7-900 Emergency Response Procedures


Although emergency situations vary in nature and scope, they have common police objectives:

  1. Life safety - protection of life and injury reduction
  2. Preservation of property and the environment
  3. Incident stabilization - restoration of order
  4. Proper notification of appropriate authorities
  5. Incident command responsibility
  6. Collection and preservation of evidence
  7. Proper recording of all actions and reporting

The ranking officer or supervisor at the scene of any emergency is the on-scene Incident Commander until relieved of this responsibility by a higher authority. At the scene of multi-agency or multi-department responses, the ranking Fire Department officer will most often be the on-scene Incident Commander, with police functions being traffic control, security and evacuation assistance, in accordance with the City’s Emergency Operations Plan, Annex F.



Sworn personnel called in for an emergency callback shall report to the location of their duty assignment with uniforms and equipment. Further assignments will be made from the precinct or duty assignments by supervisory personnel, as determined by the on-scene Incident Commander or the Emergency Operation Center Commander. Those officers on-duty at the time of a critical incident or emergency shall continue their existing assignments until reassigned by precinct or division commanders.

Supervisors at the precincts will take measures to secure their buildings, vehicles and facilities. All personnel will stand by at their duty assignment stations until further assignment is requested by the Watch Commander, the on-scene Incident Commander or the Emergency Operations Center Commander. If the precinct designated response cars and supervisors were not initially called out to the emergency scene, the designated squads and officers will also stand by at the precinct for further assignment by the on-scene command officers.

The ranking officer or supervisor at the scene of any emergency is the on-scene Incident Commander until relieved of this responsibility by a higher authority. The responsibilities of the on-scene Incident Commander will be passed to a higher level of command if relieved. If the emergency situation involves a multi-agency/department response, the incident command will be assumed by the ranking Fire Department officer at the scene. The Police Department responsibilities will include traffic control, on-scene security and assistance with any evaluations ordered. In any emergency response situation, police personnel will take orders from police supervisors only. (11/02/01)


(A-B) (06/30/05)

The U.S. Homeland Security Department maintains national terrorism alert levels. The levels indicate the level of threat nationwide of a terrorist attack. The current threat level is updated real time on the MPD Net. The MPD will respond as indicated below for the listed threat levels. The steps listed build upon each level meaning that when a threat level is raised, all of the steps taken in lower threat levels are to be continued as well as taking additional steps indicated for the higher threat level.

GREEN- Low Condition

BLUE- Guarded Condition

YELLOW-Elevated Condition

ORANGE- High Condition

RED- Severe Condition



In response to a nationwide increase of active shooter incidents, and incidents where suspects use high-powered, high-capacity assault rifles while committing crimes, qualified MPD Emergency Response Unit (ERU) personnel shall be required to carry with them the following equipment in addition to standard squad equipment.

This equipment shall be placed in the trunk of the ERU officer’s police vehicle at the start of his/her patrol shift and removed at the end of the shift. If the equipment is needed at a scene, the ERU officer will advise MECC of his/her arrival at the scene with tactical weapons and equipment. If an Operation 100 has been called, the tactical decisions will be made by the on-scene ranking ERU member in concert with incident command. If an Operation 100 has not been called, the highest ranking department member at the scene shall command the incident. The equipment shall not be removed unless at least one of the following circumstances is present:

MPD personnel shall remain cognizant of the fact that in many active shooter incidents, innocent lives are lost within the first few minutes of the incident. In some situations, this dictates the need to rapidly assess the situation and act quickly in order to save lives.



The Incident Command System is a model for the management of critical incidents and other emergencies that provides a common, uniform approach to the command and management of emergencies at the local, county and state levels. The incident command system will be used for single-agency responses, single-jurisdiction/multi-agency responses, and multi-jurisdiction/multi-agency emergency and disaster responses.

Some critical incidents involve only a police tactical response (SINGLE COMMAND) while other emergencies or disasters will require a planned, coordinated response from several departments, agencies or jurisdictions (UNIFIED COMMAND). A small-scale police incident may also escalate into an emergency requiring county, state and federal assistance.

Examples of critical incidents and emergencies are described as, but not limited to, public safety incidents that escalate beyond existing resources (large shooting scene; multiple shooting scenes, multiple emergency events); civil disturbances, riots, barricaded suspects, snipers, terrorist activities, hostage situations, hazardous materials accidents, major fires and explosions, aircraft crashes, weather disasters and nuclear, chemical and biological emergencies. This is not an all-inclusive list. The incident command system is designed to be used in any such situation.

All emergencies or critical incident management plans must have the same incident priorities:

When arriving at the scene of an emergency event, the on-scene Incident Commander SHALL:

1. On the radio, identify yourself as the Incident Commander

2. Rapidly assess:

3. Quickly determine or identify:

4. Systematically:


As a major emergency is reported, or a small incident escalates beyond existing resources, the following incident command responses will be observed:


  1. The Supervisor will announce on the radio that he/she has arrived, and IF the Supervisor will be taking over as INCIDENT COMMANDER.
  2. The Supervisor will assess the situation and any potential for escalation of the incident.
  3. The Supervisor will provide MECC with a description and assessment of the situation and request additional resources as needed, such as Precinct response cars, additional supervisors, SWAT or other specialized units, or Fire/EMS services to respond.
  4. The Supervisor should consider the need for a designated radio channel for incident management.
  5. The Supervisor in charge will then notify the on-duty Watch Commander or a Deputy Chief of Field Services.


  1. The on-duty Watch Commander or Deputy Chief will announce on the radio that he/she has arrived and IF the Watch Commander or Deputy Chief will be taking over as INCIDENT COMMANDER.
  2. The Watch Commander or Deputy Chief will again make an assessment of the incident, and advise MECC of any changes in the situation.
  3. The Watch Commander or Deputy Chief should consider the need for a designated radio channel for incident management.
  4. If additional police personnel are needed for life safety or containment of the incident, the Watch Commander or Deputy Chief should consider the use of Police Reserves and the Emergency Response Unit (ERU).


When activated through MECC by the Watch Commander, Precinct Supervisor or Deputy Chief, the MPD SWAT (ERU) will provide a mobile command vehicle, and the SWAT Commander will assume command of tactical police operations involving SWAT personnel.

The Watch Commander or Deputy Chief will assist as necessary, but will retain citywide supervisory responsibility.

Incident command responsibilities include:

  1. Assessments of incident priorities;
  2. Determination of the strategic objectives for the incident;
  3. Directing the activities of police personnel;
  4. Developing an appropriate incident management structure;
  5. Deployment of resources to specific objectives;
  6. Coordination of all incident activity;
  7. Providing for personal safety of responding personnel; and
  8. Authorization of information to be released to the media.


Police and Fire Department Response (with Public Works or other emergency agencies)

At most multi-agency/department emergencies, the Fire Department will assume the on-scene incident command with a designated on-scene Incident Commander, under a Unified Command System. At this time the Police Department responsibilities will include traffic control, incident/area security, and evacuation assistance when required.

Although separate departments or agencies may use mobile communications vans and operations centers, there will be only one incident command post under the direction of one single Incident Commander.

The Police Field Commander will maintain command of all police personnel and will use police communications as necessary, but will coordinate all police activity under the direction of the Fire Department on-scene Unified Incident Commander. Police personnel will receive direction and orders from police supervisors only, to insure unity of command and the police chain of command.

When activated and assembled at a designated staging area, Police Reserve officers will receive assignments through the Police Reserve Coordinator for traffic control, security or evacuation assistance. The Police Reserve unit may utilize their own mobile communications van with a separate radio net, but will coordinate with established police and fire channels used.

The on-scene Incident Commander may request the activation of an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) when field responsibilities exceed the capabilities of on-scene personnel. When established, the EOC will be staffed with City officials and department heads to assume the overall incident command. The on-scene Incident Commander will then report directly to the EOC Commander.


INCIDENT COMMANDER (I.C.): First Officer or Supervisor to arrive on the scene of a call for service where multiple units, scenes, or assisting agencies are dispatched. The Incident Commander has overall command of the incident, until properly relieved by a Supervisor of higher rank if necessary, and will be based at the incident command post. The priorities of the Incident Commander include:

  1. Assess incident priorities.
  2. Determine strategic goals and tactical objectives, not related to the operations of SWAT or ESU personnel.
  3. Identify a staging area, if needed.
  4. Develop and implement incident action plan.
  5. Develop appropriate incident management structure.
  6. Assess resource needs.
  7. Coordinate overall on-scene emergency activities.
  8. Authorize information to be released to the media.

PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER: disseminates information to the public and media.

STAGING OFFICER: responsible for identifying a single location or multiple locations, as needed, for resources to gather in preparation to respond to the emergency. Also keeps track of the availability of various resources for the incident.

SAFETY OFFICER: responsible for evaluating the overall incident scene for potential hazards, and makes recommendations to the incident commander during the incident operations.

PLANNING: group or individual responsible for planning and prioritizing the direction of the incident in order to accomplish the current mission of the operation.

LOGISTICS: group or individual responsible for securing resources in order to support operations during the incident.

FINANCE: tracks and records costs (via logs) for the operation.


7-906 PHASE I ALERT (11/02/01)


Supervisors called to a large disturbance or event requiring resources beyond the capabilities of a single precinct may request a Phase I Alert. Only a Watch Commander, or in their absence the ranking supervisor, may declare a Phase I Alert. The appropriate Deputy Chief of Field Services shall be notified by MECC as soon as possible. General duties of personnel in a Phase I Alert are:



Precinct Commander or Ranking Officer:

7-907 PHASE II ALERT (11/02/01)


A Phase II Alert is a heightened state of readiness and alert due to a large disturbance or event that may threaten the welfare of the city. The Chief or a Bureau Head may call a Phase II Alert. In his/her absence, the on-duty Watch Commander may call a Phase II Alert, however the Chief or a Bureau Head must be notified as soon as possible. (11/23/93)

Under a Phase II Alert, the following additional steps shall be initiated:

7-908 PHASE III ALERT (11/02/01)


A Phase III Alert is a large-scale disturbance or event that requires resources beyond on-duty MPD personnel and affects the welfare of the city. A Phase III Alert may only be initiated by the Chief of Police, or in his/her absence, the next highest command officer. Under a Phase III Alert, the following additional steps shall be initiated:



Commanders shall maintain an emergency callback roster that includes all employees under their command. A copy of the roster shall be distributed by the commanders to all employees who will be responsible for calling personnel back to work. The roster must be kept at the home and the work place of those employees subject to making callbacks.

The callback roster shall be updated by January 15th and July 15th each year. A copy of the updated callback roster shall be forwarded to the Operations Development Unit, who will coordinate distribution to MECC, the Watch Commander’s Office, and Administration. (10/22/96) (05/02/01)



Immediate callbacks will be initiated with a Phase III Alert. The following procedures shall be followed:


For large-scale disturbances or events involving only the MPD, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) may be established in the police administrative offices and the Chief shall be the EOC Commander. When requested by the Incident Commander or on-scene Deputy Chief/Director, the EOC will be activated and staffed by the following personnel:

Responsibility for recording all information coming in and directions leaving the center belongs to the Administrative Assistant to the Chief. Other staff assignments may be made as necessary for planning, logistics, finance and media relations.

Incident command models require that the on-scene incident commander retain direct control and authority over all on-scene activity. The on-scene Incident Commander shall take direction from the EOC and will report all situational developments to them. All requests for additional personnel, equipment, and support of other City departments and outside agencies shall be forwarded to the EOC.

The EOC Commander will determine the incident command structure to be used and will establish the procedures required for the following:

The on-scene Incident Commander, whether a Police or Fire Department commander, may elect to designate on-scene operations, logistics, planning, and finance officers for large scale or complex emergency situations. These officers shall report directly to the on-scene Incident Commander. An officer assigned at the incident scene as a staging officer will be responsible for the recording of all reporting personnel, assignments made, and the inventory of available equipment and vehicles.


When a large-scale disturbance or event involves multiple City departments or agencies, the on-scene Incident Commander shall request the activation of an Emergency Operations Center in MECC through the Chief or Deputy Chief. The Phase III Alert may require a larger incident command structure and may be of a longer duration. The Mayor shall be notified when a Phase III Alert escalates, to report to the EOC in room B-911 in City Hall. The Chief of Police shall report to the EOC with the Deputy Chief of the Central Services Bureau until staffing requirements are later decided.

See Volume 6 - Procedures for requesting assistance under Mutual Aid and for requesting National Guard Assistance.


There are several multi-jurisdictional radio channels and 800 MHz talk groups that are currently available and may be activated by an incident commander for use in a major inter-jurisdictional incident or emergency within Hennepin County. MECC must be notified when using any of these resources so that they may notify the other radio system users as per Metro Radio Board requirements.

Available multi-jurisdictional radio resources:

HTAC-3 (Talk Group) MPD Portable Radio Zone A-13 (Mode 1 on mobile radios)

MINSEF (Talk Group) MPD Portable Radio Zone C-15 (Mode 2 on mobile radios)

Contact MECC if communication with non 800 MHz users is needed.

Metro Emergency (Talk Group): MPD Portable Radio Zone C-14 (Mode 2 on mobile radios)

Contact MECC if communication with non 800 MHz users is needed.

PTAC Talk Groups: MPD Portable Zone C-1 thru C-4 (Mode 2 on mobile radios)

Mettac-P Talk Group: MPD Portable Zone C-5 (Mode 2 on mobile radios)*

MIMS (155.37 MHz): Contact MECC for patch to an 800 MHz talk group.

*Mettac-P will likely become the standard for incidents involving multiple agencies. It is actually a combination of several VHF/UHF and three different 800 MHz systems (Eden Prairie, Bloomington and Minneapolis).



Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) pose a great threat to first responders and requires a unique and extraordinary police response. Often times, officers may not know that they are responding to such an incident when dispatched. Officers should be aware of signs and symptoms of any victims and should be mindful that any emergency could involve a weapon of mass destruction, particularly unknown trouble, explosions or medical emergencies. It is imperative that the responding officer/supervisor solicit as much information as possible from MECC and/or victims and witnesses in order to properly ascertain whether the call may involve WMD materials.


Weapon of Mass Destruction: Any destructive item/device that incorporates explosives, toxic chemicals, biological materials, radiological materials, or nuclear materials, and is designed to inflict mass casualties and destruction of human life and/or property.

Biological Weapons: Items or devices containing disease-causing microorganisms or toxins derived from or produced by living organisms.

Chemical Weapons: Items or devices containing toxic chemicals designed to kill victims by attacking systems of the human body. Chemical agents include:

Explosive/Incendiary Weapons: Items or devices that contain explosive or incendiary material and are designed to inflict injury and property damage.

Radiological Weapons: Items or devices that contain and emit radiation, causing immediate and long-term human tissue damage and health effects.

Nuclear Weapons: Items or devices containing radioactive nuclear material with the ability to cause widespread catastrophic explosive damage and a wide release of radioactive material.

WMD Incident: When a weapon of mass destruction has been used and/or a known chemical, biological, or radiological substance is present.

WMD Threat: Any threat received whether verbal, non-verbal, or written that indicates the potential use of chemical, biological, radiological, explosive/incendiary or nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

Suspicious Package/Device: Any package or device that is reported to be unusual in nature due to any of the following factors: location, size, shape, odor, wrapping, markings, no known origin, etc.

Suspicious Substance: Any substance that is emitted from or contained within a suspicious package. These substances may be liquid, solid or gas.


Responsibilities of first responding officer:

If an officer responds to an incident which involves chemical, biological, radiological, explosive/incendiary, or nuclear materials he/she should do the following:

MECC Responsibilities:

If MECC believes that an incident may involve materials consistent with a weapon of mass destruction, an MPD supervisor shall be dispatched to the area with responding squads. MECC shall immediately make the below notifications and relay that there is a "potential WMD incident" and the type of incident if known."

MECC required notifications are:

The following information should be relayed as soon as it becomes available:

Other notifications should be made as necessary consistent with the City of Minneapolis Emergency Plan.

Responsibilities of first responding supervisor:

Generally, the Minneapolis Fire Department will have overall command of a WMD incident until the scene is stabilized and victims are removed and/or decontaminated. The first responding MPD supervisor will be responsible for managing police resources until relieved by a higher ranking MPD official. The primary responsibility of the Minneapolis Police Department in response to a WMD incident is to establish and maintain a perimeter outside the contaminated area in order to accomplish the following objectives:

MPD supervisors will work with the MFD incident commander to establish the following:

Any incident involving a weapon of mass destruction will be managed using the City of Minneapolis Emergency Plan and the Minnesota Incident Management System (MIMS), which utilizes the principles and structure of the Incident Command System or ICS.

Note: Although the FBI is charged with crisis management for a WMD incident, they will rely on local first responders for initial management and response. The MPD will work with the FBI on additional considerations as necessary.

Decontamination Procedures:

If an officer believes that he/she may have been contaminated and/or is exhibiting symptoms of chemical or radiological material, he/she should notify dispatch or other first responders in the area if possible. The officer should proceed to a safe decontamination area if possible. Normal decontamination procedures include:


An officer may be dispatched to an incident in which use of a weapon of mass destruction has been threatened; however, no known event has occurred and there are no known casualties. If a suspicious substance or device is present and a threat has been received, officers should follow the guidelines listed below when responding to such incidents:


All MPD officers will be in enrolled in the department’s Respiratory Protective Equipment Program. Officers will go through a medical evaluation and a fit-testing procedure before being issued an Air Purifying Respirator (APR)/Gas Mask.

Only MPD-approved and issued APR’s/Gas Masks will be used by officers. Officers must have their MPD-issued APR/Gas Mask available at all times. Officers on patrol shall carry the APR/Gas Mask with them in their squad. Officers will use their APR/Gas Masks whenever they feel it is needed to protect themselves or when ordered to do so by a supervisor.

APR/Gas Masks will only protect the respiratory system against a limited number of hazards. Officers must keep in mind that many agents such as nerve gas, mustard gas, anthrax, small pox and chlorine gas, to name a few, can also enter a person’s system through contact with their skin or open wounds. Officers must keep these facts in mind when they are at a scene where chemical and/or biological agents may be present. Only a full chemical/biological suit can offer protection against most chemical/biological agents.

For the complete policy & procedure on the MPD’s Respiratory Protection Program, it can be found on the MPD Net under "Manuals."

Last updated Oct 10, 2018



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