Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S04-26-06
Fire Hydrants
Issue Date:07 August 2001Effective Date:08 August 2001
Rescinds:S01-05
Index Category:Preliminary Investigations
I.Purpose
This directive:
  • A.identifies the sections of the Municipal Code of Chicago that prohibit the unauthorized opening, damaging, or obstructing of fire hydrants.
  • B.details enforcement procedures when Department members observe violations of fire hydrant-related offenses.
II.Municipal Ordinances
  • A.Section 11-12-070 of the Municipal Code of Chicago prohibits the opening of or taking of water from any fire hydrant without the permission of the Commissioner of Water, except for city employees acting in the performance of their duties. If a permit has been issued, the use of water must correspond to the conditions listed in the permit.
  • B.Section 11-12-080 of the Municipal Code of Chicago prohibits:
    • 1.willfully or carelessly damaging a fire hydrant;
    • 2.obstructing a fire hydrant;
    • 3.placing any material in front of or within five feet of a fire hydrant.
III.General Information
  • A.Illegally opening a fire hydrant can cause a serious reduction in water pressure which impedes fire-fighting and adversely affects public water service. Department members are urged to educate the public regarding the hazards created by open fire hydrants.
  • B.Water Distribution System personnel have affixed adhesive warning decals to each fire hydrant informing citizens of the penalty for tampering with or opening fire hydrants. In neighborhoods experiencing a high incidence of unauthorized hydrant openings, hydrant shields with custodian caps have been installed on fire hydrants to reduce unauthorized openings.
  • C.Hydrants equipped with hydrant shields require a custodian hydrant wrench to be opened. This wrench will be issued only to on-duty Water Distribution System employees or members of the Chicago Fire Department. All other possession or use of a custodian hydrant wrench will be construed as theft of lost or mislaid property. A photo reproduction of this wrench is included as an Attachment to this directive.
  • D.Violations of either city ordinance cited in Item II of this directive can be cited on an Administrative Notice of Violation (ANOV), in accordance with the Department directive entitled "Municipal Administrative Hearings."
IV.Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) Procedures
  • A.For reports of open fire hydrants without unusual circumstances, OEMC personnel will forward such notifications to 311, the non-emergency City Service Request number.
  • B.For reports of disturbances or criminal activity at the scene of an open fire hydrant or for requests for police assistance from Water Distribution System employees who are closing open hydrants, OEMC personnel will create an event with the relevant information and forward it to the appropriate radio zone for dispatch.
V.Field Personnel Procedures
  • A.Department members will notify OEMC via the radio or Portable Data Terminal (PDT) when they encounter open fire hydrants.
  • B.Department members will pay special attention to Water Distribution System personnel closing open fire hydrants. Any person who commits an assault or attempts to intimidate Water Distribution System personnel will be arrested and charged accordingly.
  • C.Field personnel will enforce provisions of both the Municipal Code of Chicago and the Illinois Compiled Statutes as they pertain to fire hydrant-related offenses.
    • 1.When appropriate, a Department member will issue an ANOV for a violation of Municipal Code of Chicago section 11-12-070 or 11-12-080. The member will:
      • a.name check the violator and complete the ANOV as required, ensuring to insert the appropriate names in the Respondents Name and Person Served boxes. Members will list themselves as complainants. A representative of the Water Distribution System will appear at the administrative hearing on the scheduled date.
        NOTE:
        Department members are reminded that a violator less than seventeen years of age will not be issued an ANOV, in accordance with the procedures established in the Department directive entitled "Municipal Administrative Hearings." These individuals will be processed in accordance with the Department directive entitled "Processing Juveniles and Minors Under Departmental Control."
      • b.confiscate and inventory any devices (wrenches, pipes, hammers, etc.) used by the person to open the fire hydrant, in accordance with the procedures established in the Department directive entitled "Inventory System for Property Taken into Custody." The inventory number will be listed on the ANOV, and the pink copy of the Property Inventory form (CPD-34.523) will be attached to the notice.
      • c.notify the  Water Distribution System at the Jardine Water Purification Plant . Notifications can be made twenty-four hours a day.
      • d.fax a copy of the ANOV to the  Assistant Water Commissioner .
    • 2.A Department member who makes a physical arrest for a violation of Municipal Code of Chicago Section 11-12-070 or 11-12-080 will:
      • a.process the arrestee in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Department directive entitled "Processing Persons Under Department Control." The arresting officer will complete "Class C Misdemeanor / Ordinance Violation" complaints and sign as the complainant.
      • b.confiscate and inventory any devices (wrenches, pipes, hammers, etc.) used by the person to open the fire hydrant, in accordance with the procedures established in the Department directive entitled "Inventory System for Property Taken into Custody." The inventory number will be listed on the Arrest Report (CPD-11.420), and the pink copy of the Property Inventory form (CPD-34.523) will be forwarded with the Arrest Report.
      • c.notify the  Water Distribution System at the Jardine Water Purification Plant and record the name of the Water Distribution System employee who received the notification in the narrative of the Arrest Report. Notifications can be made twenty-four hours a day.
      • d.fax a copy of the Arrest Report to the  Assistant Water Commissioner .
    • 3.Department members who discover that a person has caused damage to a fire hydrant will arrest that individual for a violation of 720 ILCS 5/21-1.1, "Criminal Damage to Fire Fighting Apparatus, Hydrants or Equipment." The arrestee will be processed in accordance with the Department directive entitled "Processing Persons Under Department Control."
    • 4.Department members who discover persons other than on-duty Water Distribution System employees or members of the Chicago Fire Department in possession of a custodian hydrant wrench will arrest that individual for a violation of 720 ILCS 5/16-2, "Theft of Lost or Mislaid Property."
      • a.The arresting officer will notify the  Water Distribution System at the Jardine Water Purification Plant and will fax a copy of the Arrest Report to the  Assistant Water Commissioner .
      • b.If appropriate, violations of MCC ordinances relating to the unauthorized opening of fire hydrants will be incorporated in the Arrest Report and a Class C misdemeanor complaint will be completed for the city ordinance violation. The arresting officer will schedule the case to misdemeanor court in accordance with the established court scheduling procedures.
      • c.The custodian hydrant wrench will be confiscated and inventoried.
        NOTE:
        A recovered custodian hydrant wrench will be inventoried and released to a representative of the Water Distribution System in accordance with the established inventory procedures.
Weight 9 pounds
Length 22 inches
Terry G. Hillard
Superintendent of Police
00-094 LMT/CLD (PMD)
PHONE BOOK:
1.
Water Distribution System - Jardine Water Purification Plant
312-744-7001
2.
Assistant Water Commissioner
312-744-9631 (FAX)
3.
Water Distribution System - Jardine Water Purification Plant
312-744-7001
4.
Assistant Water Commissioner
312-744-9631 (FAX)
5.
Water Distribution System - Jardine Water Purification Plant
312-744-7001
6.
Assistant Water Commissioner
312-744-9631 (FAX)