Chicago Police DepartmentGeneral Order G04-02
Crime Scene Protection and Processing
Issue Date:14 January 2019Effective Date:14 January 2019
Rescinds:16 January 2015 version and S04-02 06 November 2014 version
Index Category:Preliminary Investigations
I.Purpose
This directive continues:
  • A.the duties, procedures and responsibilities of Department members assigned to the protection, processing, and investigation of crime scenes.
  • B.the concept of forming inner perimeters , outer perimeters , staging areas and mobilization areas at crime scenes.
  • C.the use of red barrier tape for creating inner perimeters.
  • D.the use of yellow barrier tape for creating outer perimeters.
  • E.the use of the Crime Scene Weapon Recovery Kit.
  • F.the use of crime scene evidence markers.
  • G.satisfies CALEA Law Enforcement Standard in Chapters 42 and 83.
II.Policy
It is the policy of the Chicago Police Department to secure and protect crime scenes, when appropriate, and to collect, preserve, and submit evidence for analysis in a manner consistent with Department directives and legal requirements.
III.General Information
  • A.A crime scene can contain physical evidence that may be relevant to a successful investigation. Therefore, every crime scene will be evaluated for the presence of physical evidence.
  • B.A supervisor will immediately be notified when a preliminary investigator determines that physical evidence is present at a crime scene that requires processing by the Forensic Services Division.
  • C.When feasible, a supervisor will respond to the scene and determine if Forensic Services Division personnel are required for crime scene processing. If a supervisor is unable to respond, the preliminary investigator will make the request.
  • D.In the absence of exigent circumstances, a crime scene will be protected until it is completely processed for physical evidence. Evidence will NOT be disturbed prior to processing, unless it is absolutely necessary to preserve life or to protect the evidence from loss or damage.
  • E.When a Department member determines there is a compelling reason to handle evidence before the crime scene has been evaluated by Forensic Services Division personnel or a detective, he or she will wear fresh rubber gloves for each item of evidence touched, or firearm. Furthermore:
    • 1.each item of evidence that has been touched prior to the processing of the scene will be inventoried following the procedures delineated in the Department directive entitled "Processing Property Under Department Control" and outlined in Item III-F of this directive.
    • 2.each firearm and/or property directly related to a firearm that has been touched prior to the processing of the scene including recovered firearms that require fingerprint or DNA processing will be processed in accordance with the Department directive entitled "Firearms Taken Into Custody or Turned In" and Item III-F of this directive. Each recovered firearm will be placed in a fresh Firearm Evidence Envelope (CPD-33.404) during the inventory process.
      NOTE:
      Rubber gloves and Firearm Evidence Envelope (CPD-33.404) are contained within the Crime Scene Weapon Recovery Kit. These kits will be carried in the trunk of field supervisors vehicles and can be obtained from the Equipment and Supply Section. Additional Crime Scene Weapon Recovery Kits may be carried by any member of the Department.
  • F.Whenever physical evidence is moved or disturbed prior to the scene being processed by the Bureau of Detectives or Forensic Services Division personnel, the involved member will:
    • 1.immediately notify the Bureau of Patrol supervisor assigned to supervise the preliminary investigation;
    • 2.immediately notify responding Bureau of Detectives and/or Forensic Services Division personnel;
    • 3.inventory the evidence, unless relieved of this responsibility by the assigned Bureau of Detectives and/or Forensic Services Division personnel;
    • 4.if the member is the assigned preliminary investigator, detail the circumstances in the narrative of the appropriate case report; and
    • 5.if the member is not the assigned preliminary investigator, detail the circumstances in a Supplementary Report.
  • G.Access to a crime scene will only be permitted to personnel who are responsible for:
    • 1.rendering aid to the injured;
    • 2.supervising the investigation;
    • 3.protecting the crime scene;
    • 4.investigating the crime;
    • 5.processing the crime scene for evidence; or
    • 6.processing deceased persons.
    NOTE:
    All other personnel must receive authorization from the highest ranking Department member on the scene to access a crime scene.
  • H.Bureau of Patrol supervisors will be responsible for overseeing the investigation, protection, and processing of the entire crime scene, including the inner and outer perimeters and the staging area, until such time as a member of the Bureau of Detectives arrives on the scene.
  • I.After the arrival of a detective assigned to the investigation, responsibility for overseeing the crime scene will be as follows:
    • 1.The highest ranking Bureau of Patrol supervisor on the scene will be responsible for overseeing the protection of the outer perimeter formed by yellow barrier tape.
    • 2.The highest ranking member of the Bureau of Detectives on the scene will be responsible for overseeing the protection and processing of the inner perimeter formed by red barrier tape. Once on the scene, the detective may create, alter, or discontinue the use of an inner perimeter to meet the needs of the investigation.
  • J.The Bureau of Detectives will assign a detective to respond to and investigate all crime scenes involving any homicide, suicide, aggravated battery likely to cause death, officer-involved death, when the discharge of a firearm (except animal destruction) by or at a Department member has occurred, or any incident in which the ranking Bureau of Patrol supervisor on the scene requests the assignment of a detective.
  • K.The Forensic Services Division will assign personnel to all crime scenes involving any homicide, suicide, aggravated battery likely to cause death, officer-involved death, incident where the discharge of a firearm (except animal destruction) by or at a Department member has occurred, or any incident in which the ranking Bureau of Patrol supervisor on the scene requests the assignment of Forensic Services Division personnel.
IV.Procedures and Responsibilities
  • A.At the beginning of the tour of duty, field supervisors will ensure that an adequate supply of the following is carried in their vehicles:
    • 1.red crime scene barrier tape,
    • 2.yellow crime scene barrier tape,
    • 3.Crime Scene Weapon Recovery Kits,
    • 4.crime scene evidence markers.
  • B.The first Department member to arrive at a crime scene will:
    • 1.follow all applicable procedures established in the Department directive entitled "Preliminary Investigations."
    • 2.if the investigation indicates that a homicide, suicide, aggravated battery likely to cause death, officer-involved death, or a police-related shooting has occurred, request the assignment of:
      • a.a ranking Bureau of Patrol supervisor.
      • b.a detective from the appropriate Bureau of Detectives.
      • c.Forensic Services Division personnel, if a Bureau of Patrol supervisor is unavailable.
        NOTE:
        Notifications or requests for the assignment of a detective or a member of the Forensic Services Division will not be made from a telephone located within a crime scene. If a telephone is not available, requests may be made by an Office of Emergency Management and Communication (OEMC) dispatcher. Members will use caution when referring to the names and addresses of victims when making requests or notifications from personal cellular telephones.
  • C.A Bureau of Patrol supervisor assigned to oversee the preliminary investigation will determine if an inner and/or outer perimeter is needed for the protection of a crime scene, and ensure that:
    • 1.the crime scene area or location is secured, and:
      • a.yellow barrier tape is used to create an outer perimeter and if necessary, a staging or mobilization area when determined appropriate.
      • b.red barrier tape is used to create an inner perimeter when determined appropriate.
      • c.crime scene evidence markers are used only when:
        • 1.evidence may be lost, stolen, or damaged prior to the arrival of Forensic Services Division personnel, and
        • 2.an inner and outer perimeter is created by the use of red and yellow crime scene barrier tape, or
        • 3.when directed by a supervisor.
          NOTE:
          The inner perimeter will be established to include all the known, observed evidence at that time. Once the inner perimeter is established, Department members will not re-enter to place crime scene evidence markers. If evidence is discovered outside the inner perimeter, a crime scene evidence marker will be placed, when necessary.
    • 2.the scene is protected, and:
      • a.admittance to the outer perimeter, staging area and/or mobilization area formed by yellow barrier tape is allowed only when:
        • 1.it is necessary to render aid to the injured.
        • 2.the member is authorized to access the inner perimeter.
        • 3.the member is directly responsible for collecting and/or processing evidence or investigating the crime.
      • b.admittance to the inner perimeter formed by red barrier tape is permitted only when:
        • 1.it is necessary to render aid to the injured.
        • 2.the member is directly responsible for the investigation of the crime.
        • 3.the member is directly responsible for the processing or the collection of evidence.
        • 4.the crime scene has been evaluated and access has been approved by the Bureau of Detectives and/or Forensic Services Division personnel or a supervisor.
    • 3.the appropriate Bureau of Detectives or Forensic Services Division personnel have been requested.
    • 4.notifications are made in accordance with the provisions of the Department directive entitled "Preliminary Investigations."
    • 5.personnel specifically assigned to protect a crime scene are given thorough instructions regarding their duties and are fully informed of the circumstances of the incident.
    • 6.Summary Punishment or a Complaint Register (CR) investigation is initiated, consistent with the procedures established in the Department directives entitled "Summary Punishment" and "Complaint and Disciplinary Procedures," against any member who enters a crime scene or disturbs any evidence without authorization, as detailed in this directive.
    • 7.crime scene protection is terminated after the detective, Forensic Services Division personnel, and other authorized personnel have completed their crime scene investigation and processing.
    • 8.all crime scene barrier tape will be removed when crime scene protection is terminated. The on-scene Bureau of Patrol supervisor will notify OEMC to request the Chicago Fire Department or another city agency (e.g. the Department of Streets and Sanitation) if the crime scene requires a washdown or cleaning and is located on public property.
    • 9.any contaminated set of crime scene evidence markers is replaced with a decontaminated set in a sealed plastic bag by either the Forensic Services Division supervisor or Forensic Services Division personnel. A complete set of ten contaminated markers must be submitted to receive a new decontaminated set of ten markers.
      NOTE:
      If the exchange cannot be completed at the scene, replacement sets for decontaminated crime scene evidence markers may be obtained at the Forensics Services Division.
  • D.A Department member assigned to protect a crime scene will:
    • 1.protect the scene as directed by the Bureau of Patrol supervisor until crime scene protection is terminated, and ensure that access is restricted consistent with Item IV-C-2.
      :
      The Bureau of Patrol supervisor assigned to oversee the preliminary investigation will be immediately notified if the integrity of the crime scene is compromised.
    • 2.complete a Supplementary Report. The report will contain the names, star numbers, and unit of assignment of all Department members and the names and organizational affiliation of all non-Department personnel who enter the crime scene, including paramedics and members from the Medical Examiner's Office.
      NOTE:
      If the Department member assigned to protect the crime scene is also the preliminary investigator, a Supplementary Report will not be required. The information requested in Item IV-D-2 will be recorded on the appropriate case report.
  • E.A detective assigned to investigate a crime scene will:
    • 1.report to the Bureau of Patrol supervisor assigned to oversee the preliminary investigation. The detective will investigate the scene for physical evidence and interview witnesses or persons having knowledge of the crime or incident.
    • 2.consult with Forensic Services Division personnel and the Bureau of Patrol supervisor to coordinate and develop a plan for protecting, investigating, and processing the crime scene.
    • 3.inform the Bureau of Patrol supervisor when the crime scene processing and investigation are completed and crime scene protection can be terminated.
    • 4.access the boundaries of the inner perimeter and consult with the ranking Bureau of Patrol supervisor on scene to adjust, if necessary.
    • 5.report any compromises of the integrity of the crime scene to the ranking Bureau of Patrol supervisor on scene, who will ensure the appropriate action is taken, as outlined in Items IV-C-6 and IV-D-2.
  • F.Forensic Services Division personnel assigned to process a crime scene will:
    • 1.report to the Bureau of Patrol supervisor assigned to oversee the preliminary investigation. Forensic Services Division personnel, in cooperation with the assigned detective, will process the scene and examine, preserve, collect, package, and inventory physical evidence.
    • 2.consult with the detective and the Bureau of Patrol supervisor to coordinate and develop a plan for protecting, investigating, and processing the crime scene.
    • 3.create and submit a Crime Scene Processing Report using the eTrack system.
    • 4.be responsible for:
      • a.the collection of any contaminated crime scene evidence markers at the crime scene.
      • b.ensuring that any contaminated crime scene evidence markers are submitted to the Forensics Services Division for decontamination and redistribution.
        NOTE:
        If a Forensic Services Division supervisor or Forensic Services Division personnel are unable to replace the contaminated markers on the scene, the contaminated markers will be returned to the unit that used them with instructions relative to making the exchange at the Forensic Services Division.
(Revised items are indicated by italics/double underline.)
Eddie T. Johnson
Superintendent of Police
18-067 VM
GLOSSARY TERMS:
1. -
  • 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.
2. -
  • 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.
3. -
  • A.(Crime Scene) A designated area within the outer perimeter of a crime scene where field members assigned to investigate and process the scene of a crime can confer and be briefed and debriefed by supervisory personnel.
  • B.(General Incident) A secure location where all responding units will report for briefing, assignment, and equipment. The manager, whose primary function is to provide intelligence and direction to the responding units, is designated by the Incident Commander.
  • C.(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.
4. -
  • 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.