Chicago Police DepartmentGeneral Order G03-02-06
Canine Use Incidents
Issue Date:16 October 2017Effective Date:16 October 2017
Rescinds:24 July 2014 version
Index Category:Field Operations
This directive outlines policy governing the use of Department canines as a force option.
  • A.Sanctity of Human Life. All incidents will be resolved with the foremost regard for the preservation of human life and the safety of all persons involved. A member's decision to utilize a Department canine as a force option will be made in accordance with G03-02, "Use of Force."
  • B.De-Escalation. Department members will use de-escalation techniques to prevent or reduce the need for force when it is safe and feasible to do so based on the totality of the circumstances. This includes continually assessing the situation and modifying the use of force as circumstances change and in ways that are consistent to officer safety.
  • C.Canine Use - When Authorized. Department members' use of a Department canine as a force option must be objectively reasonable, necessary under the circumstances, and proportional to the threat, actions, and level of resistance offered by a subject. Consistent with G03-02-01, "Force Options," Department members are authorized to use a Department canine as a force option for the following subjects:
    • 1.Active Resisters.
      The use of a canine to physically apprehend an active resister is limited to:
      • 1.a subject who is alleged to have committed either a felony or a violent misdemeanor.
      • 2.a subject who is reasonably believed to be armed.
      • 3.a search for a felony subject conducted in areas or buildings that contain hidden locations.
        A canine may be used in this situation to locate a subject who is attempting to avoid apprehension and who fails to comply with a sworn member's orders to reveal themselves.
    • 2.Assailants.
      A canine is an authorized force option against a subject who fits the definition of an assailant. In the case of an incident involving a canine, an assailant will also include a person who is an imminent threat to the canine.
  • D.Prohibitions. Canines will not be used as a force option for the following:
    • 1.crowd control situations, unless a sworn exempt-rank member authorizes the use of canine teams in response to a crowd that cannot be contained by other police methods and the crowd is likely to cause personal injury or property damage.
      Department members will refer to the Department directive entitled "Canine Teams" for specific procedures on crowd-control deployments.
    • 2.subjects who are at a greater risk of serious injury or death from canine, unless the actions of the subject suggests that lesser force options will be unsuccessful. People who are potentially at a greater risk of serious injury or death from canine use include, but are not limited to, children, pregnant women, and the elderly.
      If the Department member is responding to an incident involving persons in need of mental health treatment, the member will act in accordance with the Department directive entitled “Responding to Incidents Involving Persons In Need Of Mental Health Treatment.”
  • E.Department-owned canines are trained in the "find and bark" method of finding persons. This method of training requires the canine to bark or otherwise alert its handler upon discovering a person and to remain in the immediate area of the person until relieved by the handler.
  • F.Department members will refer to the Department directive entitled "Canine Teams" for specific procedures on:
    • 1.requesting a Department canine team.
    • 2.the required training and certification for Department canines and handlers.
    • 3.when a Department canine inflicts an injury to a subject.
III.Conditions on the Use of Canines as a Force Option
  • A.Canine Deployment. Any deployed canine, when circumstances permit, will be:
    • 1.kept in visual and auditory range of the canine handler at all times, except for brief periods which make this requirement impracticable (e.g., the canine turns a corner, enters a room, is walking through tall vegetation, or is among tall objects.)
    • 2.called off immediately once the subject is under control.
  • B.Reporting. A Tactical Response Report (TRR) is required when a canine physically apprehends a subject by making physical contact, including grasping the subject or the subject's clothing. The assigned canine handler will:
    • responsible for the completion of the TRR to document the canine physical apprehension.
    • 2.document on the TRR the duration of the total time the canine was deployed.
  • C.Supervisory Response. Prior to the deployment of a canine, the canine handler will notify a canine supervisor and a field supervisor from the district of occurrence. The determination of the appropriateness of the canine deployment will rest with the canine handler.
    If a dispute regarding the deployment of a canine occurs between the canine handler and the on-scene field supervisor, the final determination of the canine deployment will rest with the canine handler's supervisor.
  • D.Warnings. Prior to the use of the canine, the handler will announce his or her police authority and provide verbal warnings stating that the canine will be released if the subject does not comply with the handler's orders. When it is safe and feasible to do so, the canine handler will provide multiple warnings.
    • 1.Any verbal warning will be given in a loud and clear manner, capable of being heard by the subject, any witnesses, or other parties within the targeted area.
    • 2.The member issuing the warning will allow a reasonable amount of time for Department members and other uninvolved members of the public to respond and vacate the area.
    • 3.For building searches, a verbal warning will be given again upon entering subsequent floors or areas or if the size of the area is too great for a single warning.
    • 4.For open field or block searches, a verbal warning will be given again upon the canine being repositioned into an area which was not in audible range of the initial or other subsequent warnings.
    • 5.Verbal warnings may only be omitted in situations where exigent circumstances place the handler or others in imminent danger.
    • 6.The fact that the warnings were given or omitted will be documented in the appropriate case report.
  • E.Apprehension by Canine
    • 1.In those circumstances when a canine finds a subject, the canine handler will:
      • a.only command the canine to physically apprehend or make contact with the subject when the handler is in visual and auditory range of the canine and the subject.
      • b.not permit the canine to make contact with the subject unless commanded to do so by the handler.
    • 2.Department canines are trained and permitted to physically apprehend a subject only on the command of the handler, to apprehend a subject that flees, or when the canine or the handler is threatened with attack by the subject.
    • 3.Once the handler determines that the incident is over and the control of the subject has been obtained, the handler must immediately order the canine to release the subject. In making the determination whether to order the canine to release the subject, the handler must carefully consider what is reasonably necessary based on the totality of the circumstances to control the subject and protect themselves and others from injury.
    • 4.When a Department canine inflicts injury to a subject, the canine handler will immediately request appropriate medical aid for the injured person, including contacting emergency medical services (EMS) from the Chicago Fire Department via the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC).
      For further guidance on medical attention for injuries caused by a Department canine, Department members will refer to the Department directives entitled "Use of Force" and "Canine Teams."
Kevin B. Navarro
Acting Superintendent of Police
16-021 TSS/MWK