Chicago Police DepartmentGeneral Order G03-02-07
Baton Use Incidents - EFFECTIVE 15 APRIL 2021
Issue Date:31 December 2020Effective Date:15 April 2021
Rescinds:
Index Category:Field Operations
I.Purpose
This directive:
  • A.outlines the policy governing the field use of batons, which includes the use of expandable batons, wooden batons, and improvised impact weapons.
  • B.satisfies CALEA Law Enforcement Standard Chapter 4.
II.Policy
  • A.Sanctity of Human Life. The Department’s highest priority is the sanctity of human life. The concept of the sanctity of human life is the belief that all human beings are to be perceived and treated as persons of inherent worth and dignity, regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military status, immigration status, homeless status, source of income, credit history, criminal record, criminal history, or incarceration status. Department members will act with the foremost regard for the preservation of human life and the safety of all persons involved. A member's decision to utilize a baton will be made in accordance with the Department directive titled "De-escalation, Response to Resistance, and Use of Force."
  • B.De-Escalation. Department members are required to use de-escalation techniques to prevent or reduce the need for force, unless doing so would place a person or a Department member in immediate risk of harm, or de-escalation techniques would be clearly ineffective under the circumstances at the time, in accordance with G03-02, "De-escalation, Response to Resistance, and Use of Force."
  • C.When Use is Authorized. Department members' use of a baton must be objectively reasonable, necessary, and proportional to the threat, actions, and level of resistance offered by the subject under the totality of the circumstances. Consistent with the Department directive titled "Response to Resistance and Force Options," Department members are authorized to use a baton as a force option for the following subjects:
    • 1.Batons are authorized force options against an assailant as an impact weapon.
    • 2.Batons are authorized force options against passive and active resisters only as a control instrument placed mainly on the sensors of the skin covering bone or applied to joints and pressure sensitive areas of the body with non-impact pressure.
  • D.Restrictions. Although batons are considered less-lethal weapons, they can cause serious injury or death. For the safety of everyone involved, the following additional restrictions apply:
    • 1.Head and Neck Strikes. Members will not use batons to intentionally strike a subject in the head or neck except when deadly force is justified.
    • 2.Persons Vulnerable to Injury from Batons. Batons will not be used as an impact weapon on a subject who is at greater risk of serious injury or death from baton use, unless the subject is defined as an assailant and other force options are not readily available or would otherwise be ineffective. People who are at a greater risk of serious injury or death from baton use include, but are not limited to, children, pregnant women, and the elderly.
    • 3.Improvised Impact Weapon. For the purpose of this directive, the use of an improvised impact weapon (e.g., flashlights, radios, firearms as an impact weapon, and any other blunt object that can be used as an impact weapon) will be considered a baton use incident. Department members will avoid the use of improvised impact weapons unless reasonably necessary and no other practical options are available.
  • E.Justify Separate Uses of Force. When a member's baton use is a reportable use of force, the initial use of a baton and each subsequent use of a baton must be individually justified and documented on the Tactical Response Report (TRR) as a separate use of force.
  • F.Department members will refer to the Department directive titled "Control Devices and Instruments" for specific procedures on baton protocols including training, assignment, manner of carry, and accountability.
III.Conditions on the Field Use of a Baton
  • A.Authorized Manner of Use. When it is safe and feasible to do so, a member who is utilizing a baton will:
    • 1.give verbal commands and warnings prior to, during, and after use, including informing other Department members on the scene of the use.
    • 2.allow a subject a reasonable amount of time to comply with a warning prior to using or continuing the use of a baton, unless doing so would compromise the safety of an officer or another person.
    • 3.for use as an impact weapon, target the center mass of large muscle groups to establish control by means of applying mechanical impact to a subject to disable elements of his or her musculoskeletal structure, including the attacking delivery system.
    • 4.when possible, avoid intentionally striking a subject in the kidneys, spine, or genitalia.
  • B.Requesting Supervisor. As soon as practical, a member who has used or anticipates use of a baton as an impact weapon or when an injury has occurred during the use of a baton will request a supervisor respond to the scene.
IV.Post-Use Responsibilities for Reportable Uses of Force
  • A.Utilizing Member. When a member's baton use is a reportable use of force, immediately upon gaining control and restraining the subject, the utilizing member will:
    • 1.notify the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC).
      NOTE:
      If a member's reportable use of a baton occurs outside the City of Chicago, the member will also notify the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction and the Chicago Police Department's Crime Prevention and Information Center (CPIC).
    • 2.request the appropriate medical aid, including contacting emergency medical services (EMS) from the Chicago Fire Department, if the subject appears to be in a physical distress or complains of injury, or when the subject sustained a strike to the head or neck from a baton.
    • 3.complete a Tactical Response Report (TRR) (CPD-11.377) for the baton use consistent with the procedures outlined in the Department directive titled "Incidents Requiring the Completion of a Tactical Response Report."
    • 4.complete the appropriate case report and other required reports and submit the reports to the immediate supervisor for review and approval.
  • B.Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC). OEMC will immediately notify the:
    • 1.involved member(s) immediate supervisor.
    • 2.field supervisor and the watch operations lieutenant from the district of occurrence.
  • C.Reviewing Supervisor. When notified that a member under his or her command used a baton as an impact weapon or an injury has occurred, the assigned reviewing supervisor will:
    • 1.respond immediately to the scene and assume command and oversight of the scene unless relieved by a higher-ranking supervisor.
      NOTE:
      When the utilizing member's immediate supervisor is unavailable, the watch operations lieutenant will assign a reviewing supervisor from the district of occurrence.
    • 2.ensure the scene is protected and processed in accordance with the Department directive titled "Crime Scene Protection and Processing," including determining whether to request an evidence technician to process the scene.
    • 3.request the designated exempt-level incident commander to respond to all baton use incidents that result in a potential life-threatening injury or death.
    • 4.if a death has occurred as a result of the baton use, ensure the appropriate Forensic Services Division and Bureau of Detectives personnel are requested.
    • 5.review the utilizing member's TRR and complete the appropriate section of the TRR consistent with the procedures outlined in the Department directive titled "Incidents Requiring the Completion of a Tactical Response Report."
  • D.Investigating Supervisor. The watch operations lieutenant, or assigned investigating supervisor the rank lieutenant of above, from the district of occurrence will:
    • 1.ensure that a supervisor at least one rank higher than the utilizing member responds to the scene of the baton use when such a supervisor is available and injury has occurred.
    • 2.for incidents which do not require the presence of the designated exempt-level incident commander, investigate the incident, review the utilizing member's TRR, and document the investigation of the incident on the TRR-I consistent with the procedures outlined in the Department directive titled "Incidents Requiring the Completion of a Tactical Response Report."
  • E.Designated Exempt-Level Incident Commander. In all baton use incidents that result in a potential life-threatening injury or death, the designated exempt-level incident commander will:
    • 1.proceed to the scene, assume command of the scene, and personally conduct a complete an through investigation of the incident.
    • 2.ensure that all tasks delineated for subordinate personnel are performed.
    • 3.review the utilizing member's TRR and complete the appropriate section of the TRR-I consistent with the procedures outlined in the Department directive titled "Incidents Requiring the Completion of a Tactical Response Report."
(Items indicated by italics/double underline were added or revised)
David O. Brown
Superintendent of Police
T20-120 MWK/TSS