Policy Number:         301.140

Title:                          Incident Command System

Effective Date:          8/6/19


PURPOSE:    To provide standard operating procedures for use during all emergencies and non-routine incidents.


APPLICABILITY:   All Minnesota correctional facilities (MCF) and central office



Emergency response teams (ERT) – an approved team activated under an expanded ICS.  This team is a combination of department-trained members from the following disciplines: crisis negotiations team, marksman observers, special operations group, canine team, and special operation response team.


Incident Management Team (IMT) – A team with advanced training in incident management.  This team is capable of supporting and assisting in the management of manmade emergencies, disasters, acts of terrorism as well as large-scale pre-planned departmental events.



A.        Incident command system (ICS) is a component of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).  DOC staff use this system along with mutual aid agreements (see Policy 300.036, "Emergency Assistance Non-State Systems,") in the management of incidents that occur outside normal operations.


B.        The assistant commissioner of facility services must appoint a department ICS coordinator to oversee the department ICS and maintain the department Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) – Incident Command System (link attached).


C.        Each facility warden is responsible to ensure the ICS is maintained at the warden’s MCF in accordance with this policy.


D.        Each facility and central office must appoint an ICS coordinator to work with the department’s ICS coordinator.


E.         The department ICS coordinator must assist each MCF ICS coordinator with development and consistency to ensure that ICS is applied and practiced by all staff.


F.         The department ICS coordinator makes the agency’s ICS calendar available to all ICS coordinators and others, as appropriate.


G.        Each MCF ICS coordinator must maintain a command post that is equipped with tactical equipment/documents, manuals, EOP, federal ICS forms, and department policy and procedures pertaining to emergency response.


H.        All incidents that rise to the level of command post activation must be reported to central office. 

1.         The MCF warden/designee must notify the assistant commissioner of facility services and update during the course of the incident.


2.         Upon notification of an incident at a MCF, central office personnel must collect all essential facts and determine if assistance is required or requested.

a)         Notification of central office staff must be based upon the nature of the incident.

b)         Central office staff may respond to the MCF with guidance, advice, or to provide support services.


3.         If the department operations center at central office is activated, central office staff must maintain communications with the MCF command post.


4.         Activation of the continuity of operations plan (COOP), in conjunction with the ICS, must be considered for any incident that may last more than eight hours according to the criteria in Policy 105.012, “Continuity of Operations.”


5.         Incident reports must be written and collected for all incidents as directed in Policy 300.300, “Incident Reports” and retained according to the retention schedule.


6.         Any federal ICS forms completed during an incident must be turned in to the planning section, or incident commander if planning is not opened as scheduled.

a)         If no schedule is set, the forms must be turned in at the conclusion of the incident.

b)         Copies of all incident reports related to an incident must be included as part of the final documentation.

c)         ICS forms are retained at the facility with the incident reports, according to the retention schedule.


I.          All central office staff who are or could be assigned to the department operations center must receive ICS training as appropriate.


J.         All requests for inter-department assistance from emergency response teams (ERTs), including: marksman observer (MO) team, crisis negotiation team (CNT), canine (K-9) team, special operations group (SOG), incident management team (IMT), or another MCF's special operations response team (SORT), must be made directly to the assistant commissioner of facility services.


K.        Assistance from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), National Guard, or other state agencies must be requested through the assistant commissioner of facility services.


L.         Each MCF ICS coordinator must maintain a list of local support agencies, the primary contact person, and contact numbers.  Central office maintains all mutual aid agreements (see Policy 300.036, "Emergency Assistance Non-State Systems").  Mutual aid agreements include such examples as:

1.         Law enforcement;


2.         Fire department;


3.         Emergency medical services;


4.         Emergency management center (local);


5.         Bomb disposal unit;


6.         Hazmat response unit; and


7.         Other federal, state, or local support agencies.


M.       Each MCF ICS coordinator must maintain a list of local stakeholders who may need notification during an incident at a facility, including such examples as:

1.         Schools;


2.         Neighbors;


3.         Hospitals;


4.         Local businesses; and/or


5.         Utility companies.


N.        All MCFs must maintain a trained public information officer (PIO) for incidents and to be available for the MCF's command post.

1.         During regular business hours, the MCF PIO must notify and consult with the department PIO during the incident.


2.         During non-business hours, the MCF command staff must notify the department PIO.


3.         The assistant commissioner of facility services/designee must approve all information released.


O.        Each MCF’s PIO must establish media assembly locations - see Policy 101.310, "Media Contacts."


P.         Regarding use of force in response to an incident, see Policy 301.081, "Use of Force and Restraints – Adult,” and Policy 301.079, “Juvenile Restrictive Procedures."


Q.        Each MCF's ICS coordinator must submit a quarterly report to the department ICS coordinator.

1.         This report must include the MCF's quarterly statistics on all ICS responses and exercises.


2.         The report must also include significant achievements, primary concerns, points of interest, past quarter objectives, next quarter objectives, and a summary involving the ICS.


3.         The department ICS coordinator must then submit a department quarterly ICS report to the assistant commissioner of facility services (see also Policy 102.010, "Quarterly Reports").


R.        Debriefing:

1.         After a serious incident, the MCF chief security officer/designee must convene and facilitate a tactical debriefing to:

a)         Review and analyze the response of facility staff; and

b)         Correct deficiencies/improve responses to similar situations in the future.

c)         Incidents that may require a tactical debrief include:

(1)       Staff assault;

(2)       Serious offender injury;

(3)       Escape/attempted escape;

(4)       Riot/disturbance (multiple offender incidents); and/or

(5)       Any time a facility deems tactical debriefing to be of value.


2.         The tactical debriefing includes:

a)         Policy and procedure

(1)       Was policy and procedure adequate?

(2)       Was it clear, effective, and available to staff?

(3)       Was ICS used effectively?

b)         Staffing

(1)       Were adequate staff available?

(2)       Were responding staff in the appropriate classifications?

c)         Training

(1)       Was appropriate supervision available?

(2)       Was supervision effective?

d)         Equipment – did staff have the necessary equipment with which to respond?


3.         The person facilitating the debriefing must document:

a)         Date/time;

b)         Who attended the debriefing; and

c)         A brief summary of the recommendations made during the debriefing for changes in how a future response would be conducted.


4.         For critical incident debriefings, see also Policy 103.090, "Critical Incident Stress Management."


S.         Training

Successful integration of ICS into daily operations must be reinforced by training exercises.

1.         An exercise is a staged incident in which staff respond with planning, directing and communicating, as if the incident were actually occurring.


2.         The purpose of ICS exercises is to provide training and positive reinforcement of ICS principles and practices.


3.         Each MCF must conduct exercises on each shift throughout the month.  B-team responses must be conducted quarterly.


4.         The department conducts at least one large-scale multi-agency exercise every three years.


5.         The department ICS coordinator must maintain an ICS calendar on the ICS iShare site, so exercise information is available to all ICS coordinators and others, as appropriate.


6.         Exercise guidelines

a)         Generally, the exercise facilitator must notify adjacent units, facilities, and communications centers prior to the exercise so only the areas being assessed respond to the exercise.

b)         The exercise facilitators conduct exercises under a variety of conditions so the scheduling and handling does not become predictable.

c)         The person conducting the exercise must announce "this is an exercise" at the start.

d)         The exercise facilitator may conduct debriefings after an exercise in order to give participants an opportunity to learn and to ask questions.

e)         Debriefings also serve to alert administrators to operational concerns identified during the exercise.



A.        The department’s ICS calendar is available to all ICS coordinators and others, as appropriate.


B.        ICS training and exercises conducted at the MCFs and central office are documented in each site’s ICS quarterly report.


C.        Other ICS documentation, including ICS forms, are attached to incident reports at the conclusion of all incidents, and retained at the facility according to retention schedules.


ACA STANDARDS: 4-4217, 4-4220, 4-4224, 1-ABC-3B-08, 1-ABC-3B-12, 2-CO-3B-02


REFERENCES:        Minn. Stat. § 241.01

Policy 300.036, "Emergency Assistance Non-State Systems"

Policy 101.310, "Media Contacts"

Policy 105.012, “Continuity of Operations”

Policy 300.300, “Incident Reports”

Policy 301.079, “Juvenile Restrictive Procedures”

Policy 301.081, “Use of Force and Restraints – Adult”

Policy 102.010, "Quarterly Reports"

Policy 103.090, "Critical Incident Stress Management"

Policy 500.012, "Offender Emergency Health Care"

Policy 500.015, "Employee and Visitor Emergency Health Care"

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Incident Management System (NIMS) at


REPLACES:              Policy 301.140, "Incident Command System," 11/6/18.

All facility policies, memos, or other communications whether verbal, written, or transmitted by electronic means regarding this topic.


ATTACHMENTS:    Emergency Operations Plan – Incident Command System (301.140A, on ICS iShare site)




Deputy Commissioner, Community Services

Deputy Commissioner, Facility Services

Assistant Commissioner, Operations Support

Assistant Commissioner, Facility Services