15.360 - Use of Mobile Fingerprint Identification Devices (Mobile IDs)

Effective Date: 10/16/2013

15.360-POL

This policy applies to the use of mobile fingerprint identification devices by Department employees.

1. Only Trained Officers May Use Mobile IDs

King County facilitates mobile ID training.  Only officers who are trained in the use of the COBAN M7 system and the mobile ID device are allowed to use the mobile ID device.

2. Officers May Use Mobile IDs When Probable Cause for Arrest Exists, or the Subject is Required by Law to Present Identification

Officers may use mobile IDs when probable cause exists for the subject’s arrest and/or one (or more) of the following circumstances occur:

  • When the subject is stopped for a traffic infraction investigation (RCW 46.61.021)
  • When the subject is attempting to purchase liquor (RCW 66.20.180)
  • When the subject is carrying a concealed pistol (RCW 9.41.050)

Exception:  Absent probable cause or legal requirement to present identification, officers must obtain consent from a subject in order to use a mobile ID.  Subjects must give their consent knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily.  Officers electing to use mobile ID by consent shall document the consent via in-car video or by updating CAD.

See 15.360-TSK-1 Using Mobile ID With Consent.

3. Officers Shall Not Use Force to Identify a Subject Via Mobile ID

4. Officers Shall Document the Use of Mobile ID

Officers shall document the use of mobile ID via General Offense Report or Street Check, as appropriate.  When the device is used without probable cause or a legal requirement for the subject to present identification, officers shall document how consent was secured. 

15.360-TSK-1 Using Mobile ID With Consent

When using mobile ID without probable cause for arrest or a legal requirement for the subject to present identification, the officer:

1. Asks the subject if he or she will provide fingerprints

2. If the subject consents, documents consent via in-car video or by updating CAD

3. Uses the mobile ID

4. Documents the use of mobile ID via GO Report or Street Check, as appropriate, including how consent was secured