What is a police welfare check?

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of dave conner

Police tend to get the most publicity when they are chasing criminals and solving crimes. With that noted, police perform other important functions in the community as well. A police welfare check is a law enforcement function performed with significant regularity.


Family members and friends sometimes become worried about the well-being of a person in their lives. They get concerned after an individual is not heard from or seen for a period of time.


A police welfare check occurs when a report is made to law enforcement about an individual who may be in some sort of peril, usually in that person's residence.


Through a police welfare check, law enforcement goes to the person's residence, usually along with the person who made the report. Law enforcement officers enter the residence to determine the safety of the individual.


A police welfare check is a significant law enforcement function because it allows for professional intervention if an individual is in distress or need of assistance because of a health condition, injury or some other situation.


A common misconception is that a police officer needs a court order to enter a residence for a welfare check. A court order is not necessary since the purpose of the check is to provide immediate protection for an individual who may be in need of emergency assistance.