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MAJOR OFFENSE - A real or suspected crime of such severity that it creates, or seems likely to create, an intense public demand for identification, apprehension and prosecution of the offender; a crime which necessitates a substantial commitment of resources for a prolonged period of time; or a crime which requires the application of complex or unusual investigative techniques
Examples of offenses and investigations included within these parameters are:
1. Death investigations, including traffic homicides.
2. Sexual assaults or other sex related offenses.
3. Bank robberies, home invasions and armed robberies.
4. Sophisticated burglaries - safe jobs, alarm circumventions, etc.
6. Financially based crime, i.e., bank fraud, forgeries.
7. Investigations involving trafficking in controlled substances.
8. Organized criminal activities/offenses.
10. Investigative activities initiated to preserve the integrity of the Division.
PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION - The activities undertaken by a member(s) who responds to the scene of a crime, include:
1. Responding to immediate needs - rendering aid to the injured, noting such facts as the position of victims or injured subjects, spontaneous statements, unusual actions or activities; notifying headquarters with an assessment of the scene.
2. Determining that a crime has been committed.
3. Initiating enforcement action - arresting or pursuing the offender (if applicable) and/or dispatching apprehension information.
4. Securing the crime scene and protecting evidence - limiting access, identifying and isolating witnesses, and protecting all evidence, especially short-lived evidence (impressions in sand or mud, etc.).
5. Determining the need for investigative specialists and arranging for their notification, including:
a. Traffic Homicide Investigations.
b. Bureau of Investigations
c. Crime Scene Technicians.
d. Personnel from county/municipal/state/federal law enforcement agencies.
Once specialists are requested, the scene must be preserved intact to the maximum extent possible until such personnel arrive and assume responsibility for the scene.
6. Initiating an investigation - arranging for collection and preservation of evidence, photography, crime scene sketches and interviewing of witnesses, victim(s) and suspect(s). Normally, preliminary investigations should be pursued to the point where a temporary discontinuance of the process would not hamper or jeopardize the outcome of the case.
7. Compiling a thorough and accurate report of activities - data recorded should be sufficient to:
a. Identify evidence and stolen/recovered property, witnesses and elements of offenses. The accompanying narrative must also reflect the extent of officer involvement and identify other law enforcement personnel involved in the activity or investigation.
b. Facilitate determination of whether or not a follow-up investigation should be undertaken.
c. Sustain effective prosecution (if applicable).
d. Protect the integrity of the agency.
COMPREHENSIVE INVESTIGATION - Activities undertaken by an officer(s) facilitating the identification and apprehension of a criminal offender and maximizing the probability of successful prosecution. Thus, while the definition incorporates many of the elements of a preliminary investigation, it also includes compilation of all investigative reports, statements, items of evidence, data prepared by forensic scientists and other material needed for effective prosecution.
COLD CASE - A “Cold Case” is any criminal investigation that has not been resolved or which has a case closing status of “All leads Exhausted.” A cold case may include Traffic Homicide Investigations with unidentified suspects and unidentified fatal victims or a Bureau of Investigations case which remains unsolved after all leads have been exhausted. Many cold cases have applicable “Statute of Limitations.” Information may be developed on a cold case where the applicable statute of limitations has expired. The case will be reopened, investigated if warranted and updated with the appropriate case closing.
FUNCTIONAL AUTHORITY - Assuming the responsibility to direct the efforts of other officers and technicians who are engaged in an investigation, including those present at a crime scene, in order to facilitate timely and efficient case processing and to assure collection and preservation of all items of evidence.
Follow-up reports on all open investigations shall be submitted at 30 day intervals.
If no new information is received after a period of one year, the case will be classified as a cold case.
Subject to approval of the Director, Troop Commanders may establish procedures to obtain the services of crime scene technicians and investigative specialists for major offenses which are reported to his/her subordinates.
If an investigation reaches cold case status, the assigned investigator will maintain the case unless the investigator promotes, transfers, retires, leaves the Department or the Director or his designee requests the case be reassigned.
DIVISION INFECTIOUS DISEASE CONTROL OFFICER -
A training officer at the Florida Highway Patrol Training Academy assigned to perform all Infectious Disease Control Officer duties by the Chief Training Officer.
BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS - Means pathogenic microorganisms are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. The pathogens include, but are not limited to, Hepatitis B (HBV), and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
BIOHAZARDOUS WASTE -
Any solid or liquid waste which may present a threat of infection to humans. Generally, this waste is produced and acquired at crash scenes. Evidence such as DUI blood and urine kits, contaminated clothes and vehicle parts from crash scenes that have been authorized for disposal, are considered biohazardous waste. Examples include non-liquid tissue and body parts; discarded sharps; and blood, blood products and body fluids from humans and other primates. Other examples include used absorbent materials saturated with blood, body fluids, or excretions or secretions contaminated with blood and absorbent materials saturated with blood or blood products that have dried. Absorbent material includes items such as bandages, gauzes, and sponges. Contaminated gloves, supplies, clothing, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are considered biohazardous waste.
Intact or broken objects capable of puncturing, lacerating, or otherwise penetrating the skin.
UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS –
An approach to infection control. According to the concept of universal precautions, all human blood and body fluids are treated as if known to be infectious for bloodborne pathogens
The Division designated Infectious Disease Control Officer assigned to the FHP Training Academy shall be responsible for development and implementation of required training, coordinating the maintenance of records, and ensuring this policy is reviewed annually and updated as necessary
The Troop Office Operations Consultant (OOC) shall be the troop designated infectious disease control coordinator, and shall:
1. Ensure that each affected member is properly equipped with applicable Personal Protective Equipment and is in full compliance with this policy.
2. Assist the Division Infectious Disease Control Officer in affecting compliance with training, records, and ensuring that the requirements of this policy are complied with.
Troop Commanders will be responsible for the following:
1. Ensure their troop members comply with this policy.
2. Appointing a member at each location within their troop to be responsible for maintaining the biohazard container at their respective facility in compliance with this policy. This includes ensuring the acquired waste is periodically picked up by a division contracted biohazardous waste disposal company.
“Significant exposure,” as defined in Section 381.004(2)(c), F.S., means:
1. Exposure of mucous membranes to visible blood or body fluids.
2 Exposure to blood or body fluids through needlestick, sharps, or instruments.
3. Exposure of skin to visible blood or body fluids especially where the exposed skin is chapped, abraded, or afflicted with dermatitis (skin sores, rashes, etc.), or contact is prolonged or involving an extensive area.
4. Other types of exposures – as in the case of Tuberculosis, for example, whereby germs from an infected person are spread from person to person through the air when the infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.
"Body fluids” - Those fluids which have the potential to harbor pathogens and shall include:
1. Blood (Lymph).
3. Vaginal secretions.
4. Cerebra-spinal fluid (fluid from the brain or spine).
5. Synovial fluid (fluid from the joints).
6. Pleural fluid (fluid from the lungs).
7. Peritoneal fluid (abdominal fluids).
8. Pericardial fluid (fluid from the heart).
9. Amniotic fluid (fluid surrounding a fetus).
10. In circumstances where identification of the fluid is difficult, it shall be considered to be a regulated body fluid and universal precautions will be exercised.
A "contamination" occurs when a person's blood or any other body fluid is transferred to another person. Examples include when blood or body fluid splashes or comes in contact with another's skin where there are no cuts, sores, or abrasions.
A member who reasonably believes he/she has received a "significant exposure,” and has been exposed to an infectious disease, as defined in Section 21.01.06(A) above, shall:
Gather information about the person involved (keeping in mind confidentiality)
Contact his/her supervisor immediately
(The supervisor shall complete a First Report of Injury and contact the medical facility designated under Workers' Compensation as the initial treatment source or the nearest hospital emergency room, or walk-in clinic, and advise the doctor of all the facts about the exposure and follow the doctor's instructions)
Submit an Offense Report to the appropriate Deputy Director via the chain of command
To maintain compliance with the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act of 1990, the names of members exposed to a possible infection shall remain confidential in all areas except to those
the supervisor shall ask the suspected carrier to voluntarily submit to a blood test. The test shall be administered by a licensed medical professional and paid for by the Division.
If the person who causes the significant exposure is arrested and refuses to provide a blood sample, the member should include information in the Arrest Report detailing the exposure and should note "body fluid exposure" in the area where the member lists the charges
The member will need to contact a doctor to obtain a sworn statement (Addendum 1 of this policy) attesting both that a significant exposure has occurred and that the screening is medically necessary to decide the course of treatment for the member.
The physician's statement is probable cause for the issuance of the Warrant to Conduct Examination
If the arrestee consents to the blood test, appropriate medical personnel at the jail will be requested to draw the blood. The suspect will need to sign the Release of Medical Information/consent form (Addendum 4 of this policy) provided to ensure that the results are forwarded to the member's physician.
If a member receives a "significant exposure" from a person who is not arrested, the member should try to get the person to sign the consent form and ask the person to go to the county health department where the test may be conducted.
Once the warrant is issued, the supervisor may use reasonable force to take the person to the health clinic for testing.
To secure a warrant for a blood test, members must fill out an Affidavit for Warrant to Conduct Examination. The supervisor will include a report explaining the "significant exposure" and to which body fluid the member was exposed. The member does not need to describe the criminal act that lead to the exposure, only that the affected member was employed as a law enforcement officer at the time.
When the affidavit has been completed, the supervisor will need to contact a doctor to obtain a sworn statement attesting to the significant exposure to body fluids. The supervisor shall take the Affidavit for Warrant, Warrant, doctor's sworn statement, and a copy of the Offense Report to the state attorney for assistance, or initial appearance Judge for their signature.
When the warrant is obtained and served, the person listed on the warrant, if incarcerated, will have his blood drawn by appropriate medical personnel at the jail. If the person is not in custody, the supervisor may use reasonable force to take the person to the county health department for the blood test.
Suspected infectious persons should be treated with caution. Where violence or an altercation is likely, protective devices should be worn. The following precautions shall also be observed:
1. All members should obtain Hepatitis B vaccinations as soon as practical after employment, but SHOULD be obtained prior to the end of the member's probationary period.
2. Use a resuscitator mask when performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or CPR.
3. Disposable surgical gloves and items from the Infectious Disease Control Kit (as needed) shall be worn when handling blood or other body fluids, regardless of whether such fluids are wet or dry. Rings, jewelry or long fingernails will compromise the structural integrity of the gloves. Members shall make certain the gloves are not torn before using. Appropriate attire will also be worn when members observe autopsies or enter the area of a morgue where autopsies are performed. In any area where blood, other body fluids, or the potential for other contagious factors exist or are suspected, members will not smoke, eat, drink, use smokeless tobacco products, apply lipstick, or handle contact lenses for any reason.
4. Clean hands immediately with liquid germicidal and/or hand-wipes after contact with body fluids or suspect persons.
5. Wash hands thoroughly with hot water and germicidal soap following contact with blood or other body fluids. Hand washing must be done even if gloves have been worn.
6. Make it a practice to bandage open wounds or cuts on hands to avoid direct contact with contaminated body fluids. Bandages should be changed if they become wet or soiled.
7. Use care when conducting searches of suspects or vehicles. Never blindly place hands in areas where there may be sharp objects that could puncture the skin.
8. Members who have been diagnosed as having leukemia or other forms of cancer, or who are taking medication which suppresses the immune system, should not enter areas where there are body fluids present or have contact with persons who have an infectious disease.
9. Members should flush eyes, mouth, and exposed cuts with sterile water immediately after an exposure to such areas.
1. If a member believes that he/she has been exposed to an infected person, the member should immediately contact their immediate supervisor so a First Report of Injury can be completed.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is to be stored in the trunk area of the vehicle, preferably in the first aid kit. One exception is examination gloves. Gloves should be stored in the passenger compartment due to their sensitivity to heat.
Whenever it is necessary to transport a subject known to have an infectious disease who has blood or body fluids present on his/her person or clothing, a supervisor shall be notified.
Subjects known to have an infectious disease, with blood or body fluids present on their person, should be transported separately from other subjects when practicable
Members working in areas for extended periods of time where blood or other body fluids have been shed (for example, crashes involving injuries or fatalities, observing autopsies) should wear anti-contamination clothing, such as suits, masks, boot covers, and gloves (Infectious Disease Control Kit).
When Division issued or personal property is contaminated by blood or body fluids in the line of duty, members will place the items in an approved red bag with appropriate label. The label must show station name, address, and date the waste was acquired. Members will inform the appropriate supervisor that infectious disease contaminated items are in their custody. The Division provides an adequate number of uniforms to members to ensure a change of clothing will be available when uniforms become contaminated and members require a change of clothing.
A supervisor will be contacted prior to the member being evaluated clinically and serologically for evidence of infection. A copy of the evaluation shall be placed in the confidential infectious disease exposure file. Periodic tests will be conducted and evaluated at intervals as determined by the attending medical professional.
When personal contamination of a member occurs, the following reports will be completed and forwarded to the Troop Commander:
1. First Report of Injury.
2. Any other forms deemed proper by the Division.
3. Medical treatment plan, if needed.
4. Offense Report
examples of personal exposure:
1. The handling of bloody or wet items, where scratches, cuts, or open sores are noticed on the area of contact.
2. Direct contact with body fluids from a subject on an area where there is an open sore or cut.
3. Direct mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (CPR).
4. The receiving of a cut or puncture wound as a result of searching or arresting a suspect/subject.
Disinfection procedures shall be initiated when a Division vehicle or facility has been contaminated with blood or other body fluid.
1. A supervisor shall be notified and the vehicle taken or towed to a decontamination area (patrol station or other area authorized by the Troop Commander) as soon as possible.
2. Members will affect disinfection procedures (where appropriate).
a. Affected vehicles and FHP facilities shall be immediately designated by the posting of a "Contaminated Area" sign.
b. PROTECTIVE DISPOSABLE GLOVES WILL BE WORN DURING ALL PHASES OF DISINFECTION. All contaminated surfaces shall be cleaned with an industrial strength detergent and subsequently disinfected as defined in Rule 64E-16 F.A.C.
c. A broad-spectrum activity virucidal-germicidal solution shall be prepared precisely according to prescribed OSHA standards.
d. All disposable contaminated cleaning items shall be placed in approved red bags, labeled and placed in the designated “Biohazardous Waste Container”.
e. All Division vehicles shall be periodically disinfected in the interior with the approved virucidal-germicidal solution or aerosol spray. This should be routinely done after transporting persons of high-risk groups, and at least every six months if prisoners have been transported in the vehicle.