School District of Philadelphia Police Directives, Now Public Here

The Declaration recently obtained the directives which govern school police in Philadelphia. These documents were linked on the School District’s website, but until our records request, had not been seen by members of the public, thanks to a password wall.

These directives will soon also be posted on the School District website, as a result of an agreement between the Philadelphia Student Union and Superintendent William Hite. You can read the Student Union’s statement here.

Their Student Union’s campaign has also resulted in a commitment by Superintendent Hite to condemn acts of violence by school police officers against police and reduce the number of uniformed officers and emphasize the use of “climate managers”.

The biggest victory of the Philadelphia Student Union’s activism is a new system for complaints by students and parents when infractions by school police occur. As these documents reveal, such a system already exists for school police officers themselves, in a peer to peer way, but this could be the potential expansion of such a policy.

Worrisome among these documents are a few redactions in sections about the use of batons and pepper spray in schools, as well as a policy allowing school police officers on truancy duty to drop truant students off at an “age appropriate” school close to where they are found during a school day, rather than the school where they actually belong.

More will be written, investigated, and explored, but now that we’ve been able to retrieve the last directive, on police officers’ code of conduct, we want these documents available for the public immediately.

Directive #1: Responsibilities and Functions of School Police Radio

Directive #2: Patrol Division

Directive #3: Handcuffs

Directive #4: Use of Baton

Directive #5: Legal Authority

Directive #6: Suggestion Program

Directive #7: Right, Duty, and Opportunity to Present Complaints or Information

Directive #8: Truancy

Directive #9: Pepper Spray

Directive #10: Safe Operation of Patrol Vehicles

Directive #11: Responsibility at Crime Scene

Directive #12: Personal Data

Directive #13: Bomb Scares, Explosive Devices, and Explosions

Directive #14: Patrol Log

Directive #15: Commendations

Directive #16: Incident Report

Directive #17: Injury on Duty

Directive #18: Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

Directive #19: Absence Policy

Directive #20: Proper Attire and Appearance

Directive #21: School Police Training

Directive #22: Release of Information to the News Media

Directive #23: Trespassing Ordinance and Arrest of Trespassers

Directive #24: School Closings and Inclement Weather

Directive #25: Emergency Response

Directive #26: SPO Substance Abuse and Drug Testing

Directive #27: Hazardous Material Incidents

Directive #28: Vandalism, Theft, and Graffiti

Directive #29: Deaths – Natural or Sudden

Directive #30: Search and Seizure

Directive #31: Dismissal and Pickup of Unattended Children

Directive #32: Court Notices and Subpoenas

Directive #33: Soft Body Armor

Directive #34: Beacon Program (Omitted Intentionally by SDP Open Records Officer)

Directive #35: Disciplinary Procedures

Directive #36: Officer Code of Conduct

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