Chicago Police DepartmentGeneral Order G03-01
Communications Systems and Devices
Issue Date:30 May 2014Effective Date:30 May 2014
Rescinds:02 August 1997 Version; G97-06
Index Category:Field Operations
This directive:
  • A.identifies and describes the communications systems and devices used by the Chicago Police Department.
  • B.abolishes the Communication Operations Section (COS).
  • C.continues the:
    • 1.Alternate Response Section (ARS).
    • 2.Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC).
    • 3.Police Computer Aided Dispatch (PCAD) system.
    • 4.Portable Data Terminal (PDT).
  • authorization for the Director, Research & Development to assign additional radio call numbers which are consistent with this directive.
All members will use the Department's communications systems and devices in a professional and courteous manner. The use of these systems and devices to convey any profane, demeaning, hateful, or biased message, in any manner, is strictly prohibited.
III.General Information
  • A.The Department has provided a variety of means to enable members to transmit official information of an operational and/or administrative nature. The procedures identified in the addenda to this directive will ensure that members obtain maximum benefits from the systems and devices available for their use.
    Should voice or data communications fail to operate, or unusual circumstances occur, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) will notify Crime Prevention and Information Center (CPIC).
  • B.Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) - is computer technology that facilitates the storing, retrieval and transmission of data. The CAD system enables the dispatcher to:
    • 1.allocate resources efficiently, and
    • 2.keep field units appraised of all pertinent information available.
  • C.Event - is any incident:
    • 1.reported to the OEMC via a 9-1-1 call.
    • 2.initiated by a field unit that corresponds to a predetermined CAD system category. Incidents that do not correspond to the CAD system category may be designated as an event by the dispatcher as appropriate.
  • D.Event Number - is a numeric designation the CAD system assigns each event.
  • E.Event Record - is all available and pertinent information recorded under an event number.
  • F.Police Computer Aided Dispatch (PCAD) - is the police component of the CAD system. The PCAD system:
    • 1.routes all communications, whether a 9-1-1 call or a Department member's transmission, through PCAD personnel. Depending on the nature of the call, PCAD personnel will either:
      • a.forward the call to:
        • 1.a Fire/EMS call taker, or
        • 2.the Alternate Response Section, or
      • b.enter the call into the PCAD system for dispatch, or
      • c.respond accordingly within existing Department directives.
    • 2.allows dispatch personnel to access an array of data simultaneously, such as:
      • a.available field resources.
      • b.appropriate emergency services.
      • c.subscriber information (telephone number).
      • d.Foreign Language Interpreters Program.
      • e.recent activity and premise history for the reporting address.
    • connected to external databases, such as LEADS, NCIC, NLETS, and to ancillary dispatch centers, such as the O'Hare Airport Communication Center.
    • 4.may generate notifications to a unit's remote terminal designated as a "PCAD work station."
  • G.Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) - manages and operates Chicago's Public Safety Communications Systems. Utilizing the CAD system, the OEMC is organized into police computer aided dispatch (PCAD) and fire computer aided dispatch (FCAD). The OEMC:
    • 1.receives all 9-1-1 calls for service.
    • 2.coordinates the dispatch of assignments to police, fire, and emergency medical personnel.
    • 3.maintains continuous radio contact with Department units via the police radio system.
    • 4.coordinates and furnishes information available via the PCAD system.
    • 5.assigns Records Division (RD) numbers.
  • H.Public Safety Information Technology (PSIT) is responsible for the:
    • 1.Administrative Message Center (AMC).
    • 2.Telecommunications Section.
  • I.Backup Communication Facility (BCF) - is a separate facility that:
    • 1.provides redundant dispatch capabilities. In the event the OEMC is unable to function, the BCF will supply dispatch services on an emergency basis.
    • 2.allocates space and support services for the Alternate Response Section.
  • J.Alternate Response Section (ARS) - is a section within the OEMC responsible for the processing of specific, designated non-emergency calls/requests for service. ARS combines the functions, responsibilities and operations of screening/reporting and call-back. ARS personnel may also assume call taking and dispatching duties on an emergency basis.
  • K.Portable Data Terminal (PDT) - is a portable, radio-frequency-operated, computer device yielding data processing and communication capabilities. The PDT:
    • 1.provides field units with direct access to the PCAD system.
    • 2.supports dispatch, field inquiry, case reporting and administrative applications.
    • 3.may be secured in a docking station within a vehicle.
IV.Systems and Devices
Descriptions of systems devices and procedures for their use are found in the following directives:
  • A.Radio Communications.
  • B.Personal Radio Procedures.
  • C.Illinois State Police Emergency Radio Network (ISPERN.)
  • D.Recorded Voice Transmission Requests.
  • E.Administrative Message Center.
  • F.Portable Data Terminal (PDT).
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
14-048 CMW
1.G03-01-01 - Radio Communications
2.G03-01-02 - Personal Radio Procedures
3.G03-01-03 - Illinois State Police Emergency Radio Network (ISPERN)