Chicago Police DepartmentGeneral Order G04-04
Domestic Incidents
Issue Date:28 December 2012Effective Date:28 December 2012
Rescinds:30 July 1999 version; G99-07
Index Category:Preliminary Investigations
This directive:
  • A.defines Department policy regarding domestic violence.
  • B.provides general information and guidelines for assisting victims and witnesses of domestic violence.
  • C.establishes procedures for responding to bona fide domestic violence incidents and violations of orders of protection.
  • D.describes Department members' responsibilities in domestic violence incidents.
Department members will refer to the Special Order titled "Domestic Incidents" for procedures and responsibilities.
Domestic violence is a serious crime against the individual and society. The Chicago Police Department seeks to reduce the incidence and severity of domestic violence in our communities through a coordinated partnership involving law enforcement, domestic violence service providers, prosecutors and the community. Recognizing that domestic violence escalates in severity and frequency over time, the Chicago Police Department advocates early intervention for households at risk. Department members will treat domestic violence incidents in the same professional manner as all other requests for police service and will provide immediate, effective assistance and protection for victims and witnesses. Recognizing that the Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) seeks to protect victims of domestic violence, members will use all reasonable means to prevent further abuse, including the arrest of the offender when there is probable cause.
III.Initial Response
  • A.Whenever a Department member responds to a domestic incident, the responding member will immediately use all reasonable means to prevent further abuse, neglect or exploitation, including:
    • 1.restoring order by gaining control of the situation.
    • 2.identifying and securing any weapons or objects that can be used as weapons. (Information about the inventory of weapons will be included in the narrative of the case report.)
    • 3.determining if medical assistance is needed. If so, the member will call for an ambulance or arrange for transportation to a hospital for treatment. If the victim refuses treatment, the member will advise the victim of the importance of getting medical attention, even if at a later time.
  • B.If a Chicago Police Department member is involved in the domestic incident, the responding member will request that a member who is of higher rank than the Department member involved in the domestic incident be assigned from the district of occurrence as the investigating supervisor. If an exempt member is involved in the domestic incident, the field supervisor of the district of occurrence will be assigned to the scene. If circumstances warrant, the field supervisor may request that the appropriate ranking exempt member also be assigned to the scene.
IV.Preliminary Investigation
  • A.The Bureau of Patrol is responsible for conducting the preliminary investigation. Officers will conduct a thorough investigation, including:
    • 1.identifying and interviewing all involved parties separately. Officers should maintain visual contact with each other.
      When a victim or offender speaks a foreign language or is hearing or speech impaired, officers will request a foreign language or sign language/oral interpreter as outlined in the Department directives entitled "Limited English Proficiency" or "People with Disabilities."
    • 2.determining whether or not a valid order of protection exists. Officers will refer to the copy provided by the petitioner, check the Law Enforcement Agency Data Systems (LEADS), or request the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) to verify whether or not an order of protection is in effect.
    • 3.identifying the crime scene and determining whether there is any evidence present. If there is visible injury to the victim or physical evidence of the crime which requires processing, Department members will notify their supervisor and request an evidence technician, following the procedures outlined in the Department directive entitled "Crime Scene Protection and Processing."
      Department members will also advise victims about the importance of preserving any evidence that may be identified later.
  • B.The Illinois Domestic Violence Act (750 ILCS 60/301 and Department policy place specific responsibilities upon officers. Department members will:
    • 1.provide or arrange transportation to a medical facility or nearby place of shelter or safety for the victim and any dependents in the victim's care.
      Pursuant to 750 ILCS 60/304(a)(7), when a victim of abuse wants to leave the scene, it is presumed to be in the best interest of any minor child or the adult dependent in the victim's care to leave with the victim or remain with a person designated by the victim.
    • 2.accompany the victim of abuse inside the residence for a reasonable period of time to remove necessary belongings and possessions.
      Officers will maintain visual contact with the victim and the offender, if present, at all times.
    • 3.prepare the appropriate case report for any bona fide allegation of domestic violence. The report will:
      • a.establish all elements of the alleged crime and the probable cause for any arrest made.
      • b.identify the relationship of the victim and the offender in the appropriate fields of the report and establish in the narrative how the relationship was identified.
      • c.identify the victim, offender, witnesses, and the person who called the police.
        When a victim is residing at a shelter, the address will NOT be included in any report made. If the victim expresses concern about personal safety should the offender discover where the victim is residing, officers will NOT include the victim's address or phone number. Officers WILL ask for and enter an alternative phone number and address so the victim can be contacted by follow-up investigators. Should the victim refuse to give this information, officers will advise the victim to contact the appropriate Bureau of Detectives area if the victim wants further investigation of the incident.
      • d.document if medical attention was offered to the victim and whether or not the victim accepted medical attention.
      • e.document whether or not any transportation assistance was given to the victim (omitting the address).
      • f.document the victim's statements as to the frequency and severity of prior incidents of abuse, whether reported or not. If available, the RD numbers will be included in the appropriate fields of the report.
      • g.include the order of protection number and expiration date, if an order of protection is in effect.
      • h.describe the physical behavior and condition of the victim and offender, including any statements made by the victim, offender or witnesses.
      • i.describe any physical injury to the victim and/or offender.
      • j.document any other pertinent information, such as condition of the crime scene, presence of children, and any notifications made.
      • classified according to the hierarchy rule for Part I crimes. When two or more Part II crimes are alleged (no Part I crimes), Department members will classify the report according to the seriousness of the offense (not necessarily which crime occurred first), taking into consideration the following factors:
        • (1)extent of injury/bodily harm
        • (2)risk to children
        • (3)intent of the offender
        • (4)condition of home environment.
    • 4.give the victim a completed Domestic Incident Notice and explain its contents. Members will indicate in the appropriate section of the case report that the Domestic Incident Notice was given to the victim.
    • 5.inform the victim of the City of Chicago's toll-free confidential 24-hour  Domestic Violence Help Line and assist the victim in contacting the Help Line, if requested.
    • 6.when using a miscellaneous incident code from the Miscellaneous Incident Reporting Table (CPD-11.484) to clear from a domestic disturbance (domestic incident not involving domestic violence or other criminal acts, or not otherwise requiring the completion of a case report), use "1" as the incident number. Under no circumstances will officers clear from a domestic disturbance using "19" as the incident number.
V.Arrest Procedures
  • A.If there is probable cause to believe that a person has committed a crime of domestic violence, the preferred response of the officer is the arrest of the offender. Although the IDVA does not have a mandatory arrest provision, officers are required to use all reasonable means to prevent further abuse, exploitation or neglect, including arresting the offender when probable cause exists.
    • 1.The victim's refusal to sign a complaint, in and of itself, does not defeat probable cause to arrest.
      If the victim will not sign the complaint, members may sign the complaint when probable cause exists. Pursuant to 750 ILCS 60/305, an officer acting in good faith in enforcing the IDVA shall not be civilly liable, unless the act is a result of willful or wanton misconduct.
    • 2.Officers will NOT base their decision to arrest on whether they believe the case will be prosecuted.
    • 3.The petitioner cannot be arrested for a Violation of an Order of Protection; only the respondent can violate the order of protection.
    • 4.Department policy requires mandatory arrest for two offenses - Violation of an Order of Protection (720 ILCS 5/12-30) and Violation of Bail Bond (725 ILCS 5/110-10d). The responding officer will:
      • a.make an arrest when there is probable cause to believe that either of these two offenses have been committed, even if the victim does not want the offender arrested.
      • b.sign the complaint for a Violation of an Order of Protection if the petitioner will not sign the complaint.
        The petitioner CANNOT waive the order of protection. Only the judge can modify the order of protection provisions.
      • c.always be the complainant for a Violation of Bail Bond.
        When a person is charged with a criminal offense and the victim is a family or household member, the conditions of the defendant's release on bond mandate that the defendant will refrain from contact or communication with the victim and refrain from entering or remaining at the victim's residence for a minimum period of 72 hours following the defendant's release.
  • B.Officers should evaluate the circumstances to determine which party is the predominant aggressor, i.e., the offender, and take appropriate enforcement action as outlined in Item V-A.
    • 1.The predominant aggressor will be determined by the extent of injury, physical evidence, circumstances, prior history of domestic violence between the parties, and witness statements, if any.
      Mutual injury does not necessarily indicate mutual combat; a victim has a right to self-defense.
    • 2.Mutual arrest is discouraged. Officers should make every effort to identify the predominant aggressor.
    • 3.When the predominant aggressor, i.e., offender, can be identified, the offender will not be allowed to sign a cross-complaint against the victim. The offender will be advised to seek alternative legal remedies, such as obtaining a summons and/or warrant.
VI.Procedures for Non-Arrest Situations
  • A.For domestic incidents involving domestic violence in which an arrest is not made, the Department member will document the reason(s) in the narrative of the case report.
  • B.Whenever a Department member responds to a domestic incident involving domestic violence and the offender is not on the scene, in addition to the procedures outlined in Item III, the member will:
    • 1.request a description of the offender and conduct a search of the immediate area, if practical;
    • 2.obtain information from the victim(s) and/or witness(es) regarding where the offender may be located;
    • 3.include all relevant information in the narrative of the case report if the offender cannot be located; and
    • 4.inform the victim of the following:
      • to obtain a warrant and/or summons.
      • b.the availability of an order of protection and the victim's rights under the IDVA.
    • 5.provide the complainant with a completed Domestic Incident Notice following the procedures established in the General Order titled "Domestic Incident Notice."
(Items indicated by italic/double underline were added or revised)
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
97-018/12-003 MTB/JO/MLS (MLS) TRH
Domestic Violence Hot Line
TTY: 877-863-6339
Domestic Violence Court
555 W Harrison St., Chicago, IL
GPS Monitoring Device Vendor - G4S Monitoring Center
Domestic Violence Hot Line
TTY: 877-863-6339
Domestic Violence Hot Line
TTY: 877-863-6339
Domestic Violence Hot Line
TTY: 877-863-6339
1.G04-04-01 - Orders of Protection - Policy
2.G04-04-02 - Domestic Incident Notice