May 25, 2024

How to Get a Wellness Check on Someone

If you’re concerned about the well-being of a loved one or suspect that someone may be in danger, and you are unable to personally check on that person yourself, you need to take immediate action. In such situations, requesting a police wellness check can provide peace of mind and ensure the person’s safety. 

As California police misconduct lawyers, we know things can go wrong during wellness checks. Below, we walk you through the process of getting a welfare check for your loved one, as well as some things to consider before calling the police.

What Is a Wellness Check?

A wellness or welfare check is a free service provided by local law enforcement agencies to verify the safety and well-being of an individual that their friends or family are worried about and unable to check on themselves. This is frequently done when there are concerns about that person’s mental or physical health or if they may be in danger.

However, if your loved one has been a victim of police brutality or discrimination in the past, having the police unexpectedly show up at their house, start asking questions, or sometimes even demand entry can lead to disastrous consequences. 

For example, Johns Hopkins reported that police responses that were initiated by calling 911 were 46% more likely to result in a shooting death compared to incidents in which police were already on-site. Even more disturbing, welfare checks with no known danger or risk to police have a 74% greater likelihood of ending in a fatal shooting.

Steps to Obtain a Wellness Check in California

If there is anyone else other than the police that you can call to check on your loved one (a neighbor, caretaker, property manager, etc.), we highly recommend you reach out to that person first. If that check yields no information, then consider initiating a police wellness check. 

Here are the steps to get a welfare check in California:

  • Gather Information: Before contacting law enforcement, gather the person’s full name, address, contact information, date and time of last contact, medications, health conditions, and previous history with law enforcement.
  • Contact the Local Police Department: Call the non-emergency number of the local police department. Inform them about your concerns and request a wellness check
  • Explain the Situation: Again, do not overlook explaining that the person doesn’t trust police or is triggered by authority figures, etc. Remain calm and provide as much information as you can.
  • Follow Up: While the police will take the lead in conducting the wellness check, be sure to follow up with them to ensure that the wellness check was completed and the situation resolved.
  • Document and Preserve Evidence: If there is any suspected police brutality or misconduct, document and preserve it (photographs, recording videos, saving text messages or emails, etc).

We Are California Police Brutality Lawyers

Police wellness checks can be risky. If anything goes wrong, the dedicated team of California police brutality lawyers at Pointer and Buelna, LLP: Lawyers For The People will provide you with personalized representation from start to finish. 

Together, we can make a difference and strive for a safer community. To talk us today, contact our offices now for a free consultation or give us a call at (510) 929-5400. We are available 24/7.

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