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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern California
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    3

    Question Requirements for Police to Conduct a Welfare Check

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: California

    Last night a knock at the door revealed a police officer who requested my long term girlfriend by her first and last name. She had just come out of the back and stepped outside to speak with the officer for about 3 minutes.

    When she came back in she was really upset and crying. Though it was not stated who called, it is safe to assume it is a family member. Girlfriend is older then 25 and has not spoken with her family in a few weeks.

    Since attending a codependency program and therapy to address traumas from childhood, she has stepped away from them more and more. She is not in a position to be totally honest with them and they are not necessarily good with the subtle hints.

    She did state she felt like the officer was doing "a favor for someone." (Her sister works at a neighboring police department, but is not a sworn officer.)

    So what are the requirements for a police officer to be able to do a welfare check? Do they need a police report filed or an incident number assigned or ???? (Shouldn't there be some kind of public record for this?)

    Are the requirements different if the request comes through friends in a police department when the original person is an employee, but not a sworn officer?

    We are just concerned this new technique can be employed to harass us and want to make sure the sister is not abusing the options available in her job.

    Is either of us entitled to some form of the public record in case their is a more of this?

    There is more to the story, I am a veteran with PTSD (no history of domestic abuse or criminal behavior, but very active in treatments) - frankly I find it a bit disturbing.

    Thank you all who read and respond.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
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    16,025

    Default Re: Requirements for Police to Conduct a Welfare Check? Misuse or Harassment?

    She is not in a position to be totally honest with them and they are not necessarily good with the subtle hints.
    I don't mean to sound harsh, but at 25+, if she wants her family to leave her alone, she needs to SAY SO.

    So what are the requirements for a police officer to be able to do a welfare check?
    The requirements are simple. A concerned person - friend, family, neighbor, co-worker - need only call the police, state that they haven't heard from this person in days/weeks or she hasn't answered her phone in days/weeks, and they're worried about her well-being.

    That's it.

    What did your girlfriend tell the officer who showed up?

    Repeated welfare checks are usually looked at askance by most police departments, so if your girlfriend made it clear to the responding officer that she's fine, she's just not interested in contact with her family, there shouldn't be any further visits.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Requirements for Police to Conduct a Welfare Check? Misuse or Harassment?

    Thank you for the response.

    She told the officer that she was fine and the welfare check was unnecessary. She was shocked and stunned so she is not sure if she was clear enough about further contact. If they show up again she can make it very clear that the follow ups are unwarranted as she is choosing not to be in contact with them.

    She should be clear with her family, but she is not in a position to take that stance yet. Right now her being in therapy and dealing with her issues threatens to acknowledge the previous traumas and abuses. It is not uncommon for dysfunctional family members to attack a person that threatens to acknowledge alcoholism and abuse (which breaks their denial).

    Thank you again for the rapid response, it is a huge relief to have some better understanding.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
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    Default Re: Requirements for Police to Conduct a Welfare Check? Misuse or Harassment?

    She should be clear with her family, but she is not in a position to take that stance yet. Right now her being in therapy and dealing with her issues threatens to acknowledge the previous traumas and abuses. It is not uncommon for dysfunctional family members to attack a person that threatens to acknowledge alcoholism and abuse (which breaks their denial).
    I can certainly sympathize, having gone through similar myself.

    That said, if she wants to ensure that there is no contact with them, she has to make that clear. It's a little silly to expect them to simply intuit that she wants no contact based on "subtle hints".

    If she doesn't tell them where to stuff it, there's a chance she'll get another welfare check, and the police will also tell her that she needs to tell them to leave her be.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Requirements for Police to Conduct a Welfare Check? Misuse or Harassment?

    She was hoping to step away for a bit and preserve the relationship to some degree. It seems the all or nothing, black and white perception is going to make that impossible. The subtle hints were not verbal and direct, but some folks heard only what they wanted to hear.

    If you have deal with with similar, you know the drill then.

    I am amazed at the extent to which anyone , given enough exposure, can accept insane things as ordinary.

    Thank you for the quality feedback. It is a huge relief to have some additional insight.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,893

    Default Re: Requirements for Police to Conduct a Welfare Check? Misuse or Harassment?

    Quote Quoting InternetsFailer
    View Post
    So what are the requirements for a police officer to be able to do a welfare check? Do they need a police report filed or an incident number assigned or ???? (Shouldn't there be some kind of public record for this?)
    If someone calls the police saying that they have a legitimate concern for the well being of someone, the police are likely going to respond to see if the person is okay. They are not legally required to, but most agencies will. No, they generally do not tell the caller what's going on, only that contact was made and the person is okay. Yes, a record of the dispatch call is generally made. And, yes, you should be able to get the name of the caller by asking for that information from the police department via the California Public Records Act and citing Government Code section 6254(f). The officer who shows up may not know that information.

    Are the requirements different if the request comes through friends in a police department when the original person is an employee, but not a sworn officer?
    Not really. Unless there are "requirements" for these calls that the agency has in writing, there really are no statutory requirements for the criteria of a response.

    We are just concerned this new technique can be employed to harass us and want to make sure the sister is not abusing the options available in her job.
    If it continues to happen, she can tell the officer(s) that respond what might be going on. The officers that are dispatched are simply responding to a call. If your girl does not want to speak with her family, she shoul dprobably tell them that.

    Is either of us entitled to some form of the public record in case their is a more of this?
    Either of you should have access to the caller's name IF it was prov ided to the dispatcher and recorded. See above.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

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