Chicago Police DepartmentGeneral Order G04-02
Crime Scene Protection and Processing
Issue Date:16 January 2015Effective Date:16 January 2015
Rescinds:06 November 2014 version
Index Category:Preliminary Investigations
I.Purpose
This directive continues:
  • A.the duties and responsibilities of Department members assigned to the protection and investigation of crime scenes.
  • B.the concept of forming inner perimeters, outer perimeters, and staging areas at crime scenes.
  • C.the use of red barrier tape for creating inner perimeters.
  • D.the use of the Crime Scene Weapon Recovery Kit.
  • E.the use of crime scene evidence markers.
Department members will refer to the Special Order titled "Crime Scene Protection and Processing" for the procedures and responsibilities related to crime scene protection and processing
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:
    • 1.item of evidence touched, or
    • 2.firearm.
      NOTE:
      Each item of evidence or firearm that have been touched prior to the processing of the scene will be inventoried by the recovering Department member following the procedures outlined in Item III-F of this directive. Each firearm will be placed in a fresh Firearms Evidence Envelope.
      EXCEPTION:
      Recovered Firearms that require fingerprint or DNA processing will not be touched, handled, or removed by any members on the scene other than Forensic Services Division personnel. If exigent circumstances requiring immediate removal of the firearm exist, the recovering officer will handle and secure the firearm in a manner that minimizes the risk of spoiling or degrading the evidence, then give the firearm to Forensic Services Division personnel. The exigent circumstance requiring immediate removal will be documented in the appropriate case report.
  • 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.
    • 5.if the member is not the assigned preliminary investigator, detail the circumstances in a Supplementary Report.
  • G.Rubber gloves and Firearms Evidence Envelopes 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.
    NOTE:
    Additional Crime Scene Weapon Recovery Kits may be carried by any member of the Department.
  • H.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.
  • I.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, 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.
  • J.The Forensic Services Division will assign personnel to all crime scenes involving any homicide, suicide, aggravated battery likely to cause 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.
(Revised items are indicated by italics/double underline.)
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
14-070 PJE