7-200 Watch Commanders

7‑201          WATCH COMMANDERS (03/07/03) (11/02/16)
I.             PURPOSE
The Watch Commander is an extension of the Chief’s office and acts as the Chief’s adjutant during non-business hours. Watch Commanders work under the general direction of the Assistant Chief in providing nightly supervision for all MPD operations. (04/25/05) (12/28/06)
II.          POLICY
A.    Watch Commander duties will be assigned to all personnel holding the rank of lieutenant unless the assignment is excused by the Assistant Chief.
1.      Limited duty Lieutenants shall be excused from Watch Commander duties, as Watch Commanders are expected to be visible and to respond to major scenes/ incidents.
B.     Watch Commanders shall work in full MPD uniform.
C.    Personnel assigned as Watch Commander are responsible for ensuring that their obligation is fulfilled.
1.      If a scheduled Watch Commander is unable to fulfill his/her immediate duties, he/she shall contact an MECC supervisor as soon as possible.
a.       MECC will assist in locating a substitute Watch Commander.
b.      A substitute Watch Commander will notify a MECC supervisor of the change at the start of the shift.
2.      If a scheduled Watch Commander is unable to fulfill his/her future duties, he/she shall locate a substitute or arrange a trade.
a.       The scheduled Watch Commander shall advise the designee of the Assistant Chief of the future substitution.
i.        The designee shall forward a copy of updates or changes to the Watch Commander schedule to the Records Information Unit and to MECC. (12/28/06)
3.      If the need arises, a senior on-duty uniformed sergeant may be asked to assume full-time Watch Commander duties, and contractual agreements shall be followed.
D.    Assigned Watch Commanders will normally use a department vehicle from their assignment.
1.      If a Watch Commander uses a vehicle equipped with MVR, all policies related to MVR use shall be followed.
E.     All Watch Commanders are required to have their department issued cell phone and an MPD police radio as part of their equipment.
1.      Watch Commanders shall be available immediately by cell phone or police portable radio during their entire shift. (12/28/06)
F.     Watch Commanders should base out of their normal work site when not in the field.
A.    Scheduling Watch Commanders (03/0703)
1.      The Watch Commander schedule is completed on an annual basis.
2.      Scheduling annual Watch Commander assignments is the responsibility of the designee of the Assistant Chief.
3.      Copies of the Watch Commander schedules will be sent to all commands by November 1st of each year for the following year. (08/07/03) (12/28/06)
4.      The Watch Commander schedule, including all updates or changes, i.e., substitutions, trades, etc. will be kept by the designee of the Assistant Chief and the MECC supervisors. (12/28/06)
5.      Watch Commander Schedules
a.       There are two Watch Commander tours per week:
·         Sunday through Wednesday
·         Thursday through Saturday
b.      For Lieutenants who work 10 hour shifts, the Watch Commander shift is 10 hours (1800 – 0400). For Lieutenants who work 8 hour shifts, the Watch Commander shift is 8 hours (2000 – 0400).
c.       If events necessitate, the Watch Commander may extend his/her shift until relieved by command staff. (12/28/06)
d.      Between 0400 and 0800 hours when no Watch Commander is on duty, the precinct inspector where an incident is occurring shall be notified if a command decision, advice or response to the scene is required. Senior uniformed sergeants may be contacted for general assistance (questions, on scene, etc.).
B.     Duties of Watch Commanders (03/07/03) (04/25/05)
Watch Commander duties include, but are not limited to:
1.      Immediately at the start of the duty, Watch Commanders must contact the on-duty MECC supervisor with the following information:
·         Name;
·         Badge number;
·         Log onto MDT/MDC if available;
·         Other information should be relayed as the Watch Commander deems necessary or as requested by MECC.
2.      Watch Commanders are expected to:
a.       Inquire as to the status of events.
b.      Provide representation for Police Administration.
c.       Monitor all MPD activities citywide.
i.        Check in with each precinct, 710, other MPD areas and MECC.
d.      Maintain contact with MECC.
e.       Respond to all officer-involved shootings, other shootings, and all other significant situations.
f.       Respond to the hospital or medical facility when an officer is injured, and notify the Assistant Chief by phone.
g.      Monitor major events.
h.      Respond as requested by MECC, SWAT or precinct/unit/division supervisors. (12/28/06)
i.        Provide assistance to the SWAT Commander in SWAT operations or other situations as requested.
aa.   Upon arrival, and after a brief assessment of the scene, coordinating with SWAT, the Watch Commander may be requested to notify an MECC supervisor, provide details and request that they make notifications. (12/28/06)
i.        Provide field representation for Police Administration by responding to all major police operations or events, especially those involving more than one precinct or division.
i.        When notified, the Watch Commander shall normally detail a supervisor to command and direct activities of police personnel at the scene.
ii.      If the need arises for the Watch Commander to relieve the incident commander, his/her decision will be justified and documented in writing to the Police Administration.
iii.    The Watch Commander then shall detail a supervisor to act as citywide Watch Commander until the situation is resolved and the Watch Commander can assume his/her normal duties. (12/28/06)
j.        Coordinate requests for assistance from other agencies, other departments, etc.
k.      For major issues, decide if a VIP page should be issued.
i.        Such issues may include, but are not limited to, officer-involved shootings, homicides, children shot, and incidents involving diplomats, celebrities, politicians, law enforcement personnel or other notable persons.
ii.      Contact the Assistant Chief with any other significant issues.
l.        Address issues of alleged and discovered acts of misconduct and violations of MPD rules and procedures.
i.        Take immediate action following all normal procedures;
ii.      Contact on-duty investigators or Internal Affairs Unit, precinct/unit/division commander for advice or as needed.
iii.    Notify the appropriate precinct/unit/division commander.
m.    Manage MPD staff city-wide, including but not limited to:
i.        Make staffing adjustments between precincts.
ii.      Activating Response cars (one or two per precinct per shift noted on line-ups), which may be used as first responders to assist with major events, other precinct call loads, etc.
iii.    May approve immediate overtime for sworn or civilian employee if a situation arises. Send information to the employee’s commander via email or memo, stating reason and estimated hours. (12/28/06)
iv.    Provide other consultations as requested.
n.      Procedure adjustments, i.e., limit 911 responses to Priority 1 calls in inclement weather. (12/28/06)
o.      Accomplish other tasks and assignments as directed by the Chief, Assistant Chief or Deputy Chiefs. (12/28/06)
p.      Complete a Watch Commander Daily Activity Report (MP-6936) for each shift and provide an accurate account of activities.
i.        Report on Bar Close (especially Downtown, Uptown and U of M areas).
ii.      CCNs for events shall be included on the Daily Activity Reports.
iii.    The Daily Activity Report shall be in Microsoft Word format and forwarded to the email group “WCLog” at the end of each shift.
iv.    If the email system is malfunctioning, a hard copy shall be delivered to Police Administration in Room 130 of City Hall. (12/28/06)
*NOTE: Watch Commander logs, email, MDT/MDC messages and most radio communications are public data.
C.    Public Information Officer (PIO) related Watch Commander duties
1.      The Watch Commander shall defer media requests to the PIO for situations including, but not limited to:
·         Officer-involved shootings
·         Incidents where officers were shot
·         Fatal pursuits
·         Incidents with a child victim
·         Homicides with multiple victims
·         Homicides with high-profile victims
2.      The Watch Commander may handle on-scene media requests for information or interviews at their discretion for situations including, but not limited to:
·         Fatal vehicle accidents
·         Homicides with a single victim
·         Missing children
·         Shootings
·         Armed robberies
3.      Press releases shall be handled by the PIO.

4.      All other requests from the media, including calls or requests for follow-up, may be deferred to the PIO.
D.    Procedures for Operation 100, Major Events and Non-Operation 100 Emergencies (03/07/03)
1.      The Watch Commander shall designate a supervisor to be the Incident Commander (if one has not been established) during an emergency, disaster or other large-scale incident, including Operation 100’s, Phase Alerts, etc.
2.      The Watch Commander shall assist the Incident Commander with directing the operations, including establishing a command post, deciding on a course of action, directing personnel and equipment, and coordinating resources with other agencies, i.e., Fire Department, etc. (12/28/06)
3.      The Watch Commander shall remain in contact with the command post. The Watch Commander shall ensure that the Chief, Assistant Chief, Deputy Chiefs and Inspector of the affected precinct are notified as outlined in the MPD’s callback procedures.
7-202          INCIDENTS REQUIRING THE NOTIFICATION OF A WATCH COMMANDER (03/07/03) (04/25/05) (11/02/16)
A.    Upon completion of their duty shift, all Watch Commanders shall make a comprehensive report for any critical incident or major event and forward the report to the Chief of Police, Assistant Chief and Deputy Chiefs. Unusual or other unique situations should be noted on the log. (12/28/06)
B.     Supervisors/officers shall notify the Watch Commander of incidents that may be of unusual concern to the department or require large-scale police action.
1.      When warranted, the Watch Commander shall notify and instruct the Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center (MECC) to make the necessary notifications.
C.    Such incidents include but are not limited to:
1.      Arrests of MPD employees.
a.       Notify employee’s commander, assist with any action needed (secure work area, keys, etc.). Note name of commander/supervisor contacted on log.
b.      Briefly note incident on log. Do not list employee’s name on the log.
c.       Send a memo or separate email to employee’s Bureau Head.
2.      Death or injuries to MPD employees or citizens seriously injured during a police action.
3.      A seriously ill MPD employee.
4.      Incidents involving diplomats, celebrities, legislators, law enforcement personnel or other notable persons.
5.      Hazardous material emergencies.
a.       Provide assistance to Fire Department (usually the lead agency) or other HAZMAT agencies.
6.      Disasters:
·         Weather
·         Major fires
·         Major traffic accident
·         Aircraft crashes, etc.
7.      Disturbances:
·         Mass arrests
·         Demonstrations
·         Riots
·         Strikes, etc.
8.      Explosives and incendiary, nuclear, biological and/or chemical incidents.
9.      Tactical situations including multiple high-risk warrants.
10. Requests from other agencies for assistance outside the city.
11. Emergency escorts outside the city. **NOTE: MPD does not transport for other agencies unless MPD has specifically requested pick up. This includes juveniles, requests to meet at the border, etc. See Section 6-100 on Specific Call Procedures.
12. Missing/found children of a young age:
a.       See Amber Alert Administrative Announcement—state or nationwide broadcast information of missing children. (710 will coordinate issuance of Amber Alerts.) (12/28/06)
13. When State Patrol helicopter assistance has been requested.
- Note: Any supervisor can contact the State Patrol for helicopter assistance.
14. Homicides, suicides, all DOA’s, aggravated assaults with great bodily harm, life-threatening serious felonies, business robberies.
15. Vehicle pursuits.
a.       Note name of sergeant responsible, for memo to Assistant Chief or Deputy Chief.
b.      Respond to scene of pursuit conclusion as requested (except in the event a pursuit is terminated by officers/ supervisor).
16. Cases with complex information.
17. Personnel (shift) holdovers, unit closures, etc.
18. Pre-planned major events taking place during a Watch Commander’s shift such as presidential visits, large concerts, etc.
19. Notification from Secret Service, FBI or similar agencies.
a.       Ensure communiqués are forwarded to Police Administration via email or hand delivered.
b.      If the situation requires an immediate response, contact the Chief/Assistant Chief or Deputy Chief(s) and take action as required. (12/28/06)
20. Information or incidents regarding Homeland Security.
a.       Ensure information is forwarded immediately to the Strategic Operations & Intelligence Division, Emergency Preparedness Unit and Police Administration.
b.      Complete a CAPRS report entitled “HOMLND.”
c.       If the situation requires immediate administrative response or advice, contact the Strategic Operations & Intelligence Division commander.
d.      If the situation requires immediate field or tactical response, contact 1) Strategic Operations & Intelligence Division commander, 2) the Chief /Assistant Chief and Deputy Chiefs. (12/28/06)
21. Inability to contact officer after “emergency radio trip.”
a.       Coordinate attempts to contact with MECC (see MECC procedures).
22. Officer discharge of firearm (see MPD P/P Section 5-300).
23. Officer-involved shooting (see MPD P/P Section 5-300).
24. 36/48 Hour Holds.
a.       In unique circumstances, the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center (HCADC) may contact the Watch Commander for direction.
b.      Watch Commanders shall coordinate needed actions with the unit supervisor or investigator.
25. Assist with Judicial Review if requested (Normally Car 710 will handle Judicial Review).
26. Any incident an employee feels should be brought to the attention of the Watch Commander and/or MPD Administration.


Last updated Oct 5, 2018



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