7-100 Communications


The Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center (MECC) is the communications link between the Police Department and the public it serves. MECC coordinates the deployment of officers and department vehicles and is a source of information and assistance to officers in the field. MECC has the authority and responsibility to disseminate calls in a fashion that facilitates rapid delivery of service to the public. Prompt response to calls from the public is an objective of the Police Department.


It is the policy of the Minneapolis Police Department to respond to all calls for service within a minimum amount of time. To achieve this objective, the Police Department has provided the MECC with guidelines regarding time frames within which affirmative dispatching action is to be taken.

The general rule is to get a squad responding at the earliest possible moment. This rule means that if a nature code calls for it or common sense dictates it, the role of the dispatcher at MECC is to assign the call within the Priority Guidelines to at least one "Able" squad and then immediately do whatever is necessary to obtain the required additional squads to respond to the call. This includes pulling squads from other Precincts/Divisions, using supervisors, or calling on neighboring agencies to obtain the required second, third or additional squads. A dispatcher is not to "hold" a call that the Priority Guidelines say should be dispatched solely because of the unavailability of a second officer or second squad.

This policy places the responsibility for safe approach to a call entirely within the hands of the responding officer(s). Officers are required to make an assessment of the situation from a safe distance and then advise the dispatcher of the need for or lack of assistance.


Call code numbers are used by dispatchers and officers to indicate the seriousness of an incident and the procedures for response. The responsibility for determining the appropriate call code number rests with the responding officer based upon information communicated from the MECC or other personnel.

In order to establish common working definitions about the urgency of any situation and to facilitate the most efficient delivery of service to the public, the Police Department has provided the MECC with guidelines regarding time frames for dispatching calls. Police calls are identified by a nature code and each nature code is assigned to one of five possible priority categories. MECC call classification priorities are not the same as call code numbers.

7-103.01 TELE-SERVE (03/21/95)

The Tele-Serve Unit is open 16 hours per day, 7 days per week. Tele-Serve is available for walk-in reports from citizens and handles non-priority reports during the hours that City Hall is open to the public over the telephone.

Access to Tele-Serve is via the direct dial number, 673-3383, or through calls received by the Emergency Communications Center (ECC). Callers should leave a message with the voice mail system and an operator will get back to them as soon as possible. MPD personnel, in those circumstances where referral to Tele-Serve is appropriate, should advise callers to call the direct dial number, 673-3383. If a squad is sent on a report call, officers should take the report and not refer the caller to Tele-Serve. Report calls are screened, and there is a valid reason for dispatching a squad to take the report.

ECC staff does have the option to send a district squad to handle a report call if it meets any of the following criteria:

***If there has been a considerable delay in reporting the crime, some of the criteria may not apply and a squad may not be sent.



All vehicles using MPD radio channels will use the following prefixes which indicate their type of assignment:

When beginning a radio transmission, officers shall begin the transmission with their appropriate radio prefix (Squad 310, not just 310).

In all communications with the MECC dispatcher, one officer squads or cars will be designated as "Able," i.e., 321A.

If during the course of an apprehension or an investigation an officer separates from a partner, the driver of the vehicle will be "A(ble)," (320A). The passenger of the vehicle shall be "B(aker)," (320B). If no vehicle is being used, the officers shall decide beforehand who shall be designated as "A" and "B."

If during a shift, one officer assigned to a two-officer squad is away from duty, the remaining officer shall immediately report the squad's change in designation to MECC.

7-104.01 RADIO PREFIXES, FTO SQUADS (07/10/92)

Squads that have an FTO and Recruit/Cadet will be designated as an FTO Squad. (Example 320 FTO or 320A FTO.) This designation will appear in the computer and on the precinct line-up sheet, but standard radio call sign procedures will be used.

All FTO squads shall be considered an Able squad until the recruit has completed the first month of the FTO program. After the first month in the FTO program, an FTO squad shall be dispatched as a two-person squad. The FTO has the right to request that the FTO Sergeant designate the FTO car as an Able car beyond the first month of training, but the FTO Sergeant will determine the proper status.

The 10-day final evaluation of the Recruit/Cadet will be as an Able squad with the FTO in civilian attire. The FTO for the final evaluation will be the FTO that trained the Recruit/Cadet for the final month of training.

7-105 RADIO CALL NUMBERS (08/13/02)

Radio call numbers are developed by the Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center (MECC) with input from the MPD Equipment Specialist. Current listings of radio call numbers are maintained by MECC and the MPD Equipment Specialist.

For precincts, call numbers are designed to indicate the precinct, sector, and sequence within the sector. For example:



The dispatcher shall have the authority to assign calls to all available sworn personnel, including superior officers. Officers shall not argue with the dispatcher or refuse to take a call.

Situations may arise which require that an officer must decide whether to continue on an assigned call or handle a citizen's complaint, an observed event, or a higher priority call and cause the original call to be reassigned. Such determination should be based upon the comparative urgency and the risk to life and property of the assigned call and the intervening incident. When an officer is unable to respond to an assigned call for any reason, the officer shall promptly notify the dispatcher and provide the reason for the change in status.

When it is not possible for officers to handle a citizen's complaint or an observed event, they should, if circumstances permit, give directions for obtaining such assistance or initiate the necessary notifications themselves. When handling a call and subsequently receiving a higher priority call, officers shall advise the person of the reason for leaving and of the squad's intention of returning after the call.

Officers shall not pass on to the succeeding shift any assigned calls without the permission of the superior officer on duty. MECC is expected to and will dispatch calls up to the end of the shift.

7-107 ACKNOWLEDGING CALLS (08/13/02)


All officers assigned calls by the Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center (MECC) will immediately acknowledge receipt of the call via voice radio, as well as by pressing the "En route" key on the MDT/MDC. Any time a squad is responding to an event, the officers shall notify the dispatcher.

Officers shall announce their arrival at the scene by:

  1. Depressing the "Arrive" status key on their MDT/MDC; and
  2. Using the voice radio indicating their call number followed by the word "arrived."

Officers must clear from all calls or other assignments as soon as the call or assignment is complete. The methods described above shall also be used to clear from a call except that a disposition code shall also be provided when clearing on the MDT/MDC and clearing via voice radio.

Whenever possible, all aired status changes should be accomplished on a single radio transmission (Squad 320 is clear).



Officers working in the field (including when at lunch or any other break) are required to be in radio contact at all times. Officers handling an assigned call shall remain available for emergency or higher priority calls by maintaining radio communication via a portable radio.



The first officers to arrive at a crime scene or other incident that warrants the broadcasting of descriptive information shall conduct a brief interview with victims and/or witnesses. If sufficient information is obtained to justify a broadcast, and radio traffic permits, it shall be transmitted in the following manner:

1. The officer will notify the dispatcher that a description is available. The officer will also inform the dispatcher of the extent of dissemination of the broadcast (e.g. involved channel, citywide, regional broadcast, teletype, etc.) and will indicate arrest authority (au. probable cause, attempt to locate, etc.).

2. The dispatcher will notify all squads that a description will follow and will state the location and nature of the crime. Permission will then be given for broadcast.

3. The officer will broadcast the description in the following sequence:

  1. Type of crime
  2. Time of occurrence
  3. Location of occurrence
  4. Number of suspects
  5. Description of suspects
  6. Weapons involved
  7. Direction and method of flight
  8. Description of vehicle, if applicable
  9. Description of loss, if applicable



Additional squads will be dispatched when requested by an officer or when department policy dictates a back-up be sent automatically for an "Able" squad responding to certain types of incidents.

Officers requesting a back-up shall give their squad number, location and code priority. If the requesting officer or the on-scene superior officer determines that back-up squads are not needed, the back-up squad should be canceled.



When an emergency situation arises, officers shall notify the dispatcher by doing the following:

  1. Stating "Squad , EMERGENCY" or "Officer needs help."
  2. Give the location of the officer needing help.
  3. If time permits, give the reason for the emergency.

Whenever an emergency or "officer needs help" is announced, all other officers shall immediately clear the airway and keep the frequency clear until the dispatcher acknowledges the call. Responding vehicles should wait to give their numbers until it is obvious that the officer calling the emergency is finished giving information. When responding vehicles do give their numbers, they should be brief and then remain off the air until they arrive at the scene. Once aired, the emergency commands the channel until the dispatcher announces a Code 4 and normal radio traffic is resumed.



The police radio, MDT or MDC is for police business only. It is not to be used to conduct personal business or to transmit personal messages.

Squads will begin all radio communication using their assigned call numbers and radio prefix. Information checks shall be requested only on the channel designated for such purposes. In most instances, Channel 7 will be the designated channel. When requesting information from Channel 7 or the precinct base, officers should try to include the nature of service in the initial transmission ("Squad 320, REGISTRATION," wait for acknowledgment; then "Squad 320, David Adam Paul 543").

Officers shall use Channel 5 or any other designated channel for non-emergency squad-to-squad or squad-to-precinct radio communications.



MDT/MDC messages are public information and are subject to public disclosure. Any communication that may be considered "discriminatory, derogatory, biased, inappropriate or use of prohibited words" shall not be permitted on the radio or MDT/MDC at any time. Inappropriate language or remarks shall be immediately reported to a supervisor, precinct/unit/division commander or Bureau Head.

NOTE: As per the City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Police Department policy, remarks in regard to race, color, creed, age, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, affectional preference, disability, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, Vietnam era veteran status are prohibited.

The Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center (MECC) shall randomly retrieve MDT/MDC messages at least once a month for a 24-hour time period. The retrieved messages will be sorted by precinct/unit/division and forwarded to the respective commanders for review and action.

Commanders or their designee shall be responsible for reviewing messages for inappropriate content, i.e. language or remarks. Employees who are found to have transmitted inappropriate messages shall be subject to disciplinary action consistent with the MPD Complaint Process Manual. Any inappropriate communications identified shall be documented and maintained on a Message Review Action form (MP-8878). All Message Action Review forms shall be maintained in a precinct file for annual review by the Quality Assurance Unit.

MECC is responsible for retrieving event driven reports when requested by an investigator or MPD supervisor.



Except on the designated car-to-car channel, base unit radio transceivers located in divisions, precincts and units will not be allowed to communicate directly with their mobile or portable personnel or other base units without approval of the Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center. The base unit operator will contact the dispatcher by radio and request use of the air for the necessary transmission.



Contact with personnel assigned to carry electronic paging units will be accomplished in the following manner. During hours when the employee is normally working, contact the employee's assigned division and personnel there will make the contact. At all other times, contact the MECC and personnel there will contact the employee assigned to the paging unit. Contact with property crimes investigators shall be routed at all times through the appropriate precinct desk personnel.



All electronic communications, (telephone calls, radio transmissions, MDT traffic, computer networks, etc.) that are conducted using the facilities of the City of Minneapolis are subject to being recorded. Dissemination of communications records shall be conducted in accordance with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act. (04/01/93)

7-116          CELLULAR PHONES (06/25/90) (10/21/05) (07/25/13) (05/29/18)

I.             PURPOSE

The Minneapolis Police Department uses cellular phones in the course of police operations to enhance departmental communication. The purpose of this policy is to provide all MPD employees with guidelines for the proper use of cellular phones.


  Disruptive Activity: Any time that cell phone operations would be considered disruptive, such as in training sessions, court or public places where cell phone use would reasonably be deemed annoying and intrusive.

Distraction: Any time the use of a cell phone would unnecessarily or unreasonably divert the attention of an employee from official duties and/or cause a potentially hazardous situation.


A.    This policy is supplemental to the City of Minneapolis Cell Phone Policy.

B.     Cell phones issued to department employees by other agencies, jurisdictions, or entities shall be governed by the same policy and regulations as phones issued by the MPD.

C.    Evidence recorded on a cell phone shall be handled in accordance with P&P 10-423 Employee Cell Phones and Recording Devices Used to Capture Evidence.




A.    General Use of Cellular Phones


1.      Cell phones are intended to supplement to the MPD’s communication system, not substitute for radio communication designated for transmission through MECC. Calls for service shall be received, coordinated and dispatched through MECC and not via an employee’s personal or department issued cell phone.

2.      A cell phone shall not be used when it would unnecessarily or unreasonably divert the attention of an employee from official duties or cause a potentially hazardous situation.

3.      Engagement in multiple or extended cell phone conversations, text messaging or other use of cell phone devices unrelated to police business while on duty, or similar use that interferes with the performance of an employee’s job duties, is prohibited.

a.       While incidental usage of department-issued phones for non-city related business is allowed, such use should be kept to a minimum.

4.      Employees’ use of a cell phone while operating City or Department vehicles shall comply with the City’s Distracted Driving Policy. Cell phone use must be directly associated with a necessary, business-related function.

5.      Cell phones should not be used if they may be disruptive to others.

6.      The MPD is not responsible for loss or damage occurring to personal cell phones while employees are working on or off duty.

B.     Department-Issued Cell Phones


1.      Employees issued a cell phone by the MPD shall:

a.       Ensure the voicemail function is set up and able to accept messages.

b.      Ensure the phone is charged.

c.       Be responsible for proper care and appropriate use of the cell phone. This includes but is not limited to: reasonable minutes and data charges incurred, proper use of the department-issued protective case, and accountability for any accessories that the employee is issued associated with the cell phone.

d.      Keep the phone on and in an audible or vibration mode at all times while on duty except in those circumstances where it may be considered disruptive or a distraction.

e.       Keep the phone on their persons or close enough to their person to safely answer a call while on duty.

f.       Check for voicemail messages periodically while on duty, to ensure that any outstanding messages are returned in a timely manner.

g.      Respond to all calls related to city operations within a reasonable length of time.

h.      Use password protection on the phone at all times.

2.      Employees issued a cell phone by the MPD shall not:

a.       List the department issued cell phone as their primary phone number. Refer to 3-304 Telephone and Address Requirements.

b.      Use the issued phone for calls to directory assistance except when exigent circumstances dictate otherwise.

3.      Random audits of department-issued cell phones may be made at the MPD’s discretion.

4.      All data sent, delivered or accessed on a department-issued cell phone are subject to data practice laws and may be considered public data. This includes but is not limited to emails, text messages and telephone calls.

5.      The MPD will not be responsible for damage to or loss of a department-issued cell phone if:

a.       The cell phone is not housed in the department-issued protective case.

b.      If the damage or loss occurs as a result of negligence by the employee.




Whenever a significant event happens, the Initial On-Scene Supervisor (IOS), or his/her designee, or Watch Commander shall make notifications to the Chief and command staff. Notifications shall be made as quickly as possible once the scene is secured and life-saving measures have been rendered. Significant events/incidents include, but are not limited to, critical incidents, homicides, officer-involved shootings, in-custody deaths, natural or manmade disasters, acts of terrorism, or any other event that should be brought to the Chief's and command staff's immediate attention. The following personnel shall be notified of such events:

The IOS, or his/her designee, or Watch Commander shall direct MECC to send an "administrative notification" to the above-listed personnel. Notifications by MECC shall be made by e-text on the cellphones. The IOS shall provide the following content in the notification:

The notifications will be made to a large number of command staff personnel but only those associated with the event need to respond. The contact person should not be called or asked for incident-specific information except by those required to respond to the incident. The IOS, or his designee, or Watch Commander should expect a call back from the Chief, Deputy Chief of Patrol and the affected inspector.

The IOS, or his/her designee, or Watch Commander shall also submit a memo to the Chief and command staff detailing the incident. Information to be included is:

The IOS or his/her designee shall submit the memo via email to the appropriate members of the command staff or deliver a hard copy to the to Police Administration (Room 130). The memo shall be submitted as soon as possible or by the end of the work shift.

This policy is in addition to and does not supersede Explosives, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Phase I, II or III Alert notification protocols.


The Minnesota Department of Public Safety's "alert file" called KOPS (Keeping Our Police Safe) enhances officer safety by alerting officers of unsafe situations when encountering a vehicle or person involved in a recent incident by disseminating safety information statewide.

The standard CJIS (Criminal Justice Information System) queries that check person or vehicle files also hits on KOPS alerts, immediately warning officers of potentially dangerous situations. Officers should respond to the KOPS alerts in the same manner as any other CJIS hit and the message will be accompanied by the caveat "For officer safety purpose only, this is not a warrant."

If the officers want to relay any message to alert fellow law enforcement officers, they will forward the message, with pertinent information, to their immediate supervisor for approval. Upon approval, the supervisor will forward the message to MECC (Minneapolis Emergency Communication Center) for entry into the KOPS system. There are three KOPS alert options available:

All KOPS file information is automatically purged from the system after 72 hours except in the case of 12-hour domestic abuse pick up and hold cases.

7-119 SOCIAL NETWORKING (12/15/09)


To establish policy regarding employee use of social networking websites.


Social Networking Websites: Sites which focus on building online communities of people who share interests and activities and/or exploring the interests and activities of others. Examples of social networking websites include: Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, Linked In, Twitter, and sites that allow users to post personal blogs. The absence of, or lack of explicit reference to, a specific site does not limit the extent of the application of this policy.


The MPD has a duty to protect the reputation of the organization and its employees, as well as guard against liability and potential legal risk. Therefore, MPD reserves the right to monitor these websites, and employees are advised of the following:

Employees should exercise caution and good judgment when social networking online. Employees should be aware that the content of these social networking sites can be subpoenaed and used in criminal and civil trials to impeach the employee’s testimony.

Any individual who can be identified as an employee of the MPD has no reasonable expectation of privacy when social networking online, and is subject to all pertinent City of Minneapolis policies, MPD policies, local, state, and federal laws regarding public information on arrests, investigations, and personnel data.

This policy supplements the City of Minneapolis’ Electronic Communications Policy.


A. Failure to comply with the following may result in discipline, up to and including discharge:

  1. Where the poster can be identified as an employee of the MPD, any postings involving offensive or unethical content are not permitted.
  2. Employees shall not represent that they are speaking or acting on behalf of the MPD, or that they are representing or presenting the interests of the MPD.
  3. Employees are prohibited from using social networking sites to harass or attack others, including those who work for the MPD.

B. Authorized exceptions to the above regulation include utilizing social networking websites for MPD-approved public relations and official investigative and/or work-related purposes as approved by Police Administration.


To establish procedures regarding the covert use of social network sites.

The MPD recognizes that the use of covert SNS profiles can be a useful tool in the investigation of criminal activity. All covert SNS profiles shall be registered with the commander of the Strategic Information Center (SIC). In addition, any employee who wishes to use a covert SNS profile shall obtain authorization from their immediate supervisor prior to doing so.


Social Networking Site (SNS): Sites which focus on building online communities of people who share interests and activities and/or exploring the interests and activities of others. Examples of social networking websites include: Facebook, MySpace, Friendster, Linked In, Twitter, and sites that allow users to post personal blogs. The absence of, or lack of explicit reference to, a specific site does not limit the extent of the application of this policy.

Covert Profile: An SNS profile created and maintained by an MPD employee, but in a user name not associated with the MPD employee, for the purpose of investigating criminal activity.


A. All covert SNS profiles shall be registered with the commander of the Strategic Information Center (SIC) to include:
• The name & web address of the social network site
• The user name and screen name of the covert profile, and
• The MPD employee responsible for maintaining the profile.

B. The employee registered as the maintainer of a covert SNS profile is responsible for all content posted online under that profile. MPD employees are advised not to share covert SNS profile access information.

C. No MPD employee shall post any information using a covert SNS profile which promotes violence or criminal activity.

D. When a covert SNS profile is no longer needed it shall be deactivated or deleted from the SNS and the commander of the SIC notified.


7-121 EMAIL (06/10/13)

MPD employees shall check their assigned City e-mail account at least once per shift while on duty, during scheduled work hours, when there is reasonable access to a computer.

Last updated Oct 5, 2018



Contact us

Email updates

Find a service

About this site

For employees

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats, contact 311.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000.
TTY users can call 612-263-6850.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-637-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500. 

Minneapolis 311       ©1997-2021 City of Minneapolis, MN


311 call center

311 TTY relay service

City of Minneapolis Facebook City of Minneapolis Twitter City of Minneapolis YouTube ChaNNEL Minneapolis 311 Watch Minneapolis City Council TV City of Minneapolis LinkedIn

Minneapolis, City of Lakes logo