Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S03-07
Emergency Snow Plan Operations
Issue Date:23 February 2012Effective Date:23 February 2012
Rescinds:Version dated 13 December 2003; S03-21
Index Category:Field Operations
This directive:
  • A.describes the response of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to emergencies caused by excessive snow accumulations.
  • B.delineates responsibilities and procedures for Department members assigned to emergency snow plan operations in conjunction with the Department of Streets and Sanitation (S&S) and their entities.
II.Pertinent Snow Municipal Ordinances
III.Snow Removal Plan
  • A.The CPD’s snow removal plan coincides with the S&S which identifies three phases of “Public Alerts” determined by the amount of snowfall.
  • B.When a “Public Alert” is declared, the Police Operations Manager at the OEMC will notify the Crime Prevention and Information Center (CPIC) and activate the Joint Operations Center at OEMC.
  • C.A sworn member of supervisory rank will report to the S&S Snow Command Office and serve as the Department liaison officer between the two departments.
  • D.The Department liaison officer will notify the Joint Operations Center of locations where emergency snow plan operations are to be undertaken.
  • E.Only upon an announcement via the Department’s Administrative Message Center (AMC) or an all-call broadcast will citations be issued to vehicles parked in violation of the above ordinance.
  • F.The Superintendent of Police and the Commissioner of S&S will declare the termination of the snow removal plan or a reduction in forces.
IV.Snow Emergency Phases
The following phases can be declared by the Snow Command Office:
  • A.Phase I: Light Snowfall (a trace to 3 inches)
    • 1.Problem Description: Streets are slippery unless treated.
    • 2.Police Enforcement: Parking enforcement, towing operations and/or relocation along designated snow routes may be implemented when snowfall exceeds 2 inches.
      Violation Notices will not be issued for violation of the 2-inch snow parking ban until the Department is officially notified that the 2-inch snow parking ban is in effect.
  • B.Phase II: Moderate Snowfall (2 to 10 inches)
    • 1.Problem Description: Streets are extremely dangerous until plowed.
    • 2.Police Enforcement: Snow route parking regulations will be enforced. The Joint Operations Center at OEMC will be activated in conjunction with the S&S Snow Command Office at City Hall.
      The “Ticket and Tow Program” will be initiated upon the request of the Commissioner of S&S. The Joint Operations Center and S&S Snow Command Office will coordinate “ticket and tow” operations on a 24-hour basis.
  • C.Phase III: Heavy Snowfall (7 to 12 inches) and Major Blizzard (over 12 inches)
    • 1.Problem Description: Streets are impassable unless plowed. The imminent breakdown of the entire street traffic system is expected.
    • 2.Police Enforcement: Snow route parking enforcement and “Ticket and Tow” operations increase. Traffic control in support of snow removal operations is initiated. Parking enforcement activities continue.
    • 3.Additional Support: If needed, designated private contractors will be assigned to S&S to help support major snow removal activities.
V.Assignments and Notifications
  • A.The Chief, Bureau of Patrol, will issue a monthly schedule of supervisors to contact if a Snow Emergency Phase II or above is implemented and will ensure that the schedule is submitted to the CPIC on a monthly basis for the months of September through May.
    • 1.This schedule will designate a primary supervisor who will report for work at the OEMC.
    • 2.The schedule will also list the names of alternate supervisors who will be contacted if the primary supervisor is not available for work.
    • 3.The primary and alternate supervisors on the schedule are not considered to be in a “stand by” status.
    • 4.The supervisor who reports to work at the OEMC will coordinate the flow of police related information and will expedite the transmittal of service requests for other city agencies to the Joint Operations Center.
  • B.The Chief, Bureau of Patrol will:
    • 1.issue a schedule of assignments for supervisory/command personnel of the Bureau of Patrol for assignment as the Department liaison officer to the S&S Snow Command Office. The Department liaison officer will direct police operations and provide continuous contact between the Chicago Police Department and the S&S Snow Command Office and the Joint Operations Center.
    • 2.issue a schedule of assignments for support personnel to operate the Joint Operations Center. Orders pertaining to snow related deployment of Department personnel will only emanate from the Joint Operations Center at the direction of the Department liaison officer.
    • 3.ensure both schedules of assignments listed above include alternate personnel assignments and are submitted to CPIC on a monthly basis from 01 September through 31 May.
  • C.CPIC will:
    • 1.consult with the Bureau of Patrol regarding Snow Emergency Assignment Schedules, telephone the personnel designated therein for that date and watch, or their alternates, and notify them to report to their snow emergency assignments.
    • the reporting supervisor to the Joint Operations Command at OEMC and have them contact the Department liaison officer immediately.
  • D.Upon the authorization of the Department liaison officer, the Joint Operations Center will send the appropriate AMC message and transmit an all-call broadcast alerting Department units of the status of snow related emergencies and/or other emergency situations (e.g., the 2-inch snow parking ban has been implemented) requiring the immediate relocation or towing of parked vehicles.
VI.Intra-Department Manpower Resources
  • A.In a snow emergency, the Department will deploy personnel from the following units:
    • 1.Bureau of Patrol
      • a.District Law Enforcement
      • b.Special Functions Division
    • 2.Bureau of Organizational Development
      Education and Training Division
    • 3.CAPS Division
  • B.The above deployment will be administered by the Joint Operations Center.
  • C.Department members deployed to snow removal operations will:
    • to designated locations as ordered.
    • 2.ticket illegally parked vehicles for towing or relocation.
    • 3.perform traffic control, i.e., prohibiting unauthorized vehicles from entering a street that is being cleared.
    • 4.keep vehicle emergency roof lights in operation when practical.
    • 5.use vehicle loudspeakers to assist in diverting motorists.
VII.Towing and Relocating Procedures
Vehicle relocation and/or towing under circumstances other than overnight parking prohibitions will occur as specified by the Joint Operations Center in conjunction with the S&S Snow Command Office. Department members will follow the procedures outlined in the Department directive entitled "Vehicle Towing and Relocation Operations."
  • A.Ticket and Tow Program
    • 1.Department members deployed to snow clearing/removal crews may be assigned to the Ticket and Tow Program.
    • 2.The Ticket and Tow Program will consist of teams of one or two police officers or traffic control aides and three or more tow trucks.
      In addition to assisting S&S tow truck drivers, Department members will also assist any S&S approved private tow truck drivers and/or contractors.
    • 3.Department members will:
      • a.issue citations, if appropriate;
        Department members will not issue duplicate citations for vehicles already cited by S&S.
      • b.complete a Vehicle Tow Report (CPD-11.413);
      • c.complete a Vehicle Relocation Report (CPD-11.475).
        The Vehicle Relocation Report will be completed before the vehicle is relocated from the scene and Department members will ensure that the tow truck driver's signature is affixed to this report.
    • 4.S&S approved private tow truck drivers and/or contractors are not authorized to use S&S or CPD forms or/reports, or issue Violation Notices.
    • 5.Whenever possible, citizens will be notified that their streets are being cleared and given an opportunity to move their vehicles.
      • a.Between the hours of 0700 and 2300, police vehicle loudspeakers will be used for this purpose.
      • b.At other times, when manpower allows, door-to-door notifications will be made.
  • B.Vehicle Relocations Procedures
    • 1.When motor vehicles are being relocated as a snow route parking enforcement measure or as part of a snow clearing/removal operation, they will normally be towed to:
      • auto pound, or
      • b.a pre-designated off-the-street site, or
      • adjacent, non-arterial street location which has been cleared.
        Relocation of vehicles for street clearing operations may be made to other street locations when all vehicle relocation sites have been filled or at the request of the Superintendent of Police or Commissioner of S&S.
    • 2.A police officer or a traffic control aide will initiate this process by placing a Violation Notice citation on the vehicle being relocated.
    • 3.Personnel assigned to relocation activities will prepare a Vehicle Relocation Report when a vehicle is relocated.
    • 4.Department members will submit the bottom copy of the S&S Vehicle Relocation Report to their supervisor. The tow truck driver retains the original copy.
  • C.Relocation Site Security
    • 1.The Joint Operations Center will notify affected districts when and where relocation sites are to be established.
    • 2.District commanders are responsible for establishing 24 hour security at all sites located within their respective districts.
    • 3.The number of members to be assigned on each watch to any relocation site will vary according to the size of the relocation site and other related considerations.
    • 4.Personnel assigned to a relocation site are responsible for:
      • a.the security of vehicles relocated to the site.
      • b.collecting all reports associated with the snow related emergency operation from tow truck drivers and Department members.
      • c.the release of vehicles to registered owners or their representatives upon presentation of proper identifying documents.
      • two-hour intervals, giving designated supervisors all reports associated with the snow related emergency operation.
  • D.Release of Relocated Vehicles
    • 1.Vehicles relocated to designated sites will be released by Department members assigned to security duties at those sites.
    • 2.Department members will complete a Relocated Vehicle Release (CPD-11.479) form.
    • 3.Registered owners, or citizens arriving at relocation sites to claim vehicles for registered owners who are physically unable to claim their vehicles, must present photo identification and vehicle title or a Registration Identification Card for the vehicle and sign the Relocated Vehicle Release form.
      If the vehicle title or Registration Identification Card is inside a vehicle, a Department member may run the plates to confirm ownership and then allow access to the vehicle only to a registered owner.
  • E.Information Conveyed to the Public Regarding Relocated or Towed Vehicles
    • 1.When responding to inquiries regarding vehicles relocated or towed during snow emergencies:
      • a.district desk personnel will make a Computer Vehicle Inquiry/Hot Desk check to determine the location of the vehicle.
      • b.members in the field will make a Computer Vehicle Inquiry via the Portable Data Terminal (PDT) to determine the location of the vehicle.
    • 2.In the event a vehicle cannot be located, Department members will instruct the citizen to call the Non-Emergency City Service Request Telephone Number.
  • F.Supervisors’ Roles During Relocation Process
    • 1.At two-hour intervals, field sergeants or other designated supervisors will meet with personnel assigned to relocation or towing duties to collect all of the following:
      • a.Vehicle Tow Reports (CPD-11.413);
      • b.Vehicle Relocation Reports (CPD-11.475); and
      • c.Relocated Vehicle Release (CPD-11.479) form, if applicable.
      • d.copies of S&S Vehicle Relocation Reports.
    • 2.The above reports will be transported to the district station and turned over to desk personnel.
    • 3.Copies of S&S relocation reports will be kept with Vehicle Relocation Reports (CPD-11.475), but in a separate folder, at the district station. These forms will be maintained in accordance with the CPD vehicle data retention schedule mentioned in Item G below.
    • 4.Desk personnel will:
      • a.transmit by fax all forms, except the Vehicle Tow Reports to the Administrative Message Center (AMC); and
      • b.transmit by fax all forms, including the Vehicle Tow Reports to the Records Division Auto Desk; and
      • c.notify the AMC and the Auto Desk that the fax is about to be sent.
  • G.Relocated or Towed Vehicle Data
    • 1.The Public Safety Information Technology (PSIT) will be responsible for data related to relocated/towed vehicles.
    • 2.Vehicle data will be retained in the Hot Desk Computer System as follows:
      • a.Relocated vehicles: 14 days after last transaction date.
      • b.Towed vehicles: 30 days after last transaction date.
    • 3.After the above vehicle data retention period has expired, PSIT personnel will generate a Hot Desk Vehicle Purge Summary Report (DPOL 9297) for forwarding to the Records Division, Field Services Section, and purge all data identified in the report.
(Items indicated by italics/double underline were revised or added)
Authenticated by: RMJ
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
03-175 / 12-003 MAT [dw]/JB