General Policy Information
Latest Revision Date: 3/3/2014
Title 1 - Department Administration
Title 2 - Department Employment
Title 3 - Employee Welfare
Title 4 - Human Resources
Title 5 - Employee Conduct
Title 6 - Arrests, Search and Seizure
Title 7 - Evidence and Property
Title 8 - Use of Force
Title 9 - Equipment and Uniforms
Title 10 - Police Facilities & Security
Title 11 - Detainee Management
Title 12 - Department Information Systems
Title 13 - Vehicle Operations
Title 14 - Emergency Operations
Title 15 - Primary Investigation
Title 16 - Patrol Operations
Effective Date: 6/15/2010
Abuse, neglect or financial exploitation of vulnerable adults is a serious concern for the Seattle Police Department. The most important element in protecting vulnerable adults is recognizing situations that involve abuse, neglect or exploitation and then take appropriate investigative steps along with mandatory reporting, which is required by State Law.
A. Vulnerable Adult: A vulnerable adult is sixty years of age or older who has the functional, mental or physical inability to care for self; or found incapacitated under RCW Chapter 11.88; or has a developmental disability as defined under RCW 71A.10.020(4); or admitted to any facility; or receiving services from home health, hospice, or home care agencies licensed or required to be licensed under RCW Chapter 70.127; or receiving services from an individual provider.
B. Mandatory Reporter: Employees of DSHS, Law Enforcement, Social Workers, Providers, Operators of a facility, employees of the following agencies: Social Services, Welfare, Mental Health, Adult Day Care, Home Health, Home Care, Hospice, County Coroner or Medical Examiner, Christian Science Practitioner, and Health Care Provider subject to RCW Chapter 18.130.
C. Neglect: A pattern or conduct or inaction by a person or entity with a duty of care that fails to provide the goods and services that maintain physical or mental health of a vulnerable adult; or that fails to avoid or prevent physical or mental harm or pain to a vulnerable adult; or an act or omission that demonstrates a serious disregard of consequences of such a magnitude as to constitute a clear and present danger to the vulnerable adult’s health. Indicators of neglect include:
3. Pressure ulcers/open sores or open wounds, or heavy bandaging
4. Poor hygiene (hair, teeth, nails, feet, odor, soiled clothing, etc.)
5. Over or under medicating
6. Improper restraints, improperly treated or untreated wound
Note: One of the above, alone, may be normal but multiple indicators may well be neglect.
II. Mandatory Reporting
1. Sexual Abuse
2. Physical Abuse
3. Financial Exploitation
B. Requirements of Mandatory Reporting
1. When you have reason to suspect physical or sexual abuse, you must immediately call Adult Protective Services (APS).
2. When you have reason to believe neglect, abandonment, or financial exploitation has occurred you must immediately call Residential Care Services (RCS) or Adult Protective Services (APS).
3. Failure to make a report is a Gross Misdemeanor (RCW 74.34.053). You are immune from liability if you make a report in good faith.
4. Non-law enforcement mandatory reporters must call Residential Care Services (RCS) or Adult Protective Services (APS) and law enforcement.
C. How to Report
1. If the vulnerable adult is at a licensed care facility, it must be reported to Residential Care Services (RCS) at 1-800-562-6078.
2. If the event is taking place at a private home, it must be reported to Adult Protective Services (APS) at 206-341-7660.
III. Follow-up Units
A. The Homicide and Assault Unit (206-684-5550) handles vulnerable adult cases which result in death or the potential of death, or cases involving licensed care facilities and/or caregivers. The Homicide and Assault Unit shall be notified on a 24-hour basis whenever there is a death or the potential of death in this type of case.
B. The Domestic Violence Unit (206-684-0330) handles vulnerable adult cases in private home settings but does not handle those that that involve death or the potential of death. The Domestic Violence Unit also handles all financial exploitation cases involving vulnerable adults.