Chicago Police DepartmentGeneral Order G04-01
Preliminary Investigations
Issue Date:20 September 2017Effective Date:15 October 2017
Rescinds:13 October 2015 Version
Index Category:Preliminary Investigations
This directive:
  • A.informs Department members of policy and immediate procedures for preliminary investigations conducted by field personnel and the Alternate Response Section. Department members will refer to the Special Order "Preliminary Investigations" for additional procedural information.
  • B.introduces the procedures for Public Safety Investigations.
It is the policy of the Department to respond as quickly and safely as possible when the assignment of a field unit is required and to efficiently provide any needed police service.
III.General Information
  • A.Upon receipt of an assignment, members will proceed immediately to the assignment location, unless a supervisor orders the dispatcher to reassign the call for service to another unit.
  • B.Members conducting a preliminary investigation will:
    • 1.conduct a thorough and accurate investigation.
    • 2.convey a sense of concern and general interest to all persons in need of police service.
    • 3.complete and submit all necessary reports and notifications, unless otherwise directed by a supervisor.
    • 4.NOT investigate or arrest an individual when the member investigating or arresting is personally or financially involved or when the member’s family member, friend, acquaintance, tenant, landlord, or other individual with personal or financial ties is involved.
      Members will take appropriate police action, including arrest, when failure to take such action will result in a crime being committed, there is an imminent risk of harm to an individual, or there is a risk that evidence of a crime may be lost or destroyed.
    • 5.notify their supervisor when becoming aware of a personal or financial interest to the investigation and request reassignment of the incident to an available response unit.
  • C.When a victim has decided not to proceed with charges, Department members will document the victim's decision not to prosecute and the specific reason(s) given for not prosecuting in the victim's own words in the narrative section of the pertinent report.
    • 1. Department members will refrain from using the term "refusal to prosecute."
      This is not language that a victim will normally use and can be an obstacle for prosecution if the victim later decides to proceed with criminal charges.
    • 2.Supervisors will not approve a report that states "victim refuses to prosecute," but will ensure that the victim's terminology and specific reason(s) is documented (e.g., because the victim has stated he/she is moving out of state; the victim stated the relationship has ended; the victim believes this was an isolated incident; the victim wants to think about his/her options, the victim only wanted to document the incident; and the victim refused to provide specific reason when asked by reporting officer).
    • 3.Members conducting Domestic Violence investigations are reminded that a victim's refusal to sign a complaint does not defeat probable cause to arrest. Department members should refer to the Department directive entitled "Domestic Incidents" which outlines how to handle these types of incidents.
  • D.Radio silence by a supervisor implies consent with the dispatcher's assignment of a unit to a call for service. Radio assignments will take precedence over on-view incidents unless those incidents are of an emergency nature and the safety of a citizen or officer is involved.
  • A.Upon arrival, preliminary investigators will:
    • 1.immediately request appropriate medical aid for any injured person and may provide appropriate medical care consistent with the member's training.
    • 2.determine if there is reasonable belief that a crime has been or is being committed.
    • 3.take appropriate action to stop the crime, if still in progress.
    • 4.arrest the offender if still on or near the scene and probable cause for an arrest exists.
    • 5.protect and preserve the crime scene for the collection and processing of evidence as outlined in the Department directive entitled "Crime Scene Protection and Processing."
    • 6.locate, identify, and interview the complainant/witness, obtain a description of the offender(s) and, when appropriate, alert other police units by sending a flash message.
    • 7.make all notifications as outlined in the Department directive entitled "Preliminary Investigations - Required Immediate Notifications and Investigations Conducted at Suburban Hospitals."
      When necessary, the on-scene supervisor will make all required notifications.
    • 8.if required, complete the proper case report consistent with the Department directive entitled "Department Reports and Letters of Clearance" in the presence of the victim/complainant, when feasible.
    • 9.refrain from discussing the details of any follow-up investigation to be conducted by the Department.
    • 10.inform the victim/complainant of the RD number and provide a completed Victim Information Notice (CPD-11.383), Sexual Assault Incident Notice (CPD-23.404), Domestic Incident Notice (CPD-11.443), Illinois Attorney General's Written Statement and Explanation of Rights (OAG/CV-01/30/13), or any other Department documents required by directive ("Department Reports and Letters of Clearance", "Crime Victim Assistance" and "Domestic Incident Notice"), as needed.
      If applicable, have victim sign and date the bottom of Illinois Attorney General's Written Statement and Explanation of Rights (OAG/CV-01/30/13).
    • 11.when it is necessary for the assigned unit to leave the scene of the assignment (e.g., arrests, transportation of injured persons, pursuit of offenders, touring the area with victim/complainant):
      • a.inform the dispatcher that they are leaving the scene.
      • b.furnish the exact location of their intended destination, if possible.
      • c.if the intended destination cannot be furnished, maintain continuous radio contact with the dispatcher and report any change in location until available for a subsequent assignment.
    • 12.for firearms discharge incidents, comply with the incident response, reporting, and investigation procedures outlined in the Department directive entitled "Firearms Discharge Incidents Involving Sworn Members."
      The member responsible for the initial case report will report all factual information, victim, witness, offender, location, etc. within the boxes on the case report. The narrative will state: "For narrative and investigative details, refer to the Bureau of Detectives Supplementary Report filed under this Records Division (RD) number."
    • 13.upon completion of the preliminary investigation, promptly return to an "in service" status.
  • B.The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) dispatcher will make an entry into the PCAD of any change in location as provided by beat personnel, enabling the dispatcher to provide correct locations and other pertinent information to supervisors.
V.Treatment of Witnesses
Witnesses will not be held or detained against their will at a district station or other Department facility.
VI.Public Safety Investigations
  • A.A Public Safety Investigation will be conducted anytime a Department member is involved in:
    • officer-involved death incident.
      Officer-involved death investigations will be conducted consistent with the Department directive entitled "Officer-Involved Death Investigations."
    • 2.a firearms discharge incident.
      Firearms discharge incidents involving sworn members will be investigated consistent with the Department directive entitled "Firearms Discharge Incidents Involving Sworn Members."
  • B.The Public Safety Investigation Instructions card (CPD-11.921) will be used by the assigned supervisor on the scene who is responsible for directing the initial response and the protection of the incident scene.
    • 1.The assigned supervisor is responsible to maintain command and oversight of the investigation until relieved by a supervisor of a higher rank.
    • 2.The assigned supervisor will ask all of the Public Safety Investigation questions listed on the Public Safety Investigation Instructions card (CPD-11.921).
    • 3.The assigned supervisor will immediately inform the OEMC zone dispatcher of the relevant safety information and send a flash message of all the available information, including wanted subject descriptions, weapon and vehicle information, and the direction of travel.
  • C.Members will cooperate with the public safety investigation conducted by a supervisor by providing an oral response to the public safety questions. The public safety investigation will consist of general safety questions concerning:
    • 1.any injuries sustained by the member or other individuals.
    • 2.whether weapons were discharged, either by Department members or other individuals, what type of weapons, and the direction of the discharges.
    • 3.whether subjects are still at large, their descriptions, direction of travel, and alleged criminal offense(s).
    • 4.the identification and location of any victims, offenders, evidence, or witnesses.
    • 5.information about any involved vehicles, including damage to vehicles or vehicle-related safety concerns.
    • 6.any officer-wellness related matters.
(Items indicated by italics/double underline have been added or revised)
Kevin B. Navarro
Acting Superintendent of Police
16-093 MWK/RCL
1. G04-01-01 - Alternate Response Section Case Reporting Policy
2.G04-01-03 - Preliminary Investigations Conducted at Suburban Hospitals