15.360 - Use of Mobile Fingerprint Identification Devices (Mobile IDs)

Effective Date: 05/07/2019


This policy applies to the use of mobile fingerprint identification devices by Department employees.

1. Only Trained Officers May Use Mobile IDs

King County facilitates mobile ID training. Only officers who are trained in the use of the COBAN M7 system and the mobile ID device are allowed to use the mobile ID device.

2. Officers May Use Mobile IDs When Probable Cause for Arrest Exists, or the Subject is Required by Law to Present Identification

Officers may use mobile IDs when probable cause exists for the subject’s arrest and/or one (or more) of the following circumstances occur:

- When an officer has probable cause to issue a Notice of Infraction for any City ordinance violation (RCW 7.80.060 and RCW 46.61.021See Manual Sections 6.220 and 16.230

- When the subject is attempting to purchase liquor (RCW 66.20.180)

- When the subject is carrying a concealed pistol (RCW 9.41.050)

3. Officers May Use Mobile ID as a Community Caretaking Function to Identify a Person Under Certain Circumstances

An officer may use Mobile ID as a community caretaking function when:

1. The person is unable to identify himself/herself because they are unconscious, physically injured, intoxicated (drugs or alcohol), or suffering from a mental illness or dementia (for instance, Alzheimer’s walk-away patient); and

2. The officer does not find any identification; and

3. The officer takes the person into protective custody, to render aid such as having the person transported to the hospital, or to identify and protect an elderly dementia patient who is lost.

4. Officers May Use Mobile ID to Identify Deceased Persons Under Certain Circumstances

Officers may use Mobile ID to identify a deceased person at the direction of the follow up unit and/or the Medical Examiner.

5. In All Other Circumstances Not Listed in this Policy, Officers Shall Obtain Consent from a Subject in Order to Use a Mobile ID

Subjects must give their consent knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily. Officers electing to use mobile ID by consent shall document the consent via in-car video and/or body worn, and by updating CAD.

Detectives and plain clothes officers may request patrol response to assist with a Mobile ID and documentation of use.

See 15.360-TSK-1 Using Mobile ID with Consent

6. Officers Shall Not Use Force to Identify a Subject Via Mobile ID

7. Officers Shall Document the Use of Mobile ID

Officers shall document the use of mobile ID via Report or Field Contact, as appropriate. When the device is used without probable cause or a legal requirement for the subject to present identification, officers shall document how consent was secured.

15.360-TSK-1 Using Mobile ID with Consent

When using mobile ID without probable cause for arrest or a legal requirement for the subject to present identification, the officer:

1. Asks the subject if he or she will provide fingerprints

2. If the subject consents, documents consent via in-car video, body worn video, or by updating CAD

3. Uses the mobile ID

4. Documents the use of mobile ID via Report or Field Contact, as appropriate, including how consent was secured


Adrian Diaz, Chief of Police
Address: 610 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104-1900
Mailing Address: PO Box 34986, Seattle, WA, 98124-4986
Phone: (206) 625-5011
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