Effective Date: August 12, 2013
Expiration Date: December 12, 2022
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NASA has specific responsibilities when its security operations result in life-threatening injuries or death to another. This chapter provides procedures intended to minimize additional trauma for officers involved in these incidents and to ensure that all the facts are properly documented. This policy is applicable when a NASA SPO/SO or NASA employee assigned to perform security duties uses, or attempts to use, deadly force against another or a security activity results in life-threatening injury or the death of another.
H.2.1 Internal Review — The Center Protective Services/Security Office is the office primarily responsible for criminal and internal investigations outside the purview of the OIG. Incidents involving the discharge of firearms by members, whether accidental or intentional, will be reviewed by the CCPS/CCS. Written reports are required on all discharges of firearms, noting the exceptions enumerated in this policy.
H.2.2 Exceptions — Exceptions to this policy are: firearms training and qualification and the destruction of injured, rabid, or otherwise dangerous animals. While investigations are not required, supervisory approval and written reports are required for animal destructions.
H.2.3 Criminal Investigation — The investigation conducted by Center Protective Services/Security Office will be limited to policy compliance, initial fact-finding, and evidence/crime preservation. Any further investigation, including the lead investigative authority (i.e., FBI, ATF, or OIG), will be determined and coordinated by the OIG, OCC/OGC and the OPS.
H.2.4 Involved Member's Rights — Any rights of the involved member(s), witness(es), and/or others (including injured persons) and the integrity of investigations arising from such incidents will be strictly maintained.
H.3.1 An NFS occurs when an officer/member discharges a firearm, the projectile does not strike any person, and the officer was not responding to a perceived threat.
H.3.2 A negligent discharge (ND) occurs if a member fails to use reasonable care through inadvertence, thoughtlessness, inattention, and the like. NDs are documented in accordance with applicable Agency policy.
H.3.3 Supervisor Notification — The involved member will immediately notify the Protective Services/Security Communications Center (PSCC) of any firearm discharge (other than the exceptions for training and animals above) including Force Related Shooting (FRS), ND and/or NFS. As necessary, PSCC will notify all on-duty supervisors in officer's/member's chain of command.
H.3.3.1 The Shift Supervisor will make additional notifications, via chain of command, to the CCPS/CCS and the contractor Security Program Manager/Chief.
H.3.3.2 The Center Protective Services Investigator (Duty Agent) will be called out.
H.3.4 Scene Security — The involved member's ranking supervisor (Lieutenant or above) will respond to control the scene. Once the scene is under control, no person will enter prior to arrival of Center Protective Services.
H.3.5 Supervisor Involvement — If the shooting involves a patrol supervisor, an alternate supervisor will be appointed.
H.3.6 Center Protective Services Investigations Authority — The scene will be turned over to the Center Protective Services Investigator upon arrival. The Investigator will assess the incident and determine if a criminal investigation is needed.
H.3.7 Involved Member — Member will remain available for collection of evidence, preliminary interviews, etc.
H.4.1 A FRS occurs when a member: (1) intentionally or unintentionally discharges a firearm at a perceived threat (2) and one or more person is in close proximity and immediate danger of being shot, even if no injury occurs, or (3) if a person is injured or killed by the fired round(s) or debris from the round(s).
H.4.2 Supervisor Notification — The involved member will immediately notify the PSCC of the incident. PSCC will notify all on duty supervisors in the member's chain of command. The Shift Supervisor will initiate notification matrix to include Center Security Office (CSO) Duty Agent.
H.4.3 Outside Agency Investigation — NASA duty agent will request an outside law enforcement agency to investigate shootings involving injury or death to another. Any further investigation, including the lead investigative authority (i.e., FBI, ATF, or OIG), will be determined and coordinated by the OIG, OCC/OGC, and the OPS. Center Protective Services will investigate shooting cases not resulting in injury to a person.
H.4.4 Scene Security — Ranking Supervisor or designee will assign a uniformed SPO/SO to secure the crime scene. A perimeter around the scene will be established and cordoned off, as large as practicable to prevent contamination. Only persons administering necessary emergency medical treatment may enter the scene. Their movements inside the perimeter will be closely monitored and documented to reduce scene contamination. Except for exigent circumstances, no person, regardless of rank, will enter the crime scene prior to the arrival of the designated investigating authority. If the shooting scene is outdoors, no vehicle within the scene, either police or citizen, will be moved prior to examination by the Crime Scene Technician.
H.4.5 Investigative Control — Scene will be turned over to the appropriate investigator upon arrival. Primary responsibility and authority over the crime scene rests with the external investigating authority.
H.4.6 Replace Weapon — The involved firearm and other involved NASA-owned or issued equipment will be secured and safeguarded, consistent with investigative requirements at least until the external investigating authority determines the member will not be the subject of a criminal prosecution.
H.4.7 Member Available — Absent unusual circumstances which dictate otherwise (i.e., need for medical treatment, decontamination, or other exigent duties) the member will cooperate and remain available for collection of any other evidence, taking of interviews, etc. Accordingly, the member will not shower, wash, change clothes, or discard any items present during the shooting until notified to do so by CCPS/CCS and/or outside investigating authority.
H.4.8 Member's Family — The member may contact a family member to inform of injury status.
H.4.9 Collective Bargaining Representative — If required by applicable collective bargaining agreements, the contracting entity will ensure that the collective bargaining unit representative for the involved member is notified on any firearms discharge (except training or animal exceptions).
H.5.1 General — Member activities that result in the death or serious injury of a person or persons will follow similar procedures, internal review, and investigative protocol as previously outlined.
H.5.2 Traffic Related — Traffic mishaps resulting from member activities that result in death or serious injury of a person or persons will follow similar procedures, internal review, and investigative protocol for FRS.
H.6.1 Protective Services Communications Center (PSCC).
H.6.1.1 Dispatcher will designate a supervisor to respond, dispatch necessary additional patrol units, make contact with appropriate medical personnel, and notify the Communications Shift Supervisor.
H.6.1.2 Ensure a major incident Call and Dispatch (CAD) log is kept, notify the Communications Section Manager, and complete the notification procedure at the direction of the on-duty supervisor or commander.
H.6.1.3 Dispatcher will contact the on-duty field supervisor and on-duty Shift Supervisor. Additionally, PSCC will assist with additional notifications and call outs at the discretion of the Shift Supervisor or his/her designee.
H.6.2 Involved Member(s).
H.6.2.1 After due regard for the preservation of human life, the involved member will secure the scene. Evidence should be left undisturbed except as necessary to safeguard life, property, and secure the scene. Involved member will attempt to determine the physical condition of any injured person, request medical aid, and render first aid when safe to do so.
H.6.2.2 Any member involved in any shooting will immediately notify PSCC of the incident and will request emergency medical assistance, as appropriate.
H.6.2.3 Any members involved in a shooting incident and members who witness a shooting incident or are involved in any incident involving the death or serious injury of another person are required to submit a detailed report to the Agency within 72 hours of the incident, unless otherwise approved by the CCPS/CCS. Providing a sworn recorded statement to an authorized person investigating the shooting incident meets this requirement.
H.6.3 First Responding Security Police/Police Officer's Responsibilities.
H.6.3.1 First responding officers will check the welfare of members involved, other people involved, provide first aid when appropriate, establish Incident Command, secure the scene and preserve visible evidence, brief the on-scene supervisor and investigative personnel, and other duties as directed.
H.6.3.2 First responding officers will secure the scene, coordinate emergent care, ensure public safety, separate witnesses and obtain preliminary information. Officers will also assist in crowd and media control, and begin an entry and exit log at the entry control point (ECP) of all personnel entering or exiting the scene.
H.6.3.3 An officer will be assigned to accompany the involved member to a medical facility if deemed necessary by the on-scene supervisor/commander and will secure evidence and protect personal property of the involved member. This may be delegated to the companion officer.
H.6.4 Companion Officer's Responsibilities.
H.6.4.1 An assigned companion officer is provided to the involved member for their welfare and safety. Companion officer will remain with them until relieved. Companion officer will transport the involved member to the appropriate security facility and maintain contact. If the involved member is at a medical facility, the companion officer will remain until relieved, as directed by supervision.
H.6.4.2 Companion officer will secure a quiet room and facilitate contacting clergy if requested by the involved member.
H.6.4.3 Companion officer will facilitate collection of evidence from involved member upon request by supervisor or crime scene personnel. In most instances, companion officer should not allow member to wash or change clothes or appearance until crime scene personnel have obtained photographs and collected other evidence.
H.188.8.131.52 In the event of exposure to biological, radiological, or other hazards, the involved member should be allowed to reduce potential health risks by washing if continued exposure increases health risks, even if the collection of evidence is delayed or impacted. Where time permits, these clean-up measures should be approved by supervisors. Where time does not permit, the companion officer should maintain a record of actions taken.
H.6.4.4 Companion officer will inform the on-duty commander of the involved member's location. In the event the involved member is moved from one location to another, the on-duty supervisor or commander will be notified of the new location.
H.6.4.5 Companion officer will not discuss the incident with the involved member. Communications with the companion officer are not privileged and disclosure of any communications may be compelled.
H.6.5.1 On-Scene Field Supervisor's Responsibilities.
a. On-scene field supervisor will function as the Incident Commander (IC) and ensure adequate personnel and other resources are dispatched to respond to the scene or stage at an appropriate location. Supervisor will ensure the involved member is assigned a companion officer at the scene or other appropriate location.
b. Supervisor will assign an officer to transport the involved member to the Agency. If the involved member is transported to a medical facility for treatment, the supervisor will ensure a companion officer is assigned.
c. Supervisor will maintain security of the scene until relieved by the investigating body or another supervisor.
d. Complete the Patrol Supervisor Officer Involved Death/Life Threatening Injury Checklist.
e. Complete the initial incident report.
f. Collect supplemental reports from initial responding witness officers on scene about the incident or crime that precipitated the shooting, death, or life threatening injury.
g. Provide an incident briefing to the Shift Supervisor before being relieved as the IC.
H.6.5.2 Shift Supervisor.
a. The Shift Supervisor shall promptly respond and assume responsibility as the IC. If the shooting involves a field supervisor, the Shift Supervisor will designate who will assume the field supervisor's duties. The scene will be secured; including the scene perimeter, which will be marked by ribbon or rope, as appropriate. Shift Supervisor will ensure that the Patrol Supervisor checklist is being followed.
b. Make an initial determination as to whether the shooting is a force-related shooting. If it is, the Shift Supervisor will establish security until arrival of outside Criminal Investigation Agency. If the shooting is a non-force shooting, the CCPS/CCS will conduct the investigation. Incidents concerning death or serious injury to a person, but other than an officer-involved shooting, should be treated with similar investigative protocol as contained herein. Furthermore, the Shift Supervisor will be responsible for the following activities:
(1) Confirm all appropriate investigative and NASA personnel are notified and responding as required. Ensure the scene is secured consistent with public health and safety.
(2) Monitor the actions and demeanor of the involved member for signs of stress-related reactions.
(3) Separate all witnesses, including any involved members, before taking any statements. An attempt will be made to contact and identify all persons in areas deemed to be appropriate by the Shift Supervisor.
(4) Appoint officers to conduct a thorough search if all firearms rounds are not accounted for.
(5) Complete Shift Supervisor Officer Involved Death/Life Threatening Injury Checklist making all appropriate notifications.
H.6.5.3 Center Protective Services Civil Servant Investigator.
a. Responds to the scene.
b. Obtains briefing from on-scene commander.
c. Coordinates the needs of the crime scene security with the appropriate field supervisor.
d. If an injury or fatality occurred, assigns investigator or supervisor to act as liaison between the CCPS/CCS and outside Agency, if applicable. This assigned investigator's responsibilities are to coordinate and facilitate efforts with the outside Agency and to provide timely information to the CCPS/CCS.
e. If no injury occurred, assigns an investigator to investigate the incident.
f. Confirms or makes all required notifications.
H.6.5.4 CCPS/CCS and contractor Security Program Manager/Chief — Head of involved member(s) duty assignment (e.g., patrol, SRT, or investigations).
a. Coordinates activation of the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) with Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
b. Schedules EAP psychological appointment before involved member(s) return to duty and completes Division Commander Employee Involved Death/Life Threatening Injury Checklist.
c. Verifies attendance — Upon receipt of written EAP clearance for duty, completes Return to Duty Memorandum.
d. Monitors the actions and demeanor of the involved member for signs of stress-related reactions.
H.7.1 Review Mandatory — CSO will conduct an administrative investigation of all shooting incidents, regardless of whether a criminal case is established against the officer.
H.7.2 Non-Use of Force Investigation — If the incident is not handled as a criminal investigation, that is, if it is a no force shooting or an accidental discharge, CIU will have control of the scene and all other aspects of the case.
H.7.3 Information Release Prohibited — Center Protective Services will not release information from the administrative investigation to the criminal investigators.
H.8.1 Debriefing — Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) will be mandatory for any involved officer who: (1) discharges a firearm resulting in any injury or death of a person, (2) receives any injury as a result of an assault with a firearm, or (3) is referred by a supervisor following any shooting incident. This debriefing is facilitated by NASA EAP.
H.8.2 Critical Incident Stress Management member (Peer Support) must attend the debriefing for support.
H.8.3 Three Days — CISD will be completed within three calendar days after the incident. No officer will be returned from administrative leave until this debriefing has occurred.
H.8.4 EAP — The officer's Division Commander will coordinate the scheduling of the psychological appointment with EAP.
H.9.1 Assignment — Member will be placed on administrative leave immediately by the CCPS/CCS, without loss of pay or benefits, pending the results of the investigation.
H.9.2 Limited Discussion — Member should not discuss the case with anyone except his attorney, union representative, state attorney, or other persons as authorized by the CCPS/CCS.
H.9.3 Criminal Charges — If the Office of the State/District Attorney or any other prosecutor files criminal charges or a grand jury indicts the member, the member will be relieved of duty in accordance with the current collective bargaining agreement and SOP.
H.10.1 NASA OPS and its contract partners will provide any assistance requested by the investigative body.
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