Protocol for Law Enforcement Response
This protocol has been adopted by the District Attorney, Sheriff, and all City, Town, and Village Police Departments in Orange County. The protocol outlines the procedures to be followed when:
- Police officers use deadly physical force resulting in the death or serious injury to a suspect or bystander.
- Police officers are involved in a vehicular crash resulting in the death of, or serious injury to, a suspect or bystander.
- In any other situation as determined by the District Attorney and the Police Chief/Sheriff.
- The Office of the Orange County District Attorney will be the “lead agency” in the investigation.
- The New York State Police will be contacted and requested to assist the District Attorney in the investigation.
- All crime scene/forensic work will be conducted by the New York State Police Troop F Forensic Investigation Unit. The “involved agency” will not perform any forensic work.
- Witness interviews will be conducted by Investigators of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and members of the New York State Police. The “involved agency” will cooperate in the investigation in any manner as requested by the Orange County District Attorney.
- The District Attorney will consult on all aspects of the investigation with the Chief/Sheriff of the “involved agency.”
- Administrative policy violations will be the responsibility of the “involved agency.”
- The criminal investigation will take precedence over the administrative investigation.
When an incident occurs, the “involved agency” will immediately notify:
- Its own Chief or, in his absence, the next ranking officer.
- The major crimes on-call ADA, who will notify the Chief Investigator and the District Attorney or Acting District Attorney. The District Attorney or his designee, and the Chief Investigator will respond to the scene.
- The New York State Police Troop F to request assistance from the Forensic Investigation Unit and Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
- The Orange County Medical Examiner in cases resulting in death.
- Any other notification required by departmental rules.
Responsibility of Orange County District Attorney
- The District Attorney and Assistant District Attorneys will provide investigative guidance and coordination.
- The Chief Investigator and District Attorney Investigators will actively participate in the investigation with the NYSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
- The District Attorney will issue press advisories/statements in consultation with the New York State Police and the Chief of the “involved agency.”
Responsibility of the “Involved Agency”
- The “involved agency” will designate a person from that agency to conduct the administrative investigation. The designated officer will not be part of the criminal investigation.
- The “involved agency” shall not take any compelled statements without first consulting with the District Attorney or his designee.
- The “involved agency” will be responsible for maintaining the security and integrity of the scene until relieved by a member of the Forensic Investigations Unit.
- The “involved agency” shall be responsible for ensuring public safety and the integrity of the investigation until formally relieved.