The Department shall have in place an established protocol for providing timely and sensitive assistance to Department personnel and their families in the event of a line of duty death or serious injury.  An explanation of this program can be found in the Department’s Law Enforcement Death booklet.


All Department supervisory personnel shall receive an orientation relating to the protocol necessary to ensure the guidelines established in the “Law Enforcement Death” booklet are followed.


Department Responsibility


In the event of a line-of-duty death of a Department employee, the Chief of Police will assign a command level officer to act as a liaison to the deceased employee’s family.  The Department liaison will:


v     Arrange to be accessible to the family


v     Be available to assist the family with arranging services as may be necessary and keep the Chief of Police informed on arrangements and the families’ needs and desires


v     Explain Department procedures, investigation(s), and the criminal justice system to the family as may be necessary


v     Assist the Personnel Services Unit commander with a review of line-of-duty death benefits available to the family


The Personnel Services Unit commander will be responsible for preparing a biographical sketch of the deceased employee for the Chief of Police to include:


v     Name


v     Home Address


v     Date of birth and employment


v     Assignments


v     Awards or commendations


v     Spouse's or Domestic Partner's name


v     Childrens' names and ages


v     Other close surviving relatives


v     Other information as appropriate, including the date and time of the service if desired by the family.


The Personnel Services Unit Commander shall also:


v     Assist the Department liaison with service arrangements


v     Act as liaison with the City Human Resources Department, other City departments and outside agencies to ensure the appropriate claims are made for death benefits


v     Coordinate the participation of outside law enforcement agencies at the services




In the event of death or serious injury to an employee, immediate verbal notification will be made to the employee's commander by any employee who has knowledge thereof.  The Chief of Police will be notified through the chain of command without delay.  The employee’s family will be notified as indicated on the Emergency Notification Instruction form.  If no instructions are on file with the Patrol Section commander, notification will be made in person by the Chief of Police or designee in a timely manner.


In the event of an employee's death or serious injury, the Personnel Services Unit commander will advise, or cause to be advised by other designated staff, his/her family of appropriate professional assistance available and any benefits accruing to the family from the City of Bellevue and other governmental entities.


The Chief of Police may grant administrative leave to a Department employee, as named in the Emergency Notification Instructions form, and to a Peer Support Group Counselor, for the purpose of assisting the involved employee's family, for such length of time as deemed appropriate.  If no Emergency Notification Instructions form is on file, the involved employee's immediate supervisor will recommend an employee to the Chief of Police to provide such assistance.


Service Arrangements


Recognizing that circumstances and family wishes may differ, the Department offers its services in a supportive manner and will act according to City policy, Department procedures and the surviving family member's wishes.


When requested by the family and when the service is to be held within King County, the Department may provide:


v     Pallbearers and suitable police escort for the procession as may be required as desired by the family


v     Honor Guard for the services  if desired by the family


If the service  is to be held outside of King County, the Chief of Police will decide upon the Department’s participation.


Department Honors


In addition to the honors at the services and/or gravesite, rendering of honors by Department employees may include:


v     All flags at City facilities will, with the permission of the City Manager, be flown at half-staff from the time of the employee’s death until the service ends.


v     All uniformed officers will cover the horizontal center of their badge with either black cloth or black tape for a period starting when they are informed of the employee’s death and ending with the service.  Disposal of the cloth/tape will not be made until officers have left the ceremony area, so as not to diminish its significance.


Non Line-Of-Duty Deaths


Upon the request of the family of an employee whose death is not in the line-of-duty or a former employee who retired following twenty years or more of active duty service, the Department may provide Department honors, including a ceremony in the State of Washington.  In the event the service is outside the State of Washington, the decision to provide Departmental honors, including a ceremony, or sending an official representative(s) of the Department will rest solely with the Chief of Police and will follow the guidelines set forth in this policy.


Additional Notifications


Any employee receiving notice of the death of the spouse, child, mother or father or an employee or retired employee will notify the Chief of Police through the chain of command without delay.


Other Agencies


If the funeral is for an employee of another law enforcement agency killed in the line-of-duty, the Chief of Police will decide upon the Department’s official participation.