Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S04-03-04
Interviewing Patients at Cook County Hospital
Issue Date:22 October 1987Effective Date:23 October 1987
Rescinds:S87-17
Index Category:Preliminary Investigations
I.Purpose
The purpose of this directive is to inform members of the Department of the procedures:
  • A.for personally interviewing patients receiving medical care at Cook County Hospital.
  • B.to follow prior to executing an arrest of a patient receiving medical care at Cook County Hospital.
II.Responsibility
The Cook County Hospital Police Detail is responsible for providing liaison between members of the Department and patients whom they wish to interview or arrest.
III.Procedures
  • A.Any member of the Department who has reason to interview a patient at Cook County Hospital in furtherance of a police investigation will:
    • 1.report to the officer in charge of the police desk at the rear of the hospital and provide him with proper identification, and
    • 2.inform him of the name of the patient whom he wishes to interview and/or the type/location of the incident he is investigating.
  • B.The officer in charge of the police desk will:
    • 1.assign an officer from the hospital police detail to accompany the head nurse who will inform the patient that a member of the Chicago Police Department wishes to interview him.
    • 2.if the patient approves the request to be interviewed, direct the requesting member to the patient. Whenever possible, the interview should be conducted in an area away from other patients.
    • 3.if the patient refuses to be interviewed, ensure that an officer form the hospital police detail obtains as much personal information on the patient as possible from the head nurse. The information gathered will be turned over to the investigating member who will enter the statement, "the patient refused to communicate with the police," in the appropriate case report.
  • C.In cases where the officer in charge of the police desk is notified by medical personnel of the hospital that a patient who the police have not had an opportunity to interview is injured to the extent that he may expire, the officer will:
    • 1.dispatch an officer of the hospital police detail to request the attending physicians approval to speak to the patient. The approval only refers to the medical judgment relative to the patients condition.
    • 2.have this officer attempt to obtain any information regarding the circumstances of the injury which would be of assistance in bringing the investigation to a successful conclusion.
    • 3.notify the appropriate follow-up investigative unit of the Detective Division immediately.
  • D.Approval to speak to a patient need not be sought from a patient who is to be placed under arrest. In these cases the officer in charge of the police desk will assign an officer of the hospital police detail to:
    • 1.request approval from the attending physician for the arresting officers to speak to the patient. This approval only refers to the medical judgment relative to the patients condition.
    • 2.accompany the arresting officers when making the arrest.
  • E.If it becomes necessary to establish a guard detail for the arrested patient, the officer in charge of the police desk will comply with the procedures outlined in current directives on "Hospitalized Arrestees", "Squadrol Operating Procedures", and "Processing Persons Under Department Control."
Fred Rice
Superintendent of Police
87-054 FMF (MP)