Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S03-22
Response to Crowds and Civil Disturbances
Issue Date:27 August 2020Effective Date:27 August 2020
Index Category:Field Operations
This directive:
II.General Information
  • A.The Department will respond to public assemblies, crowds, or civil disturbances in a systematic, proactive approach consistent with the standardized National Incident Management System (NIMS) including the use of the Incident Command System (ICS) and the designation of an Incident Commander.
    • 1.The Incident Commander has overall authority and responsibility for the Department's operations in response to public assemblies, crowds, or civil disturbances, including the use of resources, development of strategies, and incident operations.
    • 2.All Department responses to public assemblies, crowds, or civil disturbances will be directed by the Incident Commander, in coordination with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the Crime Prevention and Information Center (CPIC).
    • 3.Department members will refer to the Department directive titled "Critical Incident Response Program" for further guidance on the Department's incident response consistent with NIMS and the ICS.
  • B.Any public assembly, crowd, or civil disturbance, whether lawful, unlawful, peaceful, or disruptive, may require the response of Department members.
    • 1.The Department's response to each incident involving crowds or civil disturbances will be uniquely tailored to the specific incident and will require flexibility, creativity, discipline, and patience.
    • 2.Depending upon the situation, the response of the Department can range from crowd observation and management strategies to intervention and dispersal tactics.
    • 3.The tactics, techniques, and procedures used by organized groups constantly evolve and the Department must be able to respond in a fashion that facilitates lawful First Amendment activity while simultaneously identifying and removing those individuals whose illegal behavior jeopardizes the safety of those engaged in protected activity.
      The mere presence of an organized, disciplined contingent of Department members may cause potentially disorderly groups to abandon any disruptive activities and comply with verbal direction.
  • C.The Incident Commander must determine when a lawful public assembly abandons the realm of legal protest and becomes a breach of the peace or an abridgement of the rights of others.
  • D.The actions of squads and platoons will be directed by the respective squad and platoon leaders and will be consistent with the response as directed by the Incident Commander.
    • 1.A continual assessment of crowd behavior is critical in order for supervisors and officers to maintain situational awareness and be prepared to respond appropriately.
    • 2.To determine the appropriate police response, it is important for supervisors and officers to understand the difference between:
      • a.a lawful and unlawful assembly or protest.
      • b.a peaceful and disruptive assembly or protest.
      • c.peaceful actions and disruptive, violent, criminal, or riotous behavior of members of the crowd.
  • E.In the event a crowd or portion of a crowd becomes involved in disruptive, violent, criminal, or riotous behavior, the mission of the Department is to protect lives and property, and restore peaceful conditions as rapidly and efficiently as possible.
  • F.Any physical response to crowds by Department members, individually or as part of a group or formation, will be objectively reasonable, necessary, and proportional consistent with the Department's use of force policy and crowd management tactics and training.
  • G.The Incident Commander will ensure that Department personnel assigned to the crowd or civil disturbance incident receive periodic rest, sustenance, and hydration during lengthly events, when feasible.
  • H.Department members will familiarize themselves with the following information:
    • 1.The Incident Action Plan identified in the published Special Event Notice for the event that delineates Department member reporting requirements and deployment responsibilities.
    • 2.The Crowd Control Operations Training Bulletin published by the Training Division.
For the purpose of this directive, the following definitions apply:
  • A.Squad – a group of Department members, typically up to 10 police officers, led by a sergeant or above and detailed to an assignment or deployed as a group.
  • B.Platoon – a group of squads, typically up to six squads, led by a lieutenant or above and detailed as a group to a specific area or mission.
  • C.Officer line formation – the formation of a squad or multiple squads into a line to serve as a static or mobile barrier to move, channel, or disperse a crowd.
  • D.Port arms baton position – The right hand is positioned on the handle of the baton with an overhand grip. The left hand is placed on the long portion of the baton with an underhand grip. It is held this way regardless of the officer’s strong or weak hand. When the baton is brought to port arms, the left hand is positioned directly in front of the left shoulder, keeping the elbow close to the side. The right hand is positioned in front of the right hip, keeping it at belt level. The right elbow is kept close to the side. The baton should be at an approximately 45 degree angle to the belt. Port arms puts the officer in a position ready to react.
  • E.Port arms push – The movement of a baton from the port arms position straight out to push the baton against a person, accompanied by the verbal command "move back." The port arms push is a controlled shove, not a sharp strike, and can be used from a standing or moving position. The port arms push is used to move a person who is too close to an officer or when an officer needs to create space to move.
  • F.On-guard baton position – The right hand is on the handle portion of the baton and the left hand is on the long portion. The left hand is extended out with the left elbow slightly bent. The right hand will be at belt level on each officer’s side. There are two differences between the port arms and on-guard positions. First, the officer moves the left foot slightly forward. Second, the long portion of the baton is rotated down until it is pointing forward.
  • G.On-guard thrust – The movement of the baton from the on-guard position straight forward and is accompanied by the verbal command "move back." The officer extends the both arms forward with the tip of the baton toward the target area. The on-guard thrust is used to move a person who is too close to an officer or when an officer needs to create space to move.
  • H.Rake Maneuver – A technique to place an individual behind a skirmish line to affect an arrest. While in close formation and in coordination with an arrest team, a squad leader designates two officers on the line to "rake in" an individual. When the command is issued, two officers on the line make slight steps on either side of the individual. Both officers place their batons behind the individual and “rake” the person behind the line where an arrest team takes control.
  • I.Batons – includes wooden and expandable batons as outlined in the Department directive titled "Control Devices and Instruments" and "Baton, Baton Holder, Baton Tassel."
IV.Reporting Requirements
  • A.Squad leaders will complete and submit an ICS-211 Incident Check-In (CPD-11.301) form for their assigned squad, containing the assigned Department members' information including name, star number, employee number, regular unit of assignment, and deployment assignment.
  • B.Platoon leaders will:
    • 1.ensure that each supervisor under their command completes and submits an ICS-211 Incident Check-In (CPD-11.301) form.
    • 2.complete and submit a separate ICS-211 Incident Check-In (CPD-11.301) form indicating:
      • a.each supervisor under their command, their squad assignments, and deployment information.
      • b.the designation of an assignment or responsibility of squads or individual members (e.g., transport, enforcement, relief) of the platoon.
    • 3.forward all submitted ICS-211 Incident Check-In forms to the Incident Commander prior to their deployment.
  • C.During crowd management incidents and civil disturbances, when Department members formed into squads respond as a group to use a push, shove, or diffused-pressure strike in response to a crowd that exhibits hostile, aggressive, or unlawful behavior or does not respond to verbal directions by the police:
    • 1.the squad supervisor will report the squad's response to the crowd on the Incident Response (CPD-11.302) form. The completed report will include:
      • a.the location of the incident, using the full address.
      • b.the approximate time of the incident.
      • c.whether the assigned supervisor or another supervisor directed the response during the crowd management incidents and civil disturbances.
      • d.the approximate size of the crowd on scene and the total number of subjects involved in the incident.
      • e.the approximate number of squads assigned to the incident.
      • f.whether the Department member(s) were wearing body worn cameras.
      • g.whether any injuries to subjects were observed.
      • h.a narrative of the incident, describing, with specificity, any additional circumstances leading to the response, the specific squad response (including force mitigation efforts), injuries observed, and any medical aide rendered.
    • 2.the completion of a Tactical Response Report (TRR) (CPD-11.377) is not required, except for the following circumstances:
      • a.when a Department member becomes involved in an individual reportable use of force incident with a subject during a crowd or civil disturbance response, which goes beyond the directed actions of the group.
        When circumstances allow, Department members will seek guidance from their squad or platoon leader for a determination on the proper documentation of the incident.
      • b.any direct mechanical or impact weapon strike directed at an individual subject.
      • c.any deployment of OC devices.
        The deployment of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) or a chemical agent against noncompliant groups, crowds, or an individual taking part in a group or crowd by a team designated by the Incident Commander will be documented on a TRR completed by each deploying member.
      • d.any Taser or impact munition discharge.
      • e.any use of canine or the long range acoustical device (LRAD) as a force option.
      • f.any firearm discharge or other application of deadly force, including the intentional striking of a subject’s head or neck with an impact weapon.
      • g.any assault, battery, or injury to a Department member that occurs as a result of a Department member’s reportable use of force. Any injury to a Department member will also be documented on an Injury on Duty Report consistent with the Department directive titled "Sworn Medical Roll-Injury on Duty Status."
      This provision only applies to Department members working in organized squads and platoons responding as a group to unruly crowds or civil disturbances.
  • D.If a reportable use of force incident occurs under these circumstances, the Department member using force will notify their supervisor and follow the procedures outlined in the Department directive titled "Incidents Requiring the Completion of a Tactical Response Report" once it is safe and feasible to do so.
    When required, Department members will complete a Tactical Response Report as soon as practicable, but before the end of their tour of duty.
  • E.When a Tactical Response Report has been completed or a subject has been taken into custody, the squad supervisor will ensure the Central Booking (CB) or Records Division (RD) numbers of the related incident are documented on the Incident Response (CPD-11.302) form.
  • F.Platoon leaders will ensure all ICS-211 Incident Check-In (CPD-11.301) forms and Incident Response (CPD-11.302) forms documenting their platoon’s response to crowds or civil disturbance are submitted to the Incident Commander by the end of their tour of duty.
  • G.At the conclusion of the event, the Incident Commander will ensure the ICS-211 Incident Check-In (CPD-11.301) forms and Incident Response (CPD-11.302) forms are properly completed and:
    • 1.the originals are forwarded to the Special Events Section via the Police Document Section and email at
    • 2.copies are emailed to the Force Review Division at within 48 hours of the date of occurrence.
Authenticated by: KC
David O. Brown
Superintendent of Police
20-076 MWK/JJR