Chicago Police DepartmentEmployee Resource E04-02
Steady Watch Selection and Assignment
Issue Date:31 October 2012Effective Date:31 October 2012
Rescinds:21 February 2012 Version
Index Category:Employee Rights and Responsibilities
I.Purpose
This directive:
  • A.continues Department procedures for steady watch selection and assignment.
  • B.delineates responsibilities of Department personnel in the administration of the steady watch selection procedure.
  • C.continues the annual bidding process for watch assignments.
II.Policy
  • A.The granting of requests for steady watch selection and the assignment of members to specific duties within units will be the responsibility of the district or unit commanding officer, consistent with the operational needs of the unit and the applicable provisions of existing collective bargaining agreements.
  • B.The granting of requests for a specific watch assignment and the reassignment of members by administrative authority will be consistent with the operational needs of the Department and the existing collective bargaining agreements.
  • C.The Department may fill any watch opening or unit opening temporarily in an emergency or as an interim assignment during the bidding process.
  • D.Steady watch openings or recognized vacancies for which bids have not been received will be filled consistent with the operational needs of the district or unit and the existing collective bargaining agreements.
III.General Information
  • A.For the purpose of this directive, the following definitions apply:
    • 1.Steady Watch Vacancy: an actual or anticipated opening on a watch within a specific unit which will be offered for bidding only to members assigned to the unit at the time the vacancy is announced.
    • 2.Discretionary Assignment: an actual or anticipated opening on a watch within a specific unit to which a member may be assigned at the discretion of the Department.
  • B.The sworn non-exempt members, districts, units, and civilian title codes subject to the steady watch selection process are identified in the existing collective bargaining agreements.
  • C.Each watch bid announcement (annual watch selection and steady watch vacancies) will be issued a steady watch opening bid number in the following manner:
    • 1.The three digit number of the reporting district or unit,
    • 2.The last two digits of the current year, and
    • 3.A three-digit number, beginning with 001 and running consecutively in ascending order, which indicates the number of the steady watch bid posting in the district or unit during that calendar year.
  • D.The sworn non-exempt members and civilian members annual watch selection will be conducted simultaneously using the procedures in this directive.
  • E.All members subject to steady watch selection will select their watch exclusively within the district or unit of assignment.
    • 1.Members in the following statuses will bid for steady watch selection using the procedures described in this directive:
      • a.personnel concerns,
      • b.limited duty,
      • c.restricted duty, or
      • d.relieved of police powers.
        NOTE:
        The Department reserves the right to change a successful bidders watch assignment for the duration of the time in which a member is included in one of the above categories.
    • 2.Members in the following voluntary job assignments will not be subject to the steady watch selection process:
      • a.tactical or gang tactical teams.
      • b.foot patrol in the 1st and 18th Districts.
  • F.Members assigned as field training officers will be allowed to bid within their unit for any watch based on their seniority among the other field training officers in the district and will be assigned to a watch for which they are successful bidders or placed at the discretion of the district commander.
  • G.Members detailed for twenty-eight days or more to another unit prior to the date the watch selection begins will bid within the detailed unit.
  • H.Copies of all district or unit steady watch bid announcements and the original Watch Selection Request form for each of the bids will be retained in the unit for a period of twelve months after the selection.
IV.Annual Steady Watch Selection Procedure - Sworn and Civilian
  • A.The Department will determine the number of positions to be assigned to each watch within each biddable district or unit.
  • B.During the annual steady watch selection process, the district or unit commanding officer, or an approved designee, will:
    • 1.designate a period of time for conducting the annual selection process of steady watch assignments for the following year.
    • 2.issue a seniority bid announcement and assign a district/unit steady watch opening bid number to the announcement.
    • 3.post the announcement on the unit bulletin board at the start of the period designated in Item IV-B-1.
    • 4.enter the following information on the posted announcement:
      • a.the date and time posted,
      • b.his or her signature, and
      • c.the expiration date and time for acceptance of bids.
    • 5.place the announcement in the unit Commanding Officer's Book and read at roll calls for the time period designated in Item IV-B-1, concurrent with the posting on the bulletin board.
      NOTE:
      The annual selection process for steady watch assignments will expire after the designated time period.
  • C.Within the time period designated in Item IV-B-1, eligible bargaining unit members currently assigned to the unit will bid for a steady watch by submitting the Watch Selection Request form.
    • 1.The Watch Selection Request form requires the member to select watches in order of preference (i.e., 1st, 2nd, or 3rd watch) or to indicate a "No Bid."
      • a.A "No Bid" choice will:
        • (1)indicate that the member has no specific watch preference.
        • (2)be considered a management discretionary assignment.
          NOTE:
          Any member failing to submit a Watch Selection Request during the annual steady watch selection process will be considered as having submitted a "No Bid" request.
    • 2.The completed form will be presented to the designated supervisor who will record the date and time the form was received in the appropriate box on the form.
    • 3.The original form will be signed and immediately forwarded to the district or unit commanding officer.
  • D.After the time period for the annual selection process of steady watch assignments has expired, the district or unit commanding officer, or an approved designee, will:
    • 1.arrange the completed Watch Selection Request forms in seniority order.
    • 2.fill the allocated number of biddable positions on each watch using the following procedures:
      • a.In seniority order, a member will be placed on the watch that represents his or her first choice.
      • b.If all the allocated biddable positions are filled on that watch, the member will be placed on the watch which represents his or her second choice. Similarly, if all allocated biddable positions are filled on the second choice watch, the member will be placed on the watch which represents his or her third choice.
      • c.This process will continue until all biddable positions on all available watches are filled.
      • d.If all biddable positions have been filled by successful bidders, the district or unit commanding officer will fill the remaining positions on each watch at his or her discretion, considering the operational needs of the district or unit.
      • e.If biddable positions remain after all bid requests have been considered, the district or unit commanding officer will fill the remaining allocation of biddable positions on each watch at his or her discretion, considering the operational needs of the district or unit.
      • f.If a member is not placed on any of the watches for which he or she has bid or has indicated No Bid on the Watch Selection Request form, the district or unit commanding officer will place that member on a watch at his or her discretion, considering the operational needs of the district or unit.
        NOTE:
        If after the annual watch selection process, a member is a successful bidder on the 13th period transfer order, he or she will submit a new Watch Selection form upon the members arrival in the new unit of assignment.
      • g.If the unit watch assignment is to be filled by a member from outside the unit, the district or unit commanding officer will fill the assignment in accordance with the relevant section of the appropriate collective bargaining agreement.
  • E.Successful bidders, as well as any member to be reassigned to another watch, will be notified of the new assignment, which will normally be effective on the following change day.
    • 1.If day-off group imbalances occur during the annual steady watch selection procedure, the relevant sections of the appropriate collective bargaining agreement will apply.
    • 2.After assignment to the watch, officers requesting to bid for "biddable jobs" will be governed by the relevant sections of the appropriate collective bargaining agreement.
  • F.Members will bid for watch assignments within the district or unit of assignment or, if detailed for 28 days or more to another unit prior to the date the watch selections begins, within the unit detailed.
V.Procedure for Filling a Steady Watch Vacancy - Sworn and Civilian
  • A.A steady watch vacancy occurs when a member performing the assignment is:
    • 1.permanently transferred,
    • 2.permanently reassigned,
    • 3.resigns,
    • 4.retires,
    • 5.dies,
    • 6.is separated, or
    • 7.when the Department increases the number of members on a specific watch in any of the designated units as identified in the existing bargaining agreements.
  • B.A steady watch vacancy exists only if the Department announces the vacancy and elects to fill the steady watch vacancy.
    • 1.If the vacancy is a bid vacancy, then the vacancy will be filled by bid.
    • 2.If the vacancy was appointed at the discretion of the Department, then the vacancy will be filled at the discretion of the Department.
  • C.When the Department decides to fill a steady watch vacancy by bid, the district or unit commanding officer, or an approved designee, will:
    • 1.issue a steady watch vacancy announcement and assign a district/unit steady watch opening bid number to the announcement.
    • 2.post the announcement on the unit bulletin board for seven consecutive calendar days during the first seven days of the police period when the vacancy is announced.
    • 3.enter the information as indicated in Item IV-B-4 on the posted announcement.
    • 4.place the announcement in the unit Commanding Officer's Book and read at roll calls for seven consecutive days, concurrent with the posting on the bulletin board.
      NOTE:
      The announcement will expire seven days after posting.
  • D.Within seven days of the posting of a steady watch vacancy announcement, eligible bargaining unit members currently assigned to the unit where the vacancy exists may bid for the existing vacancy by submitting the Watch Selection Request form.
    • 1.The completed form will be presented to the designated supervisor who will record the date and time the form was received in the appropriate box on the form.
    • 2.The original form will be signed and immediately forwarded to the district or unit commanding officer.
VI.Change of Watch Assignments
  • A.Watch assignments will generally remain the same throughout the year except in the following circumstances:
    • 1.Changes for members identified in Item III-E-1 of this directive.
    • 2.A need to fill a temporary vacancy not to exceed three periods. Such vacancies will initially be filled by volunteers, then by reverse seniority.
    • 3.By mutual agreement of the member seeking the change and the Department.
  • B.For the purpose of providing relief, the Department will first seek volunteers to satisfy its needs from a specific watch.
    • 1.If there are more volunteers than required, the volunteer with the greatest seniority from the designated watch will be selected.
    • 2.If there are insufficient volunteers, the member with the lowest seniority from the designated watch will be selected, provided that the least senior member on the designated watch is not a successful bidder for a position in accordance with the relevant section of the appropriate collective bargaining agreement or is not the district or unit commanding officer's secretary.
  • C.Successful bidders for watch changes made after the annual steady watch selection process will be assigned to the watch without regard to day-off group or duty assignment.
    • 1.Day-off group assignments for these successful bidders will be made by the unit commanding officer based on operational needs of the unit.
    • 2.Reassigned members will not "bump" or displace other members on the watch from job assignments or day-off groups.
    • 3.After assignment to the watch, officers requesting to bid for a "biddable job" will do so in accordance with the relevant section of the appropriate collective bargaining agreement.
  • D.Changes in watch assignments will be made only for the duration of the circumstances giving rise to the change, after which the member will return to his or her previous watch assignment.
    NOTE:
    If the watch assignment is changed for any of the reasons set forth in Item VI-A through C of this directive, the provisions of the existing collective bargaining agreement relating to hours and overtime will not apply.
  • E.Members who are successful bidders within a district or unit and are subsequently detailed to another district or unit after the bid procedure will retain the position in the assigned district or unit and will be returned to the position at the termination of the detail.
(Items indicated by italics/double underline were revised)
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
12-109 RWN