Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S03-04-01
Canine Teams
Issue Date:24 July 2014Effective Date:24 July 2014
Rescinds:17 June 2005 version
Index Category:Field Operations
This directive:
  • A.outlines procedures for:
    • 1.the canine team duties, responsibilities, and capabilities.
    • 2.requesting canine teams.
  • B.establishes responsibilities for a canine handler after a canine bites or inflicts injury upon a person.
II.Canine Teams Responsibilities and Tasks
  • A.The Commanding Officer, Canine Unit, will:
    • responsible for all canine teams/units, within the Department.
    • 2.maintain all training and medical records for all Department canines.
    • 3.develop and maintain the Standard Operating Procedures for all canine teams/units, within the Department.
  • B.The Commanders of the Airport Law Enforcement Section and Public Transportation Section, will:
    • in charge of all canine deployment related issues within their respected unit, such as, but not limited to watch and day off group assignments, vehicle assignments, etc.
    • 2.assign a supervisor to serve as the Canine Liaison who will communicate with the Commanding Officer, Canine Unit (341).
      This position will not be a full-time assignment
  • C.A canine team consists of an on-duty canine police officer and their assigned Department canine.
  • D.Patrol and Narcotics Detection Canine Teams are available to respond to calls for service twenty-four hours a day by request through the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) dispatcher.
  • E.Explosive Detection Canine Teams are available based on approval as delineated in Item IV-D of this directive.
  • F.Canine handlers are responsible for determining whether a situation (other than crowd control) justifies canine use and the appropriate tactical methods that will be employed. If the on-scene supervisor disagrees with the handlers tactical assessment, a canine team supervisor will be notified to make a final determination.
    When time or exigent circumstances necessitate action, the directions of the on-scene supervisor will be followed. Members will follow procedures outlined in the Department directive entitled "Canines as a Force Option."
  • G.If a canine deployment results in the arrest of a suspect, the suspect will be turned over to the requesting unit for processing. The responding canine team functions as a tool for the successful completion of the investigation. The Canine Handler will complete a Supplementary Report for the incident and other required paperwork.
  • H.Department canines will only be handled or given commands by their assigned handler. If the assigned handler is injured or otherwise unable to command the canine, another canine handler will be notified for assistance.
  • I.When utilizing canine teams, Department members will adhere to procedures that properly control use of force and channel the canine teams specialized capabilities into legally acceptable crime-prevention and crowd-control activities. Deployment may include, but is not limited to:
    • 1.fundamental patrol and directed patrol within designated areas of responsibility, including, but not limited to deployment during Exceptional Response Plan.
    • 2.conducting building searches for hidden offenders who have or are alleged to have committed a felony offense.
    • 3.locating lost, missing, or incapacitated persons.
    • 4.conducting cadaver searches.
    • 5.tracking suspects who have abandoned their vehicles or have fled crime scenes.
    • 6.conducting crime-scene and area searches for discarded evidence, such as clothing, weapons, etc.
    • 7.detecting the presence of narcotic substances or explosives.
    • 8.assignment to high-crime areas for patrol and enforcement.
    • 9.assisting in the establishment of probable cause in asset forfeiture cases.
    • 10.providing security for Department vehicles and equipment when requested during emergency situations.
    • 11.conducting public service canine demonstrations.
III.General Procedures When Requesting Canine Teams
  • A.When a sworn member conducting a preliminary or follow-up investigation determines that the services of a canine team is required, with the exception of crowd control or explosive material searches, the member will notify the OEMC dispatcher and request that a canine team be assigned.
  • B.Since the success of the canine team efforts depends on the canine's ability to identify and track a specific scent, it is imperative that members and other persons refrain from walking about the crime scene or handling objects and/or evidence connected with it.
    In building searches, every attempt will be made to minimize human traffic inside the building prior to a canine search. The presence of conflicting scent trails may reduce the ability of a canine and hinder a successful apprehension.
  • C.When a canine team is conducting a building search or tracking a suspect:
    • 1.the occupants of the premises being searched should be removed before the search.
    • 2.members at the scene should guard all possible exits on the outside of the building while a canine search is in progress.
    • 3.if possible, inside ventilation should be turned off prior to performing the search.
  • D.Unless specific circumstances dictate otherwise, only the canine handlers and their canine will be allowed inside a building during searches for secreted suspects.
  • E.When a canine team is requested to track a person who has abandoned an automobile, no one will be allowed to enter the vehicle until after the canine team has arrived and the tracking has begun.
  • F.Preplanned requests for a canine team in nonemergency situations will be made by a district or unit commanding officer to the Special Functions Division. Request may also be submitted in writing to the Chief, Special Function Division, by completing an Intra-Department Support Service Request form (CPD-21.224).
IV.Specific Procedures When Requesting Canine Teams
  • A.Crowd Control Situations
    • 1.A supervisor may request the assignment of canine teams in a crowd control situation. However, only a sworn member of exempt rank will authorize the use of canine teams when the crowd becomes so unruly that it cannot be contained by other police methods and the crowd is likely to cause personal injury or property damage.
    • 2.Requests from supervisors to utilize canine teams in crowd control situations will be made via radio or telephone to the OEMC.
    • 3.The OEMC will dispatch canine teams as requested and notify the following: Chief, Bureau of Patrol; Chief, Special Functions Division; the appropriate area Deputy Chief; and the Crime Prevention and Information Center (CPIC).
      CPIC will obtain and notate the date, time, location, description of the incident, and, if appropriate, the exempt member who authorized the use of canines for crowd control situations.
    • 4.Upon arrival at the scene of an emergency situation, the district/unit supervisor and the canine handler will confer regarding the placement of the canine team.
      The canine will remain in their assigned vehicles during the consultation.
    • 5.Depending on the situation, canine teams may:
      • a.remain on patrol in the area adjacent to, and not in view of, the incident scene; or
      • b.move directly to the scene to exercise a psychological deterrent on the crowd.
        Canines will be leashed at all times when used for crowd control.
  • B.Narcotics Detection
    • 1.The use of canine teams in a narcotics-detection or asset-forfeiture capacity is authorized when a search warrant is to be executed for controlled substances and the supervisor from the unit executing the warrant requests their assistance.
    • 2.An officer or supervisor assigned to the unit executing the search warrant will accompany the canine team as they conduct the search, noting the time, location, quantity, and other related specifics of all contraband recovered by the canine team.
    • 3.In the absence of a search warrant, a supervisor from the requesting unit will confer with the canine team supervisor relative to the legality of the canine search.
    • 4.Canines may be used to sniff the exterior of a motor vehicle during a lawful traffic stop provided the driver is detained no longer than is necessary to complete the traffic stop or issue a citation. The driver cannot be detained beyond the reasonable period of time it would take to complete the traffic stop in order for a canine and handler to arrive at the scene. The sniff must be completed before the citation(s) has been given.
  • C.Asset Forfeiture
    • 1.The unit initiating a forfeiture action will be responsible for ensuring that legal guidelines are followed.
    • 2.An asset forfeiture proceeding is a civil action and does not fall under the same guidelines and requirements as criminal proceedings.
    • 3.Department personnel should refer to existing Department directives and bulletins relative to asset forfeiture proceedings.
      • a.Asset forfeiture "money line-ups" are to be conducted in a Department or agency facility, NOT at the scene.
      • b.A member from the requesting unit will be present when performing the money line-up and ensure that all appropriate information as to amount, personnel present, etc., are recorded on appropriate reports.
  • D.Explosive Detection Canine Teams
    • 1.Under no circumstances will a canine be used to verify the existence of an explosive substance on an item determined to be a "suspect package ." Members will follow procedures as delineated in the Department directive entitled "Unattended Packages."
      If a "suspect package " is located before the arrival of an explosive detection canine team, the Bomb Squad will be notified for removal. The Bomb Squad will follow procedures as delineated in the Department directive entitled "Bomb Incidents."
    • 2.The Canine Unit (Unit 341), City Certified Explosive/Vapor Wake Detection Canine Teams are available to respond to calls citywide. If it is determined that services of an explosive detection canine team is necessary, the requesting member will inform the OEMC dispatcher to request the assignment of an explosive detection canine team.
    • 3.If a City Certified Explosive/Vapor Wake Detection canine is NOT available, the Airport Law Enforcement and Public Transportation TSA-Certified Explosive Detection Canine Teams are available to respond to calls for service off airport or public transportation system property twenty-four hours a day, only with the authorization from an exempt member delineated in Item IV-D-6 of this directive.
    • 4.The member will request the assignment of an explosive detection canine team via the OEMC dispatcher.
    • 5.The OEMC dispatcher will:
      • a.assign a City Certified Explosive/Vapor Wake Detection canine to the requested location; or
      • b.notify CPIC, if a City Certified Explosive/Vapor Wake Detection canine is NOT available to request the assignment of an Airport Law Enforcement or Public Transportation TSA-Certified Explosive Detection canine.
    • 6.CPIC will notify the appropriate exempt rank. The following members are the only individuals who are authorized to approve dispatching of explosive detection canine teams from the Airport Law Enforcement Section or Public Transportation Section to be used outside of the airport or the public transportation system;
      • a.the Superintendent,
      • b.the First Deputy Superintendent,
      • c.the Chief, Bureau of Patrol,
      • d.the Chief, Special Functions Division.
    • 7.CPIC will notify OEMC of the exempt member that approved/disapproved the request.
    • 8.OEMC will:
      • a.if disapproved, notify the requesting member.
      • b.If approved, notify the supervisor of the Airport Law Enforcement Section or Public Transportation Section with the name of the exempt member that approved the request. The supervisor will provide OEMC with the responding unit and their beat number and instruct that unit to respond to the requested location.
    • 9.CPIC will follow procedures for canine requests outside of the City as outlined in the Department directive entitled "Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System."
V.Canine Bites and Other Inflicted Injuries
  • A.When a Department canine is involved in a bite incident while on or off-duty, the handler will:
    • medical treatment for the bitten person, as needed.
    • 2.notify:
      • a.the Canine Unit (Unit 341), via 24-hour desk.
      • b.the designated supervisor from his or her current unit of assignment.
    • 3.request an evidence technician to take photographs of the injury.
      If possible, photographs should be taken both before and after medical treatment.
    • 4.complete a Cook County Animal & Rabies Control Animal Bite Report and obtain an animal bite report number from the  Alternate Response Section Administrative Desk .
    • Animal Care and Control and provide a concise account of the events surrounding the bite.
    • 6.submit a completed package along with the original Cook County Animal & Rabies Control Animal Bite Report to their unit commanding officer for review and processing.
    • 7.submit a copy of the package to the Commanding Officer, Canine Unit.
    • the Commanding Officer, Canine Unit, or his or her designee for approval to take the canine to a Department-approved veterinarian within twenty-four hours of the bite incident.
    • 9.submit a copy of all paperwork received from the Department-approved veterinarian to the Commanding Officer, Canine Unit.
  • B.When a person is accidentally bitten by a Department canine at the handler's residence, the bite results in broken bones or requires sutures, and the person is a resident of the handler's home, the handler will kennel the canine at the Canine Training Center (CTC) for a ten-day observation period.
    • 1.The handler will pick up the canine from the CTC at the beginning of their tour of duty and return the canine to the CTC at the end of their tour during the ten-day observation period.
    • 2.The Commanding officer, Canine Unit, will make the final determination of placing the canine back into the home.
(Items indicated by italics/double underline were added or revised.)
Authenticated by: JKH/PS
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
13-151 AMR/RDR
Alternate Response Section
2111 West Lexington
PAX 4031
1. -

A package identified as potentially containing explosives, an improvised explosive device (IED), or other hazardous materials that requires bomb technician skills and equipment to investigate. Positive and articulable intelligence that will upgrade an unattended package to a suspect package would be an associated threat to the area that the package was found, history of associated threats, unusual markings, wires or lights attached, leakage of any liquid material, noise emanating from the package or unusual odor, etc.