Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S06-15
Processing and Transportation of Deceased Persons
Issue Date:26 March 2018Effective Date:26 March 2018
Rescinds:29 February 2012 version
Index Category:Processing Persons
I.Purpose
This directive:
  • A.establishes the responsibilities and procedures for the processing and transportation of deceased persons.
  • B.continues the use of the Deceased Remains Transportation Report (CPD-11.512).
II.General Information
  • A.A private transport contractor will transport deceased remains, along with personal effects and other items found upon the deceased, to the  Office of the Cook County Medical Examiner (ME) .
  • B.Under certain circumstances and with supervisory approval, Department members will transport deceased human remains, personal effects, and other items found upon the deceased to the Office of the Cook County Medical Examiner. Members will refer to the Department directives entitled "Squadrol Operating Procedures" and "Payroll and Timekeeping - Overtime/Compensatory Time/Working Out of Grade" for specific procedures and responsibilities.
  • C.Currently, deceased remains transports for the City of Chicago metropolitan area will be performed by Allied Services Group, Inc.
III.Entering Premises of Deceased Persons
  • A.Any member, when entering the room, apartment, or home of a deceased person will be accompanied by a supervisor, impartial witness, or a relative of the deceased unless:
    • 1.the person may be alive and in need of medical aid,
    • 2.a perpetrator may be on the premises, or
    • 3.an immediate entry may serve a reasonable cause.
  • B.The investigating member will record the name(s) of the accompanying person(s) in the narrative of the case report. If entry was made before a supervisor, impartial witness, or a relative of the deceased arrived on the scene, the circumstances will be documented in the narrative portion of the case report.
IV.Pronouncing the Deceased
  • A.The investigating member will ensure that deceased remains are pronounced.
  • B.Deceased remains may be pronounced at the scene by:
    • 1.a personal attending physician willing to sign the death certificate,
    • 2.an authorized representative from the Office of the Medical Examiner, or
    • 3.Chicago Fire Department (CFD) paramedics in consultation with, and under the authority of, a hospital emergency department physician resulting in the issuance of a telemetry number. The investigating member will record within the narrative portion of the case report:
      • a.the names of the:
        • (1)physician or physician-supervised nurse,
        • (2)hospital, and
        • (3)CFD paramedics.
      • b.the telemetry communications number obtained from the CFD paramedics.
  • C.If the body is not pronounced at the scene, when contacting the ME's office, the investigating member will consult with the ME representative and describe the state of the deceased in as much detail as possible.
    • 1.If authorized by the ME representative, the deceased will be transported directly to the ME's office for pronouncement.
    • 2.If transportation directly to the ME's office for pronouncement is not authorized, the deceased remains will be transported to the nearest approved medical facility for pronouncement prior to transport to the ME's office.
V.Medical Examiner Cases
  • A.No human body that is subject to investigation as an ME's case will be handled, moved, disturbed, embalmed, undressed, or removed from the place of death without permission of the ME's office unless it is necessary to protect life, safety, health, or to preserve the body from destruction.
    NOTE:
    If removal of a body necessitates cutting the power to a CTA rail line, supervisors will determine if it is appropriate to move the body and restore power to the rail line to prevent a public safety hazard, such as self-evacuation of the trains, from occurring. For example, an on-scene supervisor may authorize the removal of the body of an apparent suicide victim so that the trains can continue to the platforms to initiate the evacuation.
  • B.All ME cases must be reported immediately by the investigating member to the Office of the Medical Examiner. The investigating member will follow all instructions received from the ME's office and include the name of the person contacted on the appropriate case report. Upon notification, the ME or their designated representative may respond to the scene and take charge of the deceased remains. If there is any indication that the death occurred as a result of criminal, accidental, or suicidal causes, the investigating member will:
    • 1.protect the scene as outlined in the Department directive entitled "Crime Scene Protection and Processing."
    • 2.request a supervisor, detectives from the appropriate Bureau of Detectives area, and the appropriate Forensic Services Division personnel.
  • C.The investigating member will provide the ME's office with the following information pertaining to the decedent, if known:
    • 1.name, age, sex, and race,
    • 2.address,
    • 3.marital status,
    • 4.date and time of death,
    • 5.apparent cause of death,
    • 6.location of death,
    • 7.by whom pronounced,
    • 8.person discovering the death, and
    • 9.current location of the body (if different from location of death).
      NOTE:
      Information that is not known at the time of the notification to the ME's office but is later ascertained will be included in the appropriate case report and also reported to the ME's office.
  • D.The deceased remains will be transported to the Office of the Cook County Medical Examiner.
    NOTE:
    When a death occurs in a hospital and is ruled an ME's case, the deceased remains will be transported to the Office of the Cook County Medical Examiner, if:
    • 1.the hospital is located within the City of Chicago, or
    • 2.the decedent was originally transported by Chicago police or fire department personnel to the hospital.
  • E.All personal effects and other items found upon the deceased remains will stay with the body and be transported to the MEs office.
    • 1.Prior to transportation, the investigating member will list, as completely as possible, any clothing, personal property, money, papers, or other items found upon the deceased remains in the appropriate section of the Deceased Remains Transportation Report. The ME's representative will sign the ME's office section of the report indicating receipt of the items.
    • 2.ME personnel are responsible for the removal of all items from the deceased remains. These items will be processed according to established ME procedures. Items having evidentiary value may be requested from the ME's office by either Forensic Services Division or Bureau of Detectives personnel. The requesting Department member will sign the ME receipt indicating possession of the requested items. The requesting Department member will inventory all items consistent with Department directives and indicate that the items are ME property.
  • F.When the premises of the deceased must be secured pending further investigation, a seal provided by the ME's office and available at district desks will be used. A vehicle that was under the immediate control of the deceased will be towed consistent with current Department directives. ME's representatives will be allowed access to the vehicle.
  • G.Items found in close proximity to the deceased remains having evidentiary value or items that require safekeeping will be inventoried and processed consistent with existing Department directives.
  • H.If a decedent cannot be identified, the investigating member will:
    • 1.notify the Missing Persons Section, Youth Investigations Division;
    • 2.ensure an Administrative Message Center (AMC) message is transmitted to all units. A complete physical and clothing description of the deceased will be included along with the location where the body was recovered; and
    • 3.include the AMC message number in the narrative portion of the case report.
  • I.When a death occurs in a hospital and the decedent's family members are present, Department members may allow viewing of the decedent to be arranged through the hospital staff when it is operationally feasible and under the following conditions:
    • 1.there are no safety concerns,
    • 2.the hospital has a viewing room with a window that separates the decedent from the persons viewing or the decedent is placed in a fluid impermeable body bag or wrap that completely covers the body and leaving only the decedent's face visible,
    • 3.the family members are instructed not to touch the decedent,
    • 4.the viewing is done with no more than two family members at one time, and
    • 5.a sufficient amount of police personnel and hospital staff are present to ensure the decedent and the decedent's property remain secure.
    NOTE:
    Transportation of the decedent will not be delayed for viewing by family members at the hospital.
VI.Public Administrator Cases
  • A.When a death is classified as a PA case, the subjects premises will be sealed with an ME's seal. Department members signing for the ME's seal(s) will:
    • 1.indicate that the seal(s)is being used for a PA case, and
    • 2.include the seal number(s)in the narrative portion of the case report.
  • B.The investigating member will notify the PA:
    • 1.Monday through Friday between the hours of 0900 to 1700. The name of the person receiving the notification will be listed in the narrative of the case report.
    • 2.by telephone recording device at all other times. Department members will follow the prerecorded instructions.
  • C.The investigating member will provide the PA's office with the following information:
    • 1.name and address of the deceased,
    • 2.date and place of death,
    • 3.by whom pronounced,
    • 4.location of city auto pound holding the decedents vehicle (when applicable),
    • 5.number of the Medical Examiner seal(s) used to secure the premise, and
    • 6.name, rank, and star number of the reporting officer.
  • D.The deceased remains will be transported to the Office of the Cook County Medical Examiner.
  • E.If the death occurred in the decedents vehicle, the vehicle will be towed according to current Department directives and a notation made in the narrative of the Vehicle Tow Report (CPD-11.413) that the vehicle is to be held for the PA's investigator.
VII.Transportation of Deceased Remains
  • A.Department Member Responsibilities
    • 1.After the scene and all evidence has been processed by Department personnel and the Cook County Medical Examiner has approved removal, the investigating member will:
      • a.complete all non-shaded sections of a separate Deceased Remains Transportation Report for each deceased remains being transported and list all personal items and medications found upon or transported with the deceased remains, utilizing the reverse side of the form, if necessary.
        NOTE:
        Department members will indicate on the report, by checking the appropriate box, if any medication, clothing, or personal items are to be held for forensic investigation.
      • b.notify the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) zone dispatcher that the member is switching radio frequency to Citywide 2 to request a deceased remains transport and:
        • (1)switch to Citywide 2 and notify that dispatcher of the request, providing the dispatcher all necessary information.
        • (2)upon completion, immediately return to the appropriate zone frequency and inform the zone dispatcher the request has been completed.
      • c.immediately record on the Deceased Remains Transportation Report the exact time the OEMC dispatcher indicates that the transport contractor was notified.
      • d.secure and wait at the scene until the arrival of the transport contractor or for further direction by their immediate supervisor.
    • 2.When the transport contractor employees arrive on the scene and after the scene and evidence has been processed by Department personnel:
      • a.document the time of the arrival of the transport contractor on the Deceased Remains Transportation Report and notify OEMC of the contractor's arrival.
      • b.escort the transport contractor employees to the location of the deceased remains.
        NOTE:
        The investigating member will accompany the transport contractor employees the entire time they are at the scene of the deceased's removal.
      • c.observe the transport contractor employees:
        • (1)load the deceased remains, and, if necessary, any property to be included with the remains, into a transportation bag.
          NOTE:
          Department members, in conjunction with the transport contractor employees, will ensure all property to be transported with the remains is accounted for and recorded on the Deceased Remains Transportation Report.
        • (2)seal the transportation bag with a numbered bag seal at the scene of the removal, except when a transport is required to an approved medical facility for pronouncement.
        • (3)place and secure the transportation bag in the transport vehicle.
    • 3.Department members will provide for the safety of the transport contractor employees while at the scene and, if deemed necessary by the member's supervisor, enroute to the Office of the Cook County Medical Examiner.
    • 4.If the deceased is not pronounced at the scene of the incident or not authorized for removal directly to the ME's office for pronouncement, Department members will:
      • a.escort the deceased remains and any corresponding property, transported by the transport contractor employees, to an approved medical facility consistent with the Department directive entitled "Approved Medical Facilities" for pronouncement.
      • b.after pronouncement of the deceased, observe the transport contractor employees seal the transportation bag with a numbered bag seal at the location of the pronouncement.
      • c.record the bag seal and pronouncement information in the appropriate sections of the Deceased Remains Transportation Report and obtain the transport contractor employee's signature, indicating receipt of the remains and all items being transported.
      • d.attach the Case Report Copy of the Deceased Remains Transportation Report to the appropriate completed case report.
      • e.give the remaining copies of the Deceased Remains Transportation Report to the transport contractor employees.
      • f.send, via facsimile, a copy of the appropriate case report to the Office of the Cook County Medical Examiner.
    • 5.If the deceased is pronounced at the scene of the incident or authorized for removal directly to the ME's office for pronouncement, Department members will:
      • a.record the transport contractor bag seal and pronouncement information in the appropriate sections of the Deceased Remains Transportation Report and obtain the transport contractor employee's signature, indicating receipt of the remains and all items being transported.
      • b.attach the Case Report Copy of the Deceased Remains Transportation Report to the appropriate completed case report.
      • c.give the remaining copies of the Deceased Remains Transportation Report to the transport contractor employee.
      • d.send, via facsimile, a copy of the case report to the Office of the Cook County Medical Examiner.
    • 6.If the transport contractor does not arrive on the scene within 75 minutes of the investigating member notifying OEMC, the assigned Department member will notify:
      • a.their immediate supervisor.
      • b.the OEMC dispatcher responsible for notification to the transport contractor.
    • 7.When notified of a deficiency of the transport contractor, (e.g., failing to respond to the scene, the timeliness of the response, inability to perform a transport) or an incident involving extenuating circumstances, the assigned Department member's immediate field supervisor will:
      • a.notify the watch operations lieutenant concerning the transportation of the deceased remains.
      • b.respond to the scene, if applicable.
      • c.direct the appropriate actions as to the transportation of the deceased remains consistent with existing Department procedures.
    • 8.If required to transport deceased remains, Department members will:
      • a.ensure the completion of all sections of the Deceased Remains Transportation Report for each deceased remains being transported, indicating DNA in all sections requiring transport contractor information.
      • b.refer to the Department directives entitled "Squadrol Operating Procedures" and "Payroll and Timekeeping - Overtime/Compensatory Time/Working Out of Grade" for specific procedures and responsibilities.
      • c.indicate on the case report and the corresponding Deceased Remains Transportation Report the reason for the Department transport and ensure a copy of the case report is attached to the corresponding out of grade authorization slip.
  • B.OEMC Dispatcher Responsibilities
    • 1.When notified by the investigating member of the need for the transport of deceased remains, the OEMC dispatcher will:
      • a.notify the transport contractor’s dispatcher of the need for a transport.
      • b.supply the transport contractor’s dispatcher with the following information:
        • (1)the number of transports required,
        • (2)the location, description, and any unusual circumstances of the deceased
          remains.
        • (3)whether or not a transport is required to an approved medical facility for
          pronouncement of the deceased, and
        • (4)the investigating member’s unit/beat number.
      • c.notify the investigating member’s immediate supervisor if:
        • (1)the transport contractor cannot be contacted, or
        • (2)the transport contractor cannot respond to the scene of the removal.
    • 2.When notified that the transport contractor did not arrive on the scene within 75 minutes of the investigating member notifying OEMC, the OEMC dispatcher will notify:
      • a.the transport contractor to determine the reason for the delay and their estimated arrival time.
      • b.the assigned Department members immediate supervisor as to the information obtained about the location and estimated arrival time of the transport contractor.
  • C.Transport Contractor Responsibilities
    When notified of the need for a transport, the transport contractor will:
    • 1.arrive at the scene within 75 minutes of the request made by the OEMC dispatcher.
    • 2.report to the assigned Department member at the scene.
    • 3.load the deceased remains into a transportation bag and account for all of the property listed on the Deceased Remains Transportation Report.
    • 4.secure the bag containing the remains with a numbered bag seal, either at the scene of removal or location of pronouncement, as appropriate.
    • 5.load and secure the deceased remains into the transporting vehicle under the supervision of the assigned Department member.
    • 6.immediately transport the deceased remains to the Office of the Cook County Medical Examiner unless directed by the assigned Department member to go to an approved medical facility for pronouncement.
    • 7.conform to all of the procedures established by the Cook County Medical Examiner when arriving at the facility.
    • 8.complete the remaining shaded sections of the Deceased Remains Transportation Report, and:
      • a.retain the "Transport Contractor Copy" of the report.
      • b.give the "Cook County Medical Examiner Copy" of the report to the receiving representative of the Office of the Cook County Medical Examiner.
      • c.forward the "Police Department Copy" of the report, attached to the corresponding invoice of the transport, to the Director, Finance Division, Unit 122.
VIII.Other than Medical Examiner or Public Administrator Cases
  • A.The investigating member will:
    • 1.notify the ME's office after deceased remains have been pronounced. The investigating member will provide the requested information to the ME's representative and prepare a Hospitalization Case Report (CPD-11.406).
    • 2.request the relative or guardian to contact an undertaker of their choice and arrange to have the deceased remains removed to a mortuary. Under normal conditions, when the deceased remains are in a location other than a public place, the investigating member may wait a reasonable period of time for a relative or guardian to respond to the scene. In the event a relative or guardian fails to arrive, the investigating member will re-contact the ME and request permission to have the deceased remains transported to the ME's office.
    • 3.request that a supervisor respond to the scene when the relative and/or guardian is unable to arrange removal.
  • B.When requested, the supervisor will respond to the scene and confer with the decedents relative or guardian advising them of the resources available that could assist in arranging removal (e.g., contact another relative, clergyman, friend of the family). The supervisor will normally remain at the scene until an undertaker has been contacted to remove the deceased remains.
    NOTE:
    Department members will not recommend a specific professional or commercial service to the relative or guardian nor will they advise any person engaged in such a service that a family requires their assistance.
IX.Death Notifications
  • A.When a relative or guardian cannot be notified of a death, the investigating member will provide all information, to the appropriate Bureau of Detectives area. The name, rank, and star number of the person contacted will be included in the report.
  • B.The Bureau of Detectives supervisor receiving the notification will assign a detective to make a personal visit and notify the relative or guardian of the deceased. The assigned detective will remain cognizant of the feelings of the relative contacted.
  • C.If the relative or guardian is residing permanently or temporarily outside the City of Chicago and their whereabouts are known, the Bureau of Detectives supervisor will instruct the Records Division to notify the appropriate police department to make the notification.
    NOTE:
    When advisable to delay making a death notification for investigative or security reasons, notification will not be made without the approval of the designated supervisor of the appropriate Bureau of Detectives area.
  • D.Upon receiving a request from an outside police agency to make a death notification, the Records Division will transmit the request to the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
    • 1.OEMC will contact the appropriate Bureau of Detectives area, who will assign a detective to make the notification. The assigned detective will:
      • a.attempt to notify the relative or guardian of the deceased.
      • b.inform the OEMC administrative desk that the notification was or was not made.
    • 2.When informed by the detective that the notification was or was not made, OEMC will instruct the Records Division to relay the information to the outside police agency.
  • E.Department members receiving a request to convey a death notification originating outside City limits from a non-police entity will instruct the requestor to contact the local police agency and request a formal notification sent to this Department.
(Items indicated by italics/double underline were added or revised)
Authenticated by: KC
Eddie T. Johnson
Superintendent of Police
T17-138 RCL
PHONE BOOK:
1.
Cook County Medical Examiner
2121 W. Harrison St., Chicago, IL
Fax: 312-997-4400