24.00.020 PRISONER TRANSPORT
Prisoner transport operations shall be assigned under the Administrative Division under direct supervision of the Captain assigned to supervise the Courts and Custody Section. The Department expects all employees involved in prisoner transport operations to treat prisoners with respect and conduct themselves in a safe manner in accordance with the policies, procedures, rules and regulations in this manual.
When transporting prisoners, purses and baggage shall not be left in the prisoner compartment with the prisoner. They will be kept in the driver's compartment or trunk of the vehicle.
Juveniles will not be transported in the same vehicle with any adult prisoners.
At the beginning of shift, when taking control of a vehicle from another officer, or when an officer uses any Department vehicle to transport a prisoner, it is the transporting officer’s responsibility to inspect the vehicle both before and after each transport to ensure that contraband and weapons are not present and to ensure that prisoners do not have access to weapons or contraband.
In the event that contraband or weapons are located, the officer assigned to that vehicle shall notify an on-duty supervisor. The officer previously utilizing the vehicle shall be contacted to properly process the items. If the officer cannot be contacted, every effort should be made to determine if the contraband or weapons are evidence. If so, the items will be processed as evidence and the appropriate supplement report will be written. If the items are not evidence, they will be processed as "found property", and a copy of the report shall be forwarded to the previous officer's supervisor.
Prisoners shall normally be transported in the rear of barrier-equipped vehicles. At no time will prisoners be transported in the front seat of a vehicle. At no time will a single officer transport a prisoner in a non-barrier equipped vehicle.
Transport of prisoners in non barrier equipped vehicles must have supervisor approval. Supervisors shall consider the type of prisoner, the circumstances of the need to transport in a non barrier equipped vehicle and/or any exigent circumstances that may be present before granting approval.
Transporting officers shall ensure that when using a barrier-equipped patrol vehicle for transport, that the sliding window on the barrier is properly secured.
Officers shall not routinely sit within the prisoner transport section of the transport vehicle (patrol car) unless a special need arises. In this case, the officer will be seated behind the transport vehicle driver.
Barrier-equipped vehicles, such as the transport vans, that do not allow the driver or passenger to observe the prisoners shall be equipped with video monitors to allow observation of the prisoners.
Transporting officers shall maintain proper supervision of prisoners at all times and shall not lose sight of prisoners during transport.
When possible, officers will make every effort to separate male and female subjects during transports.
During lengthy transports, prisoners shall be afforded the use of toilet facilities only after the officer is satisfied that adequate security can be maintained.
When prisoners are to be transported long distances, primarily from non-contiguous counties, consideration should be given to whether or not it might be more practical to have the prisoner transported via the state-wide reciprocal agreement wherein counties regularly transport prisoners across the state from facility to facility.
The transporting officer accepts the responsibility of the safe delivery of the prisoner.
Transport should not be interrupted to render police services unless there is grave or imminent danger to third parties and failing to act would result in serious injury or death. Prisoner security, potential for a setup for prisoner escape, and danger to the community must be considered. The transporting officer will notify NORCOM with their location and intent to interrupt transport to render police services.
Prisoners who are being transported to, from, or between custodial facilities will not be allowed to communicate with others. All requests for communication shall be denied by the transporting officer.
Transporting officers are required to bring to the supervisor's attention any other issues or factors they believe could compromise their own or a prisoner's safety or provide the opportunity for escape during transport. The supervisor will attempt to resolve the issue prior to the transport.
NORCOM and the on-duty supervisor will be immediately appraised of any emergency or unusual occurrence during a prisoner transport. A backup officer will be requested from the closest jurisdiction for any situation that requires a single transport officer to stop and enter the prisoner compartment of the transport vehicle. Officers are discouraged from entering the prisoner compartment when there are two or more prisoners present unless there are additional officers present to provide back-up assistance.
When present, seatbelts should be used with all prisoners If a prisoner requires assistance to fasten their seatbelt and there are more than two prisoners being transported, a second officer should be present to provide security while a prisoner is being assisted with their seatbelt.
If a prisoner to be transported to court or another agency presents a potential security hazard, the transporting officer will immediately notify the Courts and Custody Lieutenant, or the on-duty supervisor if the Courts and Custody Lieutenant is not available. The on-duty supervisor will contact the agency or court involved, and make arrangements for security measures with the appropriate agency or judge.
Additional security measures at court include but are not limited to:
v Extra officers assigned to courtroom security
v A search of the courtroom and places the prisoner may be held
v Searches of those entering the courtroom by hand, or metal detectors
v Keeping the prisoner in additional restraints in the courtroom.
A prisoner who is a potential security hazard will not be transported from a secure facility until the on-duty supervisor has been notified, taken the appropriate actions and advised the transporting officer to commence with the transport.