Police Custody




  • For this policy to be used, the patient only needs to be in the care of police and does not have to be under police custody.
  • All patients in police custody retain the right to request transport. This should be coordinated with law enforcement.




  • To assure the patient receives the appropriate care following encounter with law enforcement.




  • Assess for evidence of traumatic injury or medical illness and follow appropriate protocol.
  • If a Taser® has been used, follow
  • If pepper spray has been used, irrigate the face and eyes and remove contaminated clothing.
    • Assess for dyspnea, wheezing and a history of asthma or COPD.
    • If an asthmatic, patient is exposed to pepper spray and released to law enforcement, all parties should be advised to immediately re-contact EMS if wheezing, or difficulty breathing occurs.
  • Continue to observe for agitated delirium syndrome .
    • Agitated delirium is characterized by marked restlessness, irritability, and/or high fever. Patients exhibiting these signs are at high risk for sudden death and should be transported to hospital by ALS personnel.
  • If there is any doubt about the cause of the patient’s alteration in mental status, transport the patient to the hospital for evaluation.
  • Coordinate disposition with patient, law enforcement and if necessary, Medical Control.
  • Never argue with law enforcement. If law enforcement interferes with the patient’s ability to refuse or request care, attempt to obtain a police signature verifying refusal or request of care and report the incident to a supervisor.