221 – Family Assistance Program

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I. Purpose

Family Assistance Unit personnel will be selected by the Sheriff or his or her designee, and they will operate within the Community Support Bureau under the supervision of the bureau commander. Personnel assigned to the unit, or acting as volunteers to the unit, have the authority to contact all personnel without regard to the chain of command while in that capacity in order to accomplish the objectives of the unit efficiently.

II. Policy

The Family Assistance Program is designed to provide assistance to employees (sworn, professional staff members, retirees) and their families in the event of death, serious illness, or catastrophic event.

III. Procedure

A. The Family Assistance Unit personnel will:

1. Assist the family with funeral arrangements;

2. Coordinate the funeral;

3. Suggest or arrange counseling or coordinate with the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) when it is necessary;

4. Assist in and arrange for the filing of insurance, disability, and financial aid documents for injured officers or survivors of deceased employees when appropriate;

5. Coordinate counseling and provide support to employees who have been in officer-involved shootings or any other event that causes death or serious injury to the employee, co-workers, or citizens; and

6. Coordinate the activities of volunteer chaplains serving the employees.

B. Family Assistance Unit personnel are also available to assist in times of devastation, such as fire, collision, or other events that displace the employee or immediate family members.

C. The Family Assistance Unit will coordinate a motorcycle escort for the funeral of active employees, their spouses, their children (natural, adopted, or foster), their parents (father, stepfather, mother, or stepmother), and honorably retired former employees. A departmental funeral escort can be conducted at the direction of the Sheriff or his or her designee.

The escort honoring an employee or the employee’s immediate family members as described above is provided at no cost to the employee.

IV. Supervisory Responsibilities

The immediate supervisor of any employee is responsible for contacting the Family Assistance Unit when a death occurs involving an employee or an employee’s immediate family member. Notifying the Family Assistance Unit as soon as possible is imperative to provide assistance to the employee and information on benefits available.


This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:

April 21, 2009

July 23, 2015

June 17, 2021

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