7-200 Watch Commanders

7-200 Watch Commanders

7-201 WATCH COMMANDERS (03/07/03)

Watch Commanders work under the general direction of the Deputy Chief of the Patrol Bureau in providing nightly and weekend/holiday (day) supervision for all MPD operations. (04/25/05) (12/28/06)



Annual Watch Commander assignments for both the night schedule and the weekend/holiday schedule is the responsibility of the Deputy Chief of the Patrol Bureau or his/her designee. Copies of the Watch Commander schedules will be sent to all commands by November 1 st of each year for the following year. (08/07/03) (12/28/06)

The Watch Commander schedule, including all updates or changes, i.e., substitutions, trades, etc. will be kept by the designee of the Deputy Chief of Patrol and the MECC supervisors. (12/28/06)

Watch Commander responsibility for Night Watch and Weekend Day Watch/Holiday Day Watch will be assigned to all personnel holding the rank of lieutenant.

Personnel assigned as Watch Commander are responsible for ensuring that their obligation is fulfilled. If a scheduled Watch Commander is unable to fulfill his/her immediate duties, he/she shall contact an MECC supervisor as soon as possible. MECC will assist in locating a substitute Watch Commander. A substitute Watch Commander will notify a MECC supervisor of the change at the start of the shift.

If a scheduled Watch Commander is unable to fulfill his/her future duties, he/shall shall locate a substitute or trade, and advise the designee of the Deputy Chief of Patrol for future substitution. The designee shall forward a copy of updates or changes to the Night or Weekend/Holiday Day Watch schedule to the Criminal History/Records Unit and to MECC. (12/28/06)

If the need arises for a senior sergeant to assume full-time Watch Commander duties, contractual agreements shall be followed.

Watch Commander Schedules:

Schedule: Weekdays (0800 – 1600), Monday through Friday.

Day Watch (weekdays) command supervision is the responsibility of the Deputy Chiefs and Inspectors.

Schedule: Night Watch (1800 – 0400 hours) – 10-hour shift

Regular Duty Shift (1800 – 0200 hours); Overtime (0200 – 0400 hours)

Watch Commander duty for daily Night Watch is the responsibility of all the Patrol Bureau Lieutenants (excluding Precinct Investigations). If events necessitate, the Watch Commander may extend his/her shift until relieved by command staff. (12/28/06)

During 0400 and 0800 hours, if 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 sergeants may be contacted for general assistance (questions, on scene, etc.).

Schedule: Weekends and Holiday Day Watch – 10-hour shift

Regular Duty Shift (0800 – 1600); Overtime (1600 – 1800)

Watch Commander duty for weekend and holiday Day Watch is the responsibility of all other lieutenants. (12/28/06)

If no Watch Commander is on duty, the precinct inspector where the incident is occurring shall be notified if a command decision, advice or response to the scene is required. Senior sergeants may be contacted for general assistance (questions, on scene, etc.).

7-203 DUTIES OF WATCH COMMANDERS (03/07/03) (04/25/05)


Watch Commanders shall work in uniform unless they are classified as limited-duty personnel. If not working in uniform, a visible badge and/or other photo identification tab must be worn on the outermost garment.

Assigned Watch Commanders will normally use a department vehicle from their assignment. All Watch Commanders are required to have their department issued cell phone and an MPD police radio as part of their equipment. Watch Commanders shall be available immediately by cell phone or police portable radio during their entire shift. (12/28/06)

Watch Commanders should base out of their normal work site when not in the field.

Watch Commander duties include, but are not limited to:

  • 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;

– Inquire as to the status of events.

  • Provide representation for Police Administration.

  • Monitor all MPD activities citywide.

  • Maintain contact with MECC.

  • Respond to major situations.

  • Monitor major events.

  • Respond as requested by MECC, SWAT or precinct/unit/division supervisors. (12/28/06)

  • Provide field representation for Police Administration by responding to all major police operations or events, especially those involving more than one precinct or division. When notified, the Watch Commander shall normally detail a supervisor to command and direct activities of police personnel at the scene. 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. 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)

  • Provide assistance to the SWAT Commander in SWAT operations or other situations as requested. 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)

  • Respond to information requests or requests for assistance from the MPD, other City employees or jurisdictions. Coordinate requests for assistance from other agencies, other departments, etc.

  • For any event/incident that MPD Administration or other City officials need to be made aware of, immediately notify an MECC supervisor. Give the MECC supervisor the complete details to be relayed. MECC has contact information on file. (12/28/06)

  • Provide or direct audit of police functions during their shift as directed by Deputy Chief of Patrol. (12/28/06)

  • Respond to calls from the media as requested.

  • Publish press releases on major incidents. The press release form is located on the MPD Net. MECC can assist with faxing releases to the media.

  • Refer requests for photos to the Public Information Officer for follow-up the next business day.

  • Address issues of alleged and discovered acts of misconduct and violations of MPD rules and procedures:

– Take immediate action following all normal procedures;

– Contact on-duty investigators or Internal Affairs Unit, precinct/unit/division commander for advice or as needed.

– Notify the appropriate precinct/unit/division commander.

  • Serve as a resource to the precincts/units/divisions with the following, including but not limited to:

– Staffing adjustments, including:

– Activating Response cars (one-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.

– Make in-person visits to precincts, MECC, Curfew/Truancy center and other areas of city relevant to police services or at the request of other city departments.

  • Balance needs, i.e., two sergeants on duty at one precinct, zero at another.

– 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)

• Provide other consultations as requested.

• Procedure adjustments, i.e., limit 911 responses to Priority 1 calls in inclement weather. (12/28/06)

  • Accomplish other tasks and assignments as directed by the Chief, Assistant Chief or Deputy Chiefs. (12/28/06)

  • Complete a Watch Commander Daily Activity Report (MP-6936) for each shift and provide an accurate account of activities. The Daily Activity Report shall be in Microsoft Word format and forwarded to the email group “WCLog” at the end of each shift. CCNs for events shall be included on the Daily Activity Reports. If the email system is malfunctioning, a hard copy shall be faxed to Police Administration at (612) 673-2613 or an envelope containing a copy of the Daily Activity Report(s) may be placed under the door to Room 130, City Hall. Confidential or lengthy information may be submitted in memo form to the Chief/Assistant Chief and/or Deputy Chiefs. (12/28/06)

*NOTE: Watch Commander logs, email, MDT/MDC messages and most radio communications are public data.



The Watch Commander shall designate a supervisor to be the Incident Commander during an emergency, disaster or other large-scale incident, including Operation 100’s, Phase Alerts, etc.. 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)

The Watch Commander shall remain in contact with the command post. The Watch Commander shall ensure that the Chief, Assistant Chief and/or Deputy Chiefs are notified as outlined in the MPD’s callback procedures.


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)

Supervisors/officers shall notify the Watch Commander of incidents that may be of unusual concern to the department or require large-scale police action. When warranted, the Watch Commander shall notify and instruct the Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center (MECC) to make the necessary notifications. Such incidents include:

  • Arrests of MPD employees:

– Notify employee’s commander, assist with any action needed (secure work area, keys, etc.). Note name of commander/supervisor contacted on log.

– Briefly note incident on log. Do not list employee’s name on the log.

– Send a memo or separate email to employee’s Bureau Head.

  • Arrests of City employees (other departments):

– Notify highest ranking department supervisor on duty. For serious offenses, if no supervisor is on duty, obtain department head contact information from MECC. For minor offenses, if no supervisor is on duty, request that the Internal Affairs Unit (via memo) notify the appropriate department the following business day.

– Assist department supervisors as needed, i.e., secure work area, etc. if requested.

– Briefly note incident on log. Do not list employee’s name on the log.

  • Death or injuries to MPD employees or citizens seriously injured during a police action.

  • A mentally ill or seriously physically ill MPD employee;

  • Arrests of diplomats, celebrities, legislators or law enforcement personnel.

  • Hazardous material emergencies:

– Provide assistance to Fire Department (usually the lead agency) or other HAZMAT agencies.

  • Disasters:

– Weather

– Major fires

– Major traffic accident

– Aircraft crashes, etc.

  • Disturbances:

– Mass arrests

– Demonstrations

– Riots

– Strikes, etc.

  • Explosives and incendiary, nuclear, biological and/or chemical incidents.

  • Tactical situations including multiple high-risk warrants.

  • Requests from other agencies for assistance outside the city.

  • Critical Incident Team (CIT) responses.

  • 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.

  • Missing/found children of a young age:

– See Amber Alert Administrative Announcement—state or nationwide broadcast information of missing children. (710 will coordinate issuance of Amber Alerts.) (12/28/06)

  • When State Patrol helicopter assistance has been requested:

  • Any supervisor or dispatcher can contact the State Patrol for helicopter assistance.

  • Homicides, suicides, suspicious DOA’s, aggravated assault with great bodily harm; life-threatening serious felonies, business robberies.

  • Vehicle pursuits:

– Note name of sergeant responsible for memo to Deputy Chief.

  • Cases with complex information.

  • Personnel (shift) holdovers, unit closures, etc.

  • Pre-planned major events taking place during a Watch Commander’s shift such as presidential visits, large concerts, etc.

  • Notification from Secret Service or similar agencies:

– Contact Deputy Chief of Patrol and assist in planning as needed. (12/28/06)

  • Notification from FBI or similar agencies:

– Ensure communiqués are forwarded to Police Administration via email or hand delivered.

– If the situation requires an immediate response, contact the Chief/Assistant Chief or Deputy Chief(s) and take action as required. (12/28/06)

  • Information or incidents regarding Homeland Security:

– Ensure information is forwarded immediately to the SOD Homeland Security Unit, ISAC Unit and Police Administration.

– Complete a CAPRS report entitled “HOMLND.”

– If the situation requires immediate administrative response or advice, contact the SOD Homeland Security Unit commander.

– If the situation requires immediate field or tactical response, contact 1) SOD Homeland Security Unit commander, 2) the Chief /Assistant Chief and Deputy Chief s of Patrol. (12/28/06)

  • Inability to contact officer after “emergency radio trip”:

– Coordinate attempts to contact with MECC (see MECC procedures).

  • Officer discharge of firearm (see Section 5-300).

  • Officer-involved shooting (see Section 5-300).

  • 36/48 Hour Holds:

– In unique circumstances, the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center (HCADC) may contact the Watch Commander for direction. Watch Commanders shall coordinate needed actions with the unit supervisor or investigator.

  • P.C. Pickup (CAPRS/email system).

  • Any incident a supervisor or officer feels should be brought to the attention of the MPD Administration.

If Police Administration or IAU offices are closed, information requiring non-public notification via memo (no emails) should be placed in an inter-office envelope and placed under the door to Police Administration, Room 130, City Hall or faxed to (612) 673-2613.



The on-duty Watch Commander scheduled for the Sunday or Holiday Day Watch is responsible for reviewing the status of probable cause arrestees held in the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center (HCADC) and the Juvenile Detention Facility (JDC). The procedure is as follows: (12/28/06)

1. Go to the Criminal History/Records Unit, where Criminal History personnel will provide the criminal history packet and appropriate CAPRS printouts for review.

NOTE: Criminal history information is not available until 0830 hours.

2. The CAPRS printouts that the Watch Commander will be provided with are the Judicial Probable Cause statements. The Watch Commander must also check to ensure that the Judicial Probable Cause statements are signed and notarized. If a statement is not signed and notarized, the Watch Commander will review the case to ensure that probable cause exists and then Criminal History will notarize their signature.

3. Review the criminal history packet and/or printouts for each suspect arrested on probable cause after 0700 hours of the previous day. These packets must be reviewed in the Criminal History Unit and must never leave this area. The NCIC printouts do not leave the arrestee’s file folders. They must remain in the packet for investigating sergeant.

4. Decide whether the suspect should be:

  • Released;

  • Tab charged for a lesser charge;

  • Released pending further investigation and charges; or

  • Held – Recommend not to be released under any circumstances.

5. Place the judicial review statements in the order as they appear on the sheet.

6. Meet with the judge and jail personnel at 1000 hours (or otherwise noted) at the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center with recommendations regarding the suspect’s status. Upon check-in at the main entrance, the HCSO deputy will direct you to the appropriate location.

7. At the conclusion of court, return the judicial review sheet, with all changes noted, to the Criminal History Unit. For Juvenile Detention, the Criminal History personnel will fax and/or call them with the dispositions of juveniles in custody. Review documentation will then be filed for future reference. (12/28/06)



Investigative sergeants normally conduct Saturday judicial reviews. The Support Services Division will send out a quarterly schedule one month before the start of the next quarter to all commands.

If a sergeant is unavailable, the Watch Commander shall assume this duty.