Chicago Police DepartmentUniform and Property U02-02
Observation Van
Issue Date:14 April 2011Effective Date:14 April 2011
Rescinds:S11-06
Index Category:Department Vehicles
I.PURPOSE
This directive:
  • A.continues the use of the Observation Van (OV) and provides certain definitions relative to its use.
  • B.provides procedures, duties, and responsibilities for deploying the OV and the storage and inventory of video images captured by the OV.
  • C.continues the:
    • 1.Observation Van Deployment/Video Retrieval Request form (CPD-21.958).
    • 2.Observation Van Worksheet Log (CPD-21.959).
II.GENERAL INFORMATION
  • A.The Observation Van is a specially modified vehicle, operated and managed by the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), Public Safety Information Technology (PSIT), that can operate in all weather conditions to provide live video and recording capabilities, enabling Department members to view multiple feeds from:
    • 1.a mast camera that is connected to the OV’s mast mount. This camera can be used in all weather and lighting conditions and has the ability to be controlled from inside the OV with 360 degree pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities.
    • 2.remote satellite cameras that have the same functionality as the mast camera and can be mounted within a half-mile distance of the OV.
  • B.All images recorded by the OV cameras are stored on individual digital video recorders (DVRs) connected to each camera. In the absence of a written request to save and inventory video images, all recordings from the DVRs, at the discretion of the Managing Deputy Director, Public Safety Information Technology (PSIT), may be deleted after 60 days.
  • C.The Observation Van has no audio recording capabilities.
  • D.All requests to deploy the OV, regardless of being granted or denied, will proceed through the chain of command and be forwarded to the Managing Deputy Director, PSIT.
III.PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING THE DEPLOYMENT OF THE OV
  • A.Deployment of the OV During Major Critical Incidents
    • 1.A unit commanding officer requesting the deployment of the OV during a major critical incident will request verbal approval from the appropriate Bureau of Patrol area deputy chief.
    • 2.If approved, the appropriate Bureau of Patrol area deputy chief will immediately contact the Managing Deputy Director, PSIT, for van deployment.
    • 3.All verbal requests approved by the appropriate area deputy chief must be followed by the completion of the Observation Van Deployment/Video Retrieval Request form which is to be forwarded within 24 hours of the incident consistent with the procedures set forth in this directive.
  • B.Concurrent Deployment with Command Van
    • 1.If the Command Van is deployed to a critical incident consistent with Bureau of Patrol procedures, and with the approval of the appropriate area deputy chief, the OV will be deployed to the same incident.
    • 2.The Operations Command Unit will notify the Managing Deputy Director, PSIT, who will deploy the Observation Van consistent with the procedures set forth in this directive, ensuring that the Observation Van Deployment/Video Retrieval Request form is completed.
  • C.If the Office of Legal Affairs, the Bureau of Professional Standards, or the Internal Affairs Division requests filming of a preplanned event, the Superintendent’s approval is required.
IV.OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES
  • A.By agreement, the Managing Deputy Director, PSIT, will:
    • 1.ensure that qualified personnel are trained to operate and deploy the OV.
    • 2.be responsible for coordinating pre-event site surveys.
    • 3.ensure the integrity of all recorded images.
    • 4.review requests to hold and authorize video images to be copied after receiving a request.
    • 5.maintain all completed Observation Van Deployment/Video Retrieval Request forms according to Department records-retention requirements.
  • B.By agreement, personnel assigned to PSIT will:
    • 1.complete the Observation Van Worksheet Log and submit for approval to the Managing Deputy Director, Public Safety Information Technology.
    • 2.when downloading images onto a recordable (e.g., CD or DVD) format and an RD number has been obtained, complete and submit a Supplementary Report (CPD-11.411-A) and include the following information in the report:
      • a.the names of the officers who were operating the controls in the OV.
      • b.the name of the officer that downloaded the images and the date and time the download was completed.
      • c.a brief description of the images being recorded.
    • 3.inventory one copy of the recording and retain one copy at PSIT.
    • 4.if there is no RD number attached to the event, record the above information on a To-From-Subject report and forward it through the chain of command to the Managing Deputy Director, PSIT.
  • C.The General Counsel to the Superintendent will review each written request for the OV and determine if the request for the OV could potentially fall into the parameters of a First Amendment investigation consistent with the Department directive entitled “The First Amendment and Police Actions.”
V.VIDEO RETRIEVAL REQUEST PROCESS
  • A.Requests for the retrieval of video images will be initiated by a command staff member, who will complete an Observation Van Deployment/Video Retrieval Request form and forward it through their chain of command to the Managing Deputy Director, PSIT. A copy of the request will be forwarded to the General Counsel to the Superintendent.
  • B.The Managing Deputy Director, PSIT, will complete and distribute appropriately all approved requests.
Terry G. Hillard
Interim Superintendent of Police
10-175 mwk