10-100 Crime Scene Reporting

10-101 CRIME SCENE SUPERVISION (02/22/05) (05/13/05)


Crime scene processing will begin after incident stabilization of the scene. Incident command priorities of life safety, search and rescue, and security precede crime scene preservation and processing. (05/15/96)

Only the Watch Commander or on-scene investigative supervisor can relinquish a scene to another investigative agency.

After incident stabilization, the on-scene ranking investigative officer, or designee is in charge of a crime scene within the yellow tape. The on-scene ranking patrol supervisor or designee is in charge of the scene outside the yellow tape. Until an investigative officer arrives, the on-scene patrol supervisor will be responsible for the entire scene. The on-scene patrol supervisor is also in charge of the entire scene when the investigative supervisor leaves the scene. The on-scene supervisor will communicate to the patrol supervisor when they are relinquishing the scene.

Scene security shall remain in place until the Crime Lab personnel have finished processing the scene. Officers working security may only be released from an active scene on agreement between Crime Lab personnel and the on-scene supervisor.

The following log shall be used at all major crime scenes including Critical Incidents and Operation 100’s.

Crime Scene Entry Log:

The Crime Scene Entry Log (MP-9011) is available to MPD personnel on the MPD’s intranet page under "Forms." All uniformed officers shall have a supply of forms with them.

Immediately after a crime scene has been secured using yellow crime scene tape, it is the on-scene supervisor’s responsibility, or their designee’s to designate a point of entry and exit into the crime scene. All personnel shall enter and exit the crime scene at the designated point of entry.

The on-scene supervisor shall designate an officer to start and maintain the Crime Scene Entry Log. The officer responsible for the log shall be placed at the point of entry. The officer will record his/her name and badge number, case control number, location, date and time at the start of the log. The officer will then record the names, employee/badge number, date, time in, time out, and the reason for entering the scene of all officers or other personnel that enter the scene past the yellow tape. All personnel recorded on the log must make a CAPRS statement prior to the end of their shift.

The on-scene patrol supervisor, in consultation with the on-scene investigative supervisor, will designate and set up a staging area outside the yellow crime scene tape for media and other non-MPD staff.

Once all MPD personnel have cleared the scene, the designated officer in control of the log will property inventory the log under the incident case control number.

Red Crime Scene Tape:

Crime Lab Unit personnel will maintain rolls of red crime scene tape. The red tape will be placed around portion(s) of the scene that need to be processed by the Crime Lab Unit. Only Crime Lab Unit personnel and Car 710 will be allowed to cross the red tape. Red tape usage will be at the discretion of the Crime Lab Unit. Once the Crime Lab Unit is finished processing the scene, Crime Lab Unit personnel will remove the red tape.



When responding to a call of a child under the age of five, who is DOA or has become suddenly or unexpectedly ill or injured, protocol shall be:

  1. Officers shall notify Car 710 and a supervisor, who shall respond to the scene. (06/22/05)
  2. Officers shall gather information from the caretaker/parents as to the circumstances surrounding the illness or injury. If more than one parent/caretaker is present, officers should attempt to separate the individuals and gather the information while they are apart. If a parent/caretaker is not at the scene, officers shall attempt to contact them by phone as soon as possible. (06/22/05)
  3. Officers shall identify everyone at the scene, including full name, date of birth, address, phone number, etc.
  4. If possible, officers shall obtain Fire Department and EMS run numbers, employee names, and ambulance or station number for the offense report.
  5. Car 710 or the on-scene supervisor shall make the determination of whether Car 9 should be notified. (06/22/05)
  6. Car 710 or the on-scene supervisor may contact the Family Violence Unit for more direction or assistance if needed. (06/22/05)
  7. Car 710 or the on-scene supervisor shall make the determination whether the scene should be photographed by Crime Lab personnel. (06/22/05)
  8. After clearing the scene, officers shall immediately enter a CAPRS report entitled "DOA, HLTWEL, CHLDAB, or another appropriate CAPRS code."
  9. The on-scene supervisor shall determine which officers must make a supplement in the CAPRS report. (06/22/05)
  10. Officers shall always err on the side of protecting the child victim or siblings. If other children are in the home, officers must consider their safety and well being. These children may have to be placed on a Health and Welfare hold. Officers shall attempt to place the child(ren) in the care of a responsible relative or another responsible person if the legal parent/guardian agrees to the placement. (06/22/05)

For children five years of age or above, officers may also be called to the scene if paramedics determine that circumstances surrounding the injury or illness are suspicious.

It is important to remember that in these types of cases, things are not always as they appear. It is imperative that officers at the scene balance the need to protect the child’s and the parent’s rights. Officers shall not openly accuse the caretaker/parent of child abuse.

Officers shall limit their questioning of the child to just getting the basic facts of what occurred. The child may be interviewed at Corner House at a later date, and detailed questioning by police or others may impede the investigation. If possible, separate the child and other child witnesses from the parent if circumstances dictate. (06/22/05)

Notify Child Protection by phone at (612) 348-3552 or fax a copy of the report to (612) 348-9095. (06/22/05)



Preliminary investigations by a responding officer may be very restricted or may constitute the entire investigation of the crime. In a particular crime, the preliminary investigation may be limited by investigative policy, and in all cases it is limited by an officer's assignment workload. An officer should not continue a preliminary investigation to the point where the investigation will jeopardize other job responsibilities or duties.



Uniformed officers may conduct a follow-up investigation upon approval of their superior officer when there is a reasonable chance of apprehending the suspect, when there is a need for obtaining additional information for the preliminary investigative report, or when there are other compelling circumstances.



Uniformed officers, upon completion of their initial investigation, will conclude the Offense/Incident Report, if one is required, with one of the following comments:


This will be used if the decision is not to recommend further use of police investigative resources.


This will be used if the decision is to recommend further use of police investigative resources.

The recommendation will be expressed in all capital letters and will appear as the last entry in the body of the original Offense/Incident Report double spaced from the offense/incident narrative, if possible.



Uniformed officers, upon completion of their initial investigation, shall close by arrest or citation all Offense/Incident Reports when the following elements are present:

The narrative of the Offense/Incident Report must reflect investigative findings supporting the recommended disposition and also the following:


Officer John Doe, Badge #010101

4th Precinct, Squad 410

10-106 ASSISTANCE FROM CRIME LAB (03/14/03) (7/31/07)

The decision to summon Car 21 and/or other Crime Lab personnel to a crime scene shall be made by a supervisor, or lacking a supervisor, the senior officer at the scene. Officers will provide the Crime Lab with the information they require. Requests for assistance from the Crime Lab shall be made via dispatch. MECC shall notify Car 21 for all Critical Incidents and Homicides at the time Car 710 is notified. (12/14/07)

Scene security shall remain in place until the Crime Lab personnel have finished processing the scene. Officers working security may only be released from an active scene upon agreement between Crime Lab personnel and the on-scene supervisor.

Evidence identified at any crime scene which is not photographed or collected by the Investigator or Crime Lab personnel must be identified and documented in a supplemental report as to the reasons why the evidence was not collected or photographed at the scene.



On-duty investigators and the on-duty Watch Commander shall be notified immediately in the following situations:

When practical, requests for investigators and/or the on-duty Watch Commander shall be made by telephone. If the request is made by radio, an officer shall remain in contact with MECC until an investigator or the Watch Commander is contacted.

When uniformed officers are relieved at the scene by investigators, and based on staffing levels, the supervisor shall direct officers to complete all CAPRS reports.


The primary responsibility of an officer in any situation is to take all steps necessary to preserve life. Except when a person is obviously deceased, it shall be the responsibility of a physician or Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel to determine if death has occurred. EMS shall be requested at the scene of an apparent death unless a physician is present or there is not even a remote possibility that the person is alive. (07/17/01)


The first officer to arrive at a death scene shall notify his/her immediate supervisor. The supervisor shall notify MECC who will then notify Car 710. If a death is suspicious in nature, Car 710 shall make the decision on whether or not to call Car 21 to the scene. (12/14/07) (08/19/15)
If a suspicious death occurs while Car 710 is off duty, Car 9, the on-scene supervisor or MECC shall notify the Commander of the Violent Crimes Investigation Division. The Commander will make the decision on whether or not to call investigators or Car 21 to the scene. (08/19/15)
The supervisor shall also notify the on-duty Watch Commander by telephone, when possible. (12/14/07)
·         Request assistance in securing the scene.
·         Secure the area where the crime was committed and where the body was found. For an indoor scene, seal off all points of entry and exit. For an outdoor scene, use crime scene tape to immediately rope off the area, securing the largest area possible. Efforts should be made to protect evidence from the elements. Be aware of the possibility of multiple scenes.
·         Do not allow any unauthorized persons to enter or leave the scene. Identify any unauthorized persons attempting to enter the scene and relay this information to the on-scene investigator(s). No one shall be permitted to approach the scene until investigators arrive.
·         Do not allow anything to be touched or moved at the scene. Do not move a weapon unless it presents an immediate danger. Do not cover the body with anything or allow anyone else to cover the body. If possible, and without disturbing evidence, create a secure environment around the body so that it is not in plain view of the public until the arrival of Homicide or Crime Lab personnel. (12/14/07)
·         Homicide investigators or Crime Lab personnel shall be responsible for placing a barrier around the body. The decision of whether or not to cover a body shall only be made by Crime Lab personnel, Homicide investigators or the Commander of the Homicide Unit. (12/01/03) (11/03/06) (12/14/07) (08/19/15)
·         If covering the body is not possible, the Commander at the scene will use other methods that might be available, i.e., a vehicle, bus, etc. placed to obstruct viewing by the public. (12/01/03)
·         If the decision to cover a body has been made, the deceased will be covered with a sterile sheet provided by the Medical Examiner’s Office. Car 21 and all Homicide cars have a supply of pre-packaged sheets. The sheet will be property inventoried. (12/01/03) (08/19/15)
·         If anything is touched or moved, inform investigators and document it in the CAPRS report. Do not remove anything from the scene unless instructed by investigators. 
·         Identify and isolate all witnesses as soon as possible. Identify witnesses by name, date of birth, home address, telephone number, business address, business telephone and business hours. All witnesses will be transported to the Homicide Unit at the direction of the investigator(s) and/or Watch Commander. If a witness refuses to go to the Homicide Unit, inform the investigator(s) or Watch Commander.
·         Eliminate sightseeing at the scene, including police. Do not discuss the incident; direct all requests for information to the on-duty Watch Commander.
·         Upon arrival, investigators shall be in charge of the scene. The supervisor shall report to the investigator(s) in charge at the scene and shall provide assistance as needed. When released from the scene and based on staffing levels, the supervisor shall direct officers to complete all CAPRS reports. All police personnel present at the scene shall make a statement unless instructed otherwise by investigators.
The Arson Unit will respond to the scene of fire deaths in the City of Minneapolis and file reports related to the origin and cause of the fire. Follow-up investigations of the fire death shall be performed by the Homicide Unit. (06/10/13)
Photographs at homicide or suspicious death scenes shall only be taken by Crime Lab personnel or by persons authorized by the Homicide Unit investigators. (11/03/06) (12/14/07) (06/10/13) (08/19/15)
At non-suspicious death scenes officers may use department-issued digital cameras to take photographs when approved by a supervisor. Under normal circumstances Car 21 does not collect any type of evidence at a suicide scene; all evidence is collected by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office. (06/10/13) (08/19/15)
All photographs taken at death scenes are the property of the Minneapolis Police Department and shall be inventoried in the Property and Evidence Unit or retained in the Crime Lab. (06/10/13)



In the event of a homicide or suspicious death, an on-scene Homicide investigator shall notify the Medical Examiner’s office as soon as possible.

In all other deaths, officers shall notify the Medical Examiner’s office by telephone, even if a qualified physician is present. Personnel from the Medical Examiner’s office will determine whether they will investigate the scene or release the body to a funeral home.



Officers shall prevent anyone other than investigators or personnel from the Medical Examiner's Office from searching dead bodies. A witness, preferably a family member, shall be requested to remain at the scene and shall be identified in the Offense/Incident Report. Any personal effects taken from the deceased by anyone shall be documented in the report. Death weapons or other property of the deceased, when taken for evidence, shall be itemized and signed for by the officers when so requested by the Medical Examiner.



A dead body shall only be moved after the Medical Examiner's Office directs the removal. Dead bodies under the jurisdiction of the Medical Examiner will be removed by Medical Examiner personnel.



When officers are assigned a dead body call and there are no suspicious circumstances, the officers shall make an Offense/Incident Report titled "DOA" (Dead On Arrival). The report shall include all pertinent information regarding identification, probable cause of death, name of doctor and removal of the body.

If the identity of the body cannot be established after the medical examiner arrives, officers shall use "unknown" for the victim's name on the report. A complete description of the victim shall be included.

It is expected that officers will give reasonable aid and comfort to the family members present and ensure that they are able to make necessary arrangements. Services of an MPD Community Chaplain may be offered. (07/21/16)



It is the legal responsibility of the Medical Examiner's Office to make proper notification to relatives of the deceased. Officers may at times assume this responsibility when it might be helpful to the investigation. Officers shall inform the Medical Examiner of these special circumstances. (01/28/94)

10-115 PREDATORY OFFENDER REGISTRATION (08/21/00) (04/18/08)


Per Minnesota State Statute 243.166, offenders are required to register their address with local law enforcement within 5 days prior to changing addresses. This may be done between the hours of 0800 and 1600, Monday through Friday, at the MPD Sex Crimes Unit which is located in City Hall Room 124.

All registration data is PRIVATE DATA to be used for law enforcement purposes only.

Any questions may be directed to the Sex Crimes Unit at 673-3081.


(A-D) (04/18/08)

All convicted predatory offenders released from prison, and required to register with their local police department under MN State Statute 243.166s1, will be given a risk assessment by the Department of Corrections. The risk assessment levels and required notifications are as follows: (04/18/08)

Level I - Low risk of re-offense. The Department may notify other law enforcement agencies where the offender is likely to be encountered and shall notify any victims of or witnesses to the offense committed by the offender. Notification shall be made to victims who requested disclosure. No community notification required.

Level II - Moderate risk of re-offense. Notification as in Level I. Additionally, the fact sheet may be disclosed to the staff members of public and private educational institutions, daycare facilities and other establishments and organizations that primarily serve individuals likely to be victimized by the offender, based on the offender’s victim preference or pattern of offending.

Level III - High risk of re-offense. Notification as in Levels I and II. Community notification meetings shall be held per MN State Statute 244.052s4. Alternative notification methods may be used in certain circumstances.

If the offender is assessed at Level II or III, and is residing in a residential treatment facility for offenders, no disclosure shall be made to any person, agency, or organization other than those notified under Level I until the offender is released from the treatment facility.

Information on Registered Predatory Offenders can only be released to the public in the following circumstances: (04/18/08)

NO information can be released to the general public in regards to offenders who do not meet these criteria.

The Community Notification Coordinator shall distribute fact sheets of convicted predatory offenders to each precinct/command. Each precinct/command shall maintain a file of the predatory offender fact sheets.

Each precinct may also utilize the Intranet to collect the most up-to-date information about Level I, II and III predatory offenders. The data provided via the Intranet is strictly confidential and for MPD use only.

The precincts/command shall provide the public information of Level III offenders per MN State Statute 224.052s4 to individuals requesting information under the Community Notification Law. Intranet data shall be updated and maintained by the Community Notification Coordinator. The Community Notification Coordinator shall be responsible for the timely management and maintenance of a Level III Predatory Offender Information Website.



The On-Duty Watch Commander and a member of the Police Administration shall be notified by the Emergency Communications Center of all officer involved shootings. The On-Duty Watch Commander shall proceed to the scene of the shooting. Attendance at the scene by a member of the Police Administration shall be at the discretion of the Chief or one of the Bureau Heads. (02/27/89)

The ranking investigative officer present is in charge of the crime scene.

10-117 EVIDENCE PROCESSING (04/18/08) (05/03/13)

All evidence that is collected by MPD personnel shall be property inventoried per MPD Policy and Procedure Manual, Section 10-400 Property and Evidence, prior to submitting any requests for forensic analysis.

All evidence shall be processed by the MPD Crime Lab if the requested service is a discipline that the MPD Crime Lab is equipped and trained to provide. No evidence shall be taken to any outside agency for analysis without the prior written approval of the MPD Crime Lab Commander or his/her designee.

Evidence to be processed by the MPD Crime Lab shall be submitted to the MPD Crime Lab using the Investigator’s Request for Service Form (MP-9010). All work requests will be screened and logged by the Crime Lab Unit.

If investigators have evidence that the MPD Crime Lab does not have the capability to process (i.e. DNA, trace evidence, questioned documents), but can be processed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Forensic Laboratory, the requesting investigator shall bring the evidence to the BCA to be analyzed. (05/03/13)


Officers and investigators shall make a reasonable effort to collect pertinent surveillance video recordings while on-scene at a crime scene, if the video can be retrieved and downloaded immediately. Video evidence shall be property inventoried in accordance with Section 10-400, Property and Evidence.

In the event of a homicide or Critical Incident, Car 21 will collect surveillance video recordings, complete necessary Crime Lab work orders, and notify Crime Lab Unit (CLU) Forensic Video Analysis personnel of immediate video analysis needs. If immediate retrieval is not possible, the CLU Forensic Case Coordinator shall be responsible for completing the documentation and work orders necessary for later collection of video evidence from a specified location/scene by CLU personnel.

If an incident (other than a homicide or Critical Incident) just occurred and the immediate identification of additional evidence or leads is vital, video evidence can be brought directly to the Crime Lab Unit (CLU) and will be prioritized per CLU policy. If a Forensic Video Analyst is not available or if the equipment is in use and cannot be interrupted, the investigator will be advised so other options can evaluated and pursued as necessary.

Note: A recent homicide, Critical Incident or request from Police Administration will be given immediate priority by CLU Video Analysts and take precedence over any other case awaiting analysis by an investigator or attorney.

To obtain Forensic Video Analysis services, case investigators shall complete an "Investigator’s Request for Service" Form (MP-9010) and ensure the following information is provided:

  1. Case Control Number;
  2. Investigator contact information (name and phone numbers, including desk and cell);
  3. Location of surveillance video evidence (if applicable);
  4. Mark the "other" box and include comments describing what service is needed (i.e. copy of video, still photos printed, retrieval from specific address/location, immediacy, etc.) and
  5. A description of specific evidentiary information to identify on video (i.e. suspect including clothing, specific actions, time frame of incident, etc).

If it is determined that the processing/analysis services required are not available in the MPD Crime Lab, prior written approval for the use of outside services must be obtained from the CLU Director or his/her designee.

Forensic Video Analysts will contact investigators for further information as needed.


Only a qualified Forensic Video Analyst can make, and testify to, comparisons done using video. Case reports and supplements must not state that persons or suspects have been positively identified or preliminarily identified from surveillance media by anyone other than trained forensic video analysts. (05/24/13)

This does not preclude employees from developing a description of an individual (e.g. clothing appeared similar, suspect appeared similar to, etc.) based on video evidence and using that description as reasonable suspicion to stop and investigate an individual fitting that description. (05/24/13)






































Last updated Apr 6, 2019



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