Chicago Police DepartmentGeneral Order G09-01-05
Department-Issued Electronic Communication Devices
Issue Date:07 August 2013Effective Date:07 August 2013
Rescinds:22 February 2012 version
Index Category:Information Management
This directive establishes guidelines and responsibilities of members using Department-issued electronic communication devices.
For the purposes of this directive, Department-issued electronic communication devices will be considered any device, issued by the Department, which gives members the ability to communicate via voice, internet, E-mail, instant messages, text messages, or multimedia messages over a cellular or wireless telecommunications network.
  • A.Department-issued electronic communication devices (e.g., BlackBerry devices) are issued to members as a convenience to enhance on-duty job performance only.
  • B.Department members:
    • 1.are not obligated or required to access, respond to electronic communications, and/or carry the devices on their person while off-duty.
    • 2.have no expectation of privacy regarding any communication made with or the files stored on Department-issued devices. Administrative searches of electronic files may be conducted as deemed necessary by Department supervisory or command personnel without prior notice to the affected member and without the existence of probable cause or the procurement of a search warrant.
  • C.Off-duty members will not use a Department-issued electronic communication device to access their Department e-mail account, respond to electronic messages, or perform other work related to Department business unless the member is officially on a "call-back" assignment as defined by existing labor contractual agreements or the member is directed by a supervisor to immediately perform any work and overtime is authorized by the supervisor directing the request. If there is a request and approval for overtime, the Department member must comply with the applicable Department directives concerning the submission of an Overtime/Compensatory Time Report (CPD-11.608). If overtime is not approved, the member is not to perform the work.
    This guideline includes accessing electronic messages using personally owned electronic communication devices.
  • A.Members issued a Department-issued electronic communication device will:
    •, complete, and obtain the proper signatures as indicated on:
      • a.the Department-Issued Electronic Communication Device Compliance Statement (CPD-65.109).
      • b.E-Mail Compliance Statement form (CPD-65.118).
    • 2.adhere to the provisions of existing Department rules and existing directives, specifically the:
      • a.Department’s Internet and E-Mail Use Policy, and
      • b.Department directive entitled “Use of the Internet.”
    • 3.limit personal use to emergency, incidental, and/or reasonably necessary calls.
    • 4.not:
      • a.take pictures/video with the device unless as a part of official business.
        Pictures and videos taken with a Department-issued electronic communication device that has evidentiary value will be inventoried in accordance with the Department directives entitled “Inventory System for Property Taken Into Custody.
      • b.access and/or post information to social networking websites unless as a part of official business.
      • c.install or use any unauthorized software or applications on the device.
  • B.Supervisory personnel will:
    • 1.ensure that their subordinates use Department-issued electronic communication devices as prescribed.
    • 2.take immediate corrective and/or disciplinary action if a member is observed or reported to be improperly handling, operating, or in any way damaging a Department-issued electronic communication device.
    • 3.conduct an investigation when a Department-issued electronic communication device is:
      • a.damaged, and:
        • (1)ensure that appropriate reports are prepared.
        • (2)obtain a Complaint Register (CR) number if the damage was caused by a member's neglect or willful conduct.
        • (3)submit a To-From-Subject report detailing the nature and cause of the damage and the CR number, if applicable, through channels, to the Managing Deputy Director, Public Safety Information Technology (PSIT).
      • b.lost or stolen, and:
        • (1)ensure that the appropriate case report is prepared and, if appropriate, obtain a CR number. Copies of all reports will be sent through channels to the Managing Deputy Director, PSIT.
        • (2)ensure that a facsimile message is sent to all districts.
  • C.Members not assigned to the Bureau of Organized Crime will report equipment malfunctions to the Help Desk.
V.Administrative Searches of Department-Issued Electronic Devices
  • A.An exempt member or unit commanding officer may authorize the administrative search of a Department-issued electronic device.
  • B.Specific Procedures
    • 1.The search of electronic files/contents of Department-issued electronic devices will be supervised by an exempt member or unit commanding officer.
    • 2.Whenever practical, the search will take place in the presence of the member issued the device. In addition, the search will be witnessed by a member of at least one rank higher than the member whose device is being searched.
    • 3.The member supervising the search will:
      • a.if the member is present, request the member to electronically unlock the device. Should the device be locked and the member refuses to unlock it, the member supervising the search will order the member to unlock the device.
        Refusal of a direct order will result in the immediate initiation of a complaint register investigation consistent with the Department directive entitled “Complaint and Disciplinary Procedures.”
      • b.have a member from PSIT unlock the device if a member refuses to unlock the device or is not present during the search.
      • c.ensure the member who was not present during the search of their Department-issued device is notified, via telephone, that a search took place, regardless of whether or not any files/contents of the device were downloaded or saved.
      • d.document the occurrence of the search on a To-From-Subject report to the unit commanding officer and retained for the same period as that designated for a Watch Incident Log.
        If a search is executed on a Department-issued electronic device issued to a member assigned to a police district, the occurrence of the search and member notification and/or unsuccessful notification efforts will be recorded on the Watch Incident Log (CPD-21.916).
      • e.if the search is done in the absence of an exempt member or unit commanding officer, prepare a To-From-Subject report to the unit commanding officer detailing the occurrence and results of the search. This report will be completed prior to the end of the supervising member’s tour of duty.
Exempt members requesting to issue Department-issued electronic communication devices to designated members, not assigned to the Bureau of Organized Crime, will complete and submit a Bureau of Administration Service Request form (CPD-60.107) through channels.
(Items indicated by italic/double underline were added or revised)
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
13-081 TRH