GO 07 Searches

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NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE POLICE DEPARTMENT

GENERAL ORDERS MANUAL

SUBJECT

Searches

GO 7

CHIEF OF POLICE

William F. Looper, Chief of Police

REVISION DATE EFFECTIVE DATE PAGES

1 of 7

AUTHORITY/RELATED REFERENCES

Florida State Statutes, Chapter 901.211, Searches

Florida State Statutes, Chapter 933, Search Warrants

General Order 5, Arrests

General Order 8, Response to Resistance

General Order 13, Arrest Warrants

General Order 15, Search Warrants

General Order 20, Criminal Investigations

General Order 41, Transporting Prisoners/Civilians

General Order 45, Vehicle Towing and Impounding

US Supreme Court, Fernandez v. Calif., 571 U.S. ____ (2014); Search of dwellings

US Supreme Court, Riley v. Calif., 573 U.S. ____ (2014); Search of cell phones

ACCREDITATION REFERENCES

CFA Chapter 18

KEY WORD INDEX

Body Cavity Search ..............................................................................

Procedure X

Cell Phone Searches ............................................................................

Procedure XI

Consent Searches ................................................................................

Procedure II

Crime Scenes .......................................................................................

Procedure VII

Documentation .....................................................................................

Procedure XII

Exigent Circumstances ........................................................................

Procedure VI

General Guidelines ...............................................................................

Procedure I

Incident to Arrest..................................................................................

Procedure V

Plain View .............................................................................................

Procedure III

Stop and Frisk ......................................................................................

Procedure IV

Strip Search ..........................................................................................

Procedure X

Vehicle Inventory..................................................................................

Procedure IX

Vehicles .................................................................................................

Procedure VIII

NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE POLICE DEPARTMENT

PROCEDURE STATEMENT

Members of the Northwest Florida State College Police Department shall comply with the provisions of the U.S. Constitution, Florida Statutes, and Department directives in every aspect governing search and seizure.

DEFINITIONS

Body cavity search:

Any search involving not only visual inspection of certain skin surfaces but the internal physical examination of the body cavities (excluding the mouth) and, in some instances, organs such as the stomach cavity.

Consensual encounter:

A mere contact with a citizen that is voluntary in nature, involves no coercion, no detention, no use of force or directive/controlling language or conduct, and no seizure of that individual.

Curtilage:

The land immediately surrounding a house or dwelling, to include its yard, closely associated outbuildings, and adjacent enclosed or fenced areas. Curtilage defines the boundary within which a homeowner may have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Exigent circumstances:

A call for immediate action or attention; urgent, pressing needs, demands, or requirements.

Frisk:

A “pat-down” or external feeling of the outer garments of an individual for weapons only.

Probable cause to search:

Facts and circumstances which lead a reasonably prudent officer, based on their training and experience, to believe that the items sought are seizable by virtue of being connected with criminal activity and that those items will be found in the place to be searched.

Reasonable suspicion:

Facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonably prudent officer, based upon their training and experience, to believe that a crime has been, is being, or is about to be committed.

Stop:

A “field interview” or temporary detention of an individual based upon reasonable suspicion.

Strip search:

Any search of an individual requiring the removal or rearrangement of some or all clothing to permit the visual or manual inspection of the genitals; buttocks; anus; female breasts; or undergarments of such person.

PROCEDURES

GENERAL ORDER 7-2

NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE POLICE DEPARTMENT

I. GENERAL GUIDELINES

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or things to be seized.” - U.S. Constitutional Amendment IV.

A. The United States Supreme Court has interpreted the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution as prohibiting the introduction into evidence of tangible materials seized during an unlawful search (a principle known generally as the "Exclusionary Rule").

B. The primary purpose of the Exclusionary Rule is to deter future unlawful police conduct and thereby effect the guarantee of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures.

II. CONSENT SEARCHES

A. The general prohibition against warrantless entry into a person's home, business, or other constitutionally protected area, does not normally apply to situations in which consent has been obtained.

B. Valid consent acts as a substitute for a search warrant or probable cause.

Consent must be voluntary and is limited in scope to the area or thing which the person allows to be searched.

1.

The voluntariness of a person’s consent is generally determined by the totality of the circumstances. The conduct of the officer(s), the ability of the individual to understand and rationally respond to the request for consent, as well as the age, education, intelligence and knowledge of the individual are all relevant in this determination.

2. The person giving consent must also have actual or common authority over the area or thing to be searched.

C. Consent may be withdrawn by the person before or during the search. If consent is withdrawn, members shall immediately cease any search in progress unless another exception to the search warrant requirement is applicable.

D. When multiple individuals reside at a dwelling, if a physically present resident objects to a warrantless search of the premises, a search shall

not

be effected without a warrant, even if another occupant consents to the search.

(See

Fernandez v. California

under Authority/Related References on p. 1).

GENERAL ORDER 7-3

NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE POLICE DEPARTMENT

E. In situations where an arrest has not been made and the officer feels that a search is necessary (evidence of a crime, etc.), the officer shall obtain a consent to search when possible (PD-130, Consent to Search Waiver/Miranda

Form). If the individual refuses to give a consent to search, the officer shall follow all legal guidelines and obtain a search warrant where needed.

F. For the purposes of this policy, consent to search a person shall not extend to visual inspection of the genital area or other skin surfaces that would constitute a strip search.

III. PLAIN VIEW

A. An officer may make a valid, warrantless seizure of an item under the “plain view doctrine” when an item is encountered in plain view and its incriminating character is immediately apparent.

B. The officer must have had a lawful justification for being in the location/position from which the item w as visible. The “plain view doctrine” does not, however, allow officers to make a warrantless entry into a private dwelling to make a misdemeanor arrest or seize evidence of a misdemeanor offense.

IV. STOP AND FRISK

A. If there are articulable facts supporting a reasonable suspicion that an individual has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a criminal offense, that person may be stopped in order to conduct a field interview to ascertain the person’s identity and the circumstances which led the officer to believe the person was involved in criminal activity.

B. When a stop has been conducted based upon reasonable suspicion, and there exists a separate and articulable reason to believe that the person stopped is armed and poses a threat to the o fficer’s safety, a frisk of the subject’s outer clothing may be conducted for weapons.

C. An object that an officer detects during the course of a valid protective frisk may also be seized without a warrant if the officer's sense of touch, or “plain feel” makes it immediately apparent to the officer as a result of their training and experience that the object is contraband and/or evidence of a crime.

D. An investigative detention must be temporary and last no longer than is necessary to carry out the purpose of the stop.

V. INCIDENT TO ARREST

A. When a lawful arrest is affected, an officer shall search the arrestee, items in the arrestee’s immediate possession, and the area within the arrestee's

GENERAL ORDER 7-4

NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE POLICE DEPARTMENT

immediate control for the purpose of protecting the officer from attack, preventing escape, or discovering the fruits of a crime.

B. If the arrestee is the driver of a vehicle, a valid search shall be made of the arrestee's person and that area within the arrestee's reach, i.e., the passenger compartment.

C. Officers shall carefully search arrestees, or prisoners of the same sex received from another officer, and take immediate possession of all weapons and evidence.

1. For arrestees of the opposite sex, male officers shall search outer garments and personal goods, but shall refrain from searching the person of the female arrestee unless the officer has reason to believe a weapon is present. Searches will be conducted in the most discreet manner possible, using officers of the same sex to search when possible.

EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES VI.

VII.

A. An officer may enter and search a location without a search warrant when there is a reasonable belief that an emergency exists and there is an immediate need for law enforcement action.

B. Such urgent circumstances include but are not limited to:

1. Protecting individuals in distress, assisting victims of crimes, or investigating suspicious signs of impending danger.

2. Preventing the imminent use of a dangerous weapon or the potential destruction of fruits of a felony.

3. Conducting a security sweep surrounding a particular arrest with the intent to ensure that there are no other persons present who may pose a danger to the officer.

CRIME SCENES

A. The existence of exigent circumstances at the scene of a crime shall justify a valid, warrantless search when members reasonably believe that an emergency exists.

B. Such searches are limited in scope and shall not extend beyond that which is necessary to address the emergency. A broader search shall require a search warrant or valid consent.

GENERAL ORDER 7-5

NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE POLICE DEPARTMENT

VIII. VEHICLES

A. A warrantless, valid search may be made of a motor vehicle when there is probable cause to believe that it contains contraband or evidence of a crime and that the vehicle is capable of being moved before a search warrant can be obtained.

1. Under these circumstances, a search may be made of the entire vehicle and containers within which are capable of holding the object(s) of the search.

Such containers may include the trunk, the glove compartment, other fixtures and loose items.

2. A warrant showing sufficient probable cause shall be obtained to search locked containers in a motor vehicle which are capable of holding the objects(s), unless: a. It can be shown the evidence or contraband would be destroyed or significantly altered if not properly secured immediately.

B. Search of the vehicle passenger compartment after an arrest is permissible if:

1. The arrestee is within or may gain reaching distance of the passenger compartment at the time of the search, or

2. It is reasonable to believe the vehicle contains evidence of the offense of the arrest.

3. Absent reasons 1 and 2 above, the search would be unreasonable unless a warrant is obtained or another exception to the warrant requirement exists.

C. Refer to Section II of this order (Consent to Search) and Section IX of this order

(Vehicle Inventory) for related references and requirements.

IX. VEHICLE INVENTORY

A. Vehicle inventory procedures serve to protect an owner's property while it is in the custody of the police to insure against claims or disputes over lost, stolen, or vandalized property and to protect the police from potential liability.

B. An inventory is not considered a search and shall be governed by General

Order 45, Vehicle Towing and Impounding. The scope of the inventory is not discretionary with the officer. All areas of the vehicle should be inventoried;

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NORTHWEST FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE POLICE DEPARTMENT

however, no force shall be used to open any portion of a vehicle or any item inside for inventory purposes.

X. STRIP / BODY CAVITY SEARCH

A. Section 901.211, Florida Statutes, provides for strip and/or body cavity searches of arrestees to be performed based on probable cause, under specific circumstances, to protect the safety of officers and others, as well as to detect and secure evidence of criminal activity.

B. Northwest Florida State College Police Department members shall not perform strip or body cavity searches.

1. When probable cause exists and the authority for such a search is granted in writing by the Chief of Police or his designee, officers will report to the

Okaloosa County Jail and request that a body cavity search or strip search of the arrestee be conducted by jail officials.

2. Strip searches must be conducted in a private setting by a person(s) of the same gender as the arrestee. Any body cavity search must be performed by qualified medical personnel under sanitary conditions.

3. When a request of jail officials is made to conduct a strip search or body cavity search, documentation of the request and the circumstances leading to it shall be made on the appropriate departmental report.

XI. CELL PHONE SEARCHES

A. Searches of cell phones, even when incident to arrest, shall require a search warrant. (See

Riley v. California

under Authority/Related References on p. 1).

B. If there are other case-specific exceptions which may seem to justify a warrantless search under exigent circumstances, approval to search shall be first obtained from the Chief of Police or Lieutenant.

XII. DOCUMENTATION

A. Members who conduct any search shall abide by all reporting requirements. In those instances when no offense or incident report is so generated,

a Field

Interview Report shall be completed

to document the incident, including the nature of the encounter and a brief description of the search conducted.

GENERAL ORDER 7-7

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