be responsible for obtaining maintenance and
maintaining the cleanliness of the animal control vehicles.
4.9.80 The animal control vehicle shall be equipped with the necessary supplies to perform the
duties of an animal control officer.
REVISED: PCG—11/2003 REVISED: GRB---05/2005
REVISED: GRB---11/2006 REVISED: JFA—01/2008
REVISED: JFA---03/2008
REVISED: JFA---10/2010
REVISED GRB---03/2013