13.00.030 DEATH/INJURY NOTIFICATIONS (CALEA 55.2.6)
When officers are called to investigate any criminally caused, suspicious or unattended death (not in the presence of a medical doctor or medical care facility) the officer in charge of the scene will ensure that:
v His/her supervisor and an investigations supervisor are aware of the incident
v The King County Medical Examiner's office is notified
Unless relieved by a supervisor or investigator of the responsibility, the officer in charge will coordinate custody and care of the body (or bodies) with the Medical Examiner's office, and the deceased's family, if present.
Next of Kin
Notification of next of kin will generally be the responsibility of the Medical Examiner's office, but should be coordinated with their office to avoid errors or confusion.
Notifications of next of kin shall be broken down into two classifications:
v City of Bellevue Incidents
Whenever possible, City of Bellevue death notifications shall be conducted by the medical examiner's office in charge of the deceased person's body. From time to time, however, the Department may be called on to assist with personal notification.
Department personnel will make every effort to deliver such notifications in person. Officers will attempt to determine the effect of the notification and provide the necessary support resources such as relatives, friends, and/or clergy.
Officers shall not make any notifications as requested from parties whose identity cannot be otherwise confirmed without approval of the shift supervisor.
If only minor injuries are involved, notifications may be done by phone. These can be completed by an officer or through NORCOM at an officers’ request.
Officers should attempt to provide necessary support services for the next of kin or relatives of deceased and seriously injured or seriously ill persons whenever necessary.
The release of information to the media concerning the identification of deceased persons will be the responsibility of the Medical Examiner's office. Media inquiries will be directed to their office in Seattle or through the Department’s PIO.
v Notifications Requested by other Agencies
When the Department receives requests for notification from another law enforcement agency, governmental agency, medical facility (or doctor), or relative located outside the immediate area, Department personnel will, whenever possible, deliver such notifications in person. When possible, officers will attempt to determine the likely effect of the notification and provide the necessary support resources such as friends, relatives, and/or clergy.
When needed, officers should attempt to provide information relating to necessary support services for the next of kin or relatives of deceased, seriously injured, or seriously ill persons.
Officers should not make any death notification requested by parties whose identity cannot be confirmed without approval of an on-duty supervisor.