Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S05-05
Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Incidents
Issue Date:29 January 2019Effective Date:29 January 2019
Rescinds:22 November 2017 Version
Index Category:Extraordinary Responses
This directive:
  • A.continues the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Incident Program.
  • B.continues the SWAT Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
  • C.delineates policy and outlines procedures for police operations during a SWAT response.
  • D.defines terms associated with SWAT incidents.
  • E.introduces the SWAT Incident Log (CPD-21.324).
  • F.satisfies CALEA Law Enforcement Chapters 12 and 46.
It is the policy of the Chicago Police Department to:
  • A.resolve all SWAT incidents with the foremost regard for the sanctity of human life.
  • B.cooperate with other governmental agencies which have an official interest in the incident, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), etc.
  • C.provide support services to other governmental agencies that have been determined to have primary responsibilities in cases of concurrent jurisdictions.
  • A.Administrative
    The SWAT Incident Program administrative function is based on the premise that, through centralized control, the varied resources of the Department can be utilized in a unified and responsive manner.SWAT Incident Program personnel will be selected in the following manner:
    • a.The SWAT Commanding Officer will be designated by the Superintendent of Police or designee, upon recommendations from the Deputy Chief, Special Functions Division.
    • b.The SWAT Assistant Commanding Officer and Chief Negotiator will be selected by the SWAT Commanding Officer with the approval of the Deputy Chief, Special Functions Division.
    • c.Negotiators will be selected by a city-wide application process from within the Bureau of Detectives.
    • d.SWAT supervisors and SWAT team members will be selected by a city-wide application process from all bureaus of the Department and administered by the SWAT Commanding Officer.
  • B.Operational
    Department response is based on the operational premise that each SWAT incident is different and unique and should be approached in an individualistic manner. The SWAT Incident Program and SWAT support are used to assist the Incident Commander to effect a safe and successful resolution of these incidents.
    • 1.Bureau of Patrol (District of Occurrence)
      • a.The initial responding officers arriving at a potential SWAT Incident will:
        • (1)assess the situation relative to potential lines of fire, physical location of the offender(s), officer safety, the validity and escalation potential of the incident, and the need for supervision and/or additional manpower.
        • (2)notify an immediate supervisor.
          When there is a likelihood of volatile chemicals or explosive devices present, members will move as far from the object(s) as conditions permit before using any radio equipment, cellular phones, or other telecommunications devices.
        • (3)ensure that any injured parties are moved to a safe area (when it is safe to do so) and request medical assistance.
        • (4)secure the immediate area.
        • (5)attempt to gather information as to the offender(s), weapons, potential hazards, and identification of primary parties.
      • b.The first Bureau of Patrol supervisor to arrive on the scene will:
        • (1)immediately assess the situation.
        • (2)determine if the situation requires implementation of the SWAT Incident Program and, if so, implement the program.
          • (a)The decision to implement a SWAT incident rests with the ranking Bureau of Patrol supervisor at the scene or, prior to his or her arrival, the ranking supervisor from another bureau.
          • (b)A SWAT Incident will be implemented if the immediate apprehension of the offender(s) is not practical.
        • (3)advise the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) dispatcher of the circumstances and request the on-duty Special Operations Response Team (SORT).
        • (4)establish firearms control.
        • (5)supervise the apprehension of the offender(s), if practical.
        • (6)designate one of the assigned units as the communications car.
        • (7)designate a mobilization area and appropriate approach route(s) to ensure safe access by responding personnel.
        • (8)request additional personnel, if necessary.
        • (9)isolate and evacuate the area, if the circumstances so require, while ensuring that personnel and citizens with potentially relevant information remain at the scene or other designated area for debriefing by intelligence-gathering personnel.
        • (10)designate an inner and outer perimeter for the incident.
          SWAT team personnel will relieve district law enforcement personnel assigned to the inner perimeter . However, district law enforcement personnel will retain assignment responsibility for the outer perimeter during the entire event.
        • (11)ensure the original and subsequent responding personnel have parked their vehicles so as not to obstruct emergency access to the scene.
        • (12)assume the duties of Incident Commander until formally relieved by a Bureau of Patrol member of higher rank.
      • c.The field supervisor assigned to the sector of occurrence will respond to all SWAT incidents. The field supervisor will ensure that the duties enumerated in Items III-B-1-a and b have been accomplished and act as Incident Commander until formally relieved by a Bureau of Patrol member of higher rank.
      • d.Upon being notified of the implementation of a SWAT incident, the on-duty watch operations lieutenant in the district of occurrence will ensure that the district commander and the Crime Prevention and Information Center (CPIC) are notified.
    • 2.OEMC
      • a.Upon receiving notification of a SWAT incident, the OEMC dispatcher will:
        • (1)assign a patrol unit and field supervisor to the incident.
        • (2)notify the watch manager, OEMC, of these assignments.
        • (3)notify and request SORT to respond to the scene.
      • b.Upon receiving notifications from a Bureau of Patrol supervisor on the scene that a SWAT incident is being implemented, the watch manager, OEMC, will ensure that:
        • (1)CPIC is advised that a SWAT incident has been implemented.
        • (2)the on-duty watch operations lieutenant in the district of occurrence has been notified.
        • (3)units responding to the scene are instructed to switch to a designated alternate radio frequency and report to the mobilization area via the designated route(s).
        • (4)the special equipment vehicles and Canine Unit are assigned to report to the mobilization area .
        • (5)on-going contact is maintained with the assigned communications car and CPIC.
    • 3.CPIC
      Upon notification that a SWAT incident has been implemented, personnel of CPIC will notify:
      • a.the on-duty Street Deputy,
      • b.the SWAT Commanding Officer and the SWAT Assistant Commanding Officer,
      • c.the Chief Negotiator,
      • d.the Deputy Chief, Special Functions Division, and
      • e.other units and personnel as directed by the Incident Commander or the SWAT Commanding Officer.
    • 4.Incident Commander
      When a SWAT Incident is implemented, the Incident Commander will:
      • a.identify his or her role as Incident Commander to OEMC dispatchers and keep OEMC informed of the situation as it develops.
      • b.ensure that a mobilization area has been established and that access for emergency vehicles is available.
      • c.ensure that an inner and outer perimeter has been established and secured.
      • d.maintain discipline in the use of firearms.
      • one of the initial responding units from the district of occurrence to act as the communications car for the command post.
      • on scene and responding officers to restrict their movements and avoid provocative actions.
      • g.gather information, control operations, and ensure SWAT team members relieve district personnel in the inner perimeter who initially responded to the scene.
      • h.ensure specific areas for SWAT incident functions such as:
        • (1)a debriefing area,
        • (2)an information area ,
        • (3)an interview area,
        • (4)a media briefing area .
      • i.request additional support personnel as required, e.g., Bomb Squad, Canine Unit, and Marine/Helicopter Unit.
      • j.ensure that the appropriate Bureau of Detectives unit is notified.
      • k.consult the SWAT Commanding Officer and designate a Department member(s) to prepare and obtain a search warrant, as needed.
    • 5.SWAT Incident Personnel
      • a.Commanding Officers
        • (1)The SWAT Commanding Officer will respond to all SWAT incidents and will act as the tactical commander and assist the Incident Commander .
        • (2)The SWAT Assistant Commanding Officer will respond to all SWAT incidents and aide the SWAT Commanding Officer. If the SWAT Commanding Officer is not available, the SWAT Assistant Commanding Officer will assume those operational duties.
      • b.Negotiating Personnel
        • (1)Upon being notified, the negotiators will proceed to the mobilization area and report to the SWAT Commanding Officer.
        • (2)On direction of the Chief Negotiator, the responding negotiators will:
          • (a)establish a location to conduct negotiations;
          • (b)initiate an intelligence-gathering function;
          • (c)initiate the debriefing of the initial responding police personnel; and
          • (d)begin negotiations.
      • c.Supplemental Manpower
        Any Department vehicle operated by sworn members in close proximity to a SWAT incident may be utilized to bring the situation under control. These units, when needed, will be requested by the Incident Commander at the scene through the OEMC dispatcher.
    • 6.Chain of Command
      • a.The highest ranking Bureau of Patrol supervisor at the scene of the SWAT incident will function as the Incident Commander until formally relieved by a higher-ranking member of the Bureau of Patrol or the Street Deputy.
      • b.The Street Deputy will be the Incident Commander as delineated in the Department directive entitled "Deputy Chiefs Assigned to the Street Operations Unit."
      • c.In the Street Deputy's absence, the highest ranking Bureau of Patrol supervisor from the district of occurrence will be the Incident Commander .
      • d.Unless otherwise directed by the Superintendent or the First Deputy Superintendent, the ultimate responsibility for a SWAT incident rests with the Street Deputy.
    • 7.Reporting
      • a.The supervisor acting as Incident Commander who implements a SWAT incident will ensure that the appropriate case report records all significant activities that occur during the period of the incident. The appropriate case report will contain, but not be limited to, the following:
        • (1)the establishment of the plan,
        • (2)a chronological sequence of event,
        • (3)all notifications made,
        • (4)changes in command,
        • (5)arrival of principal response units,
        • (6)significant tactical developments,
        • (7)any other pertinent information.
      • b.An assigned supervisor from the district of occurrence will designate an officer to complete the appropriate case report and obtain an RD number. The preliminary report should not be unnecessarily delayed.
      • c.The SWAT Commanding Officer will ensure that:
        • (1)copies of SWAT reports, logs, and other documents pertaining to the incident are delivered to the appropriate Bureau of Detectives unit of investigative responsibility for inclusion in the investigative file for those cases in which an investigative file is maintained.
        • (2)an entry on the SWAT Incident Log (CPD-21.324) is completed by the designated SWAT personnel for each SWAT incident.
    • 8.Demobilization
      Planning for demobilization will occur prior to the end of the incident. The Incident Commander will consult the SWAT Commanding Officer and ensure post-incident demobilization procedures include, but are not limited to:
      • a.accounting for all Department members involved in the incident,
      • b.relieving officers of their assigned duties, as appropriate,
      • c.assigning Department members, as needed, to remain in the area of the incident to ensure that it is protected,
      • d.deactivating any established operational posts/areas, and
      • e.accounting for all Department equipment used during the incident.
IV.Program Evaluation and Critique
  • A.All implemented SWAT incident plans will be the subject of critique.
  • B.The critique will evaluate the various elements and functions of that specific incident, with a view towards the constructive modification of the SWAT Incident Program.
  • C.SWAT incident critiques are classified as:
    • 1.Informal Critique – an on-going process through which the SWAT Commanding Officer evaluates all aspects of a SWAT incident based on personal observations and input from SWAT team members present at the scene.
    • 2.Formal Critique – a detailed and formal analysis of a SWAT incident by means of a chronological review of specific actions taken and any other associated issues. The formal critique will be called by the Deputy Chief, Special Functions Division. Participating members may include the Incident Commander , SWAT Commanding Officer, the watch operations lieutenant from the affected district, or any other person deemed to have responsibility at the SWAT incident as determined by the Deputy Chief, Special Functions Division.
V.High Risk Search Warrant Service
The SWAT team will be available to assist in the service of search warrants city-wide that have been deemed high risk in accordance with the Warrant Service Matrix after review by a SWAT team supervisor, the SWAT Assistant Commanding Officer, SWAT Commanding Officer, or their designees.
  • A.Prior to the service of a search warrant, the search team supervisor or designee must consult with a SWAT team supervisor if:
    • 1.the offender/target has a violent criminal history,
    • 2.the offender/target has a history of violence against the police,
    • 3.the offender/target is known to keep multiple firearms readily available or the warrant is for high-powered firearms such as rifles and assault-type weapons,
    • 4.a large number of offenders are or may be present at the target location,
    • 5.the target location is, or may be, fortified,
    • 6.guard dogs or other violent dogs may be present,
    • 7.a “no knock” search warrant has been issued pursuant to 725 ILCS 55/108-8, and/or
    • 8.there are any other circumstances, as determined by the search team supervisor, that indicate a consultation would be appropriate.
    A SWAT team supervisor can be contacted at all times via the 24-hour SWAT desk at Homan Square at PAX 4344.
  • B.Upon review and acceptance of the high risk search warrant, the search team supervisor will:
    • 1.ensure that all guidelines outlined in the Department directive titled "Search Warrants" are followed.
    • 2.ensure that all relevant intelligence concerning the search warrant and offender(s) is disseminated to the SWAT supervisor or designee.
    • execution, ensure copies of all reports are forwarded to the approving SWAT supervisor or designee.
  • C.Officer safety is the primary concern for the service of a high risk search warrant. The SWAT Commanding Officer or designee has the final authority on the tactic to be used to serve the high risk warrant.
VI.SWAT Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
  • A.The SWAT SOP contains:
    • 1.policies, procedures, and training requirements for SWAT team members;
    • 2.a list of equipment used by SWAT team members;
    • 3.SWAT training requirements; and
    • 4.specific information pertaining to the testing requirements for positions on the SWAT team.
  • B.The SWAT Commanding Officer is responsible for:
    • 1.maintaining and updating the SOP as needed.
    • 2.ensuring that an updated copy of the SOP is maintained in the office of the Deputy Chief, Special Functions Division.
    • 3.ensuring that any changes, amendments, or additions to the SOP are approved in writing by the Deputy Chief, Special Functions Division.
    • 4.ensuring a copy of the SOP is forwarded to the Research and Development Division consistent to with the Department directive entitled "Department Directives System."
Authenticated by: KC
Eddie T. Johnson
Superintendent of Police
18-103 RCL
1. -
Responsible for the overall response to the incident, including the use of resources, development of strategies, and incident operations.
  • A.(Immediate Emergency Plan) The highest ranking Bureau of Patrol supervisor responsible for the implementation of the immediate emergency plan from the district in which the emergency occurs unless relieved by a higher-ranking on-site Department member responsible for the overall response of the incident.
  • B.(Active Threat Incident) The on-site Department member in overall command of the incident who is responsible for the implementation of the Active Threat Incident Plan.
  • C.(Critical/Haz-Mat Incident) The highest-ranking on-site Department member responsible for the Chicago Police Department's overall response to a critical incident/haz-mat.
2. -
  • A.(SWAT/Critical Incidents) A secure location where all responding units will report for briefing, assignment, and equipment and a location designated for use as a stand-by location for personnel not actually committed to responsibilities at the incident. The manager , whose primary function is to provide intelligence and direction to responding units, is designated by the incident commander.
  • B.(Hazardous Material Incident (Haz-Mat)) A location designated for use as a stand-by location for personnel not actually committed to responsibilities at the incident.
3. -
  • A.(Crime Scene) The immediate area within the outer perimeter of a crime scene where evidentiary material is likely to be collected. This area will be secured with red crime scene barrier tape, imprinted with the legend "DO NOT ENTER" or "DANGER — DO NOT ENTER."
  • B.(General Incident) The immediate area of containment as designated by the incident commander.
  • C.(Special Weapons and Tactics [SWAT] Incidents) The immediate area of containment as designated by the incident commander. This area is initially manned by responding beat personnel until relieved by members of the Containment Team.
4. -
  • A.(Crime Scene) The area of a crime scene extending large enough for field personnel to conduct a thorough investigation. This area will be secured with yellow crime scene barrier tape. The outer perimeter will encompass the inner perimeter.
  • B.(General/SWAT Incident) A peripheral control area surrounding the inner perimeter, providing a safe zone for access to the inner perimeter as well as defining the limit of access by unauthorized persons.
5. -
  • A.A secure area within or in close proximity to the incident site where additional information can be obtained to assist responding officers.
    This may be a security office, administrator's office, or engineer's office and this information area may be a distance away from where the violent incident or emergency is occurring or where the assailant(s) is located.
6. -
An area designated for the media to assemble and receive information concerning the incident.