Seattle implementing nation’s first policy on police ruses

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) is set to implement the nation’s first policy governing the use of ruses, tactics deliberately used by law enforcement to deceive members of the public. The new rules, announced by Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, will go into effect Wednesday and will limit how police officers can use the tactics following two high-profile cases in the last five years that led to public backlash.

The tactics can also be implemented for scene management, or to bring potentially violent situations to a peaceful resolution. Additionally, patrol ruses may not be broadcast over radio, social media or any other mass media format, the new policy states. No patrol ruse may involve officers making or implying promises regarding prosecution or filing decisions, and patrol ruses that shock the conscience will not be used.

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