11.030 – Guarding Detainees at a Hospital

Effective Date: 11/01/2019


This policy applies to sworn personnel guarding a detainee at a hospital.

1. Officers Assigned to Hospital Guard are Provided by the Precinct Where the Arrest Occurred

See 11.030-PRO-1 Hospital Guard

2. Hospitalized Detainees Arrested for a Felony, Felony Warrant, Repeat DUI Offense, or Domestic Violence Related Crime Require a Hospital Guard

Exception: A watch lieutenant may determine that a hospital guard is not needed based on the circumstances. If a watch lieutenant cancels a hospital guard, they will document the circumstances for cancelling the hospital guard in a Supplement Report in Mark43.

A repeat DUI offender will be determined based on the provisions defined in 15.280 - DUI Investigations.

3. Hospitalized Detainees Arrested for a non-Domestic Violence Misdemeanor or Misdemeanor Warrant Do Not Require a Hospital Guard

Exception: A sergeant may determine the need for a hospital guard based on the circumstances.

Officers may use the Charge by Officer Program (CBO) instead of providing a hospital guard for detainees arrested for a non-domestic violence misdemeanor.

Officers will instruct detainees arrested for a non-domestic violence misdemeanor warrant to notify law enforcement when they are released from the hospital.

- The detainee can call 911 or go directly to KCJ for the warrant.

- If the detainee does not turn themselves into KCJ then the officer may complete a Report with a CBO for escape.

4. Detainees Charged with a Crime While Under Hospital Guard are Guarded by the King County Jail Staff

If a detainee under hospital guard is charged with a new crime then the investigating follow up unit is responsible for obtaining staff from the King County Jail to take over the responsibility of guarding the detainee.

5. A Patrol Sergeant Will Notify the Sergeant of the Appropriate Follow-up Unit when a Detainee Under Hospital Guard is Admitted to the Hospital

11.030-PRO-1-Hospital Guard


1. Determines:

     a. If hospital guard is needed.

     b. The level of restraints required.

     c. If visitors are authorized and if the detainee is allowed to use the phone.

Exception: Detainees may call and receive visits from their attorney.

2. Coordinates a rotation to relieve officers.

3. Assigns sufficient officers to guard the detainee.


4. Maintains visual contact on the detainee.

5. Remains on post until relieved.

6. Arranges for a replacement if a break is needed.

7. Ensures the detainee is appropriately restrained.

8. Does not allow anyone into detainee's room except:

     a. Medical Staff

    b. Detainee’s attorney

     c. Authorized visitors

9. Contacts a patrol sergeant for any disputes that arise between officer and hospital staff.


10. Resolves any issues between officers and hospital staff.

11. Coordinates with Sergeants from the next shift to ensure the officer(s) assigned to hospital guard is relieved in a timely manner.