Policy: Building Arrest and Clearance Procedure


The purpose of this order is to establish the procedural guidelines for the clearing and/or mass arrest of persons involved in a disruption of university operations.


The Michigan State University Police Department (Department) is committed to ensuring a safe environment on campus. Due to the complexity of arrests and building clearing, it is the policy of this Department that these procedures for responding to such incidents shall be followed.


ContactMSU: The main information line for the University that can contact University departments for assistance or contact specific personnel.

Incident Command Post (ICP): Location where field operations are coordinated and the Incident Command System is managed.

Operational Record: A chronological log detailing all activity should be handled by the Incident Command Post (ICP) or off-sight command/communication center.


Operational Phases

Stage One – Assignments

Perimeter Security

Entrance/Exit Security

Building Clearing

Processing Unit

Prisoner Transportation Unit

Officers Managing Juveniles

Arrest Teams

After-Action Security

Video Recorder

Stage Two – Establish a Perimeter

Stage Three – Establish Control of the Building

Stage Four – Arrest/Clearing Operations

Stage Five – After-Action Security

Notification Procedures

The Chief of Police (Chief) or designee will advise the persons of the violation and command them to disperse.

The Chief or designee shall cite the applicable law and authority to make the command to disperse.

The direction to disperse shall then be given as a command.

If appropriate to the conditions, a representative from Student Affairs and Services may be present to advise the persons that “if you are students you are in violation of (Applicable Student Regulation) and will be subject to discipline up to and including suspension.” This warning will be given only one time.





Dependent upon safety considerations, officers should be placed in locations to hear the announcements near the back of the crowd and if possible, body worn cameras and/or a video recorder should record the announcements.

Arrest Procedures

Arrest persons individually

Again inform the individual that he/she may leave without being arrested.

If this offer is refused (or ignored), the person shall be arrested.

Handcuff the person and remove them from the area for transportation.

Persons shall be allowed to walk, if they are compliant and willing/able.

If the person is not able to walk, they shall be carried.

If the person is not willing to walk or ignores that option, they shall be carried using established 2-4 officer arrest teams; depending upon the kind or amount of resistance offered.

If persons are being cleared from the building only, they are to be escorted out and released using the designated route.

Processing Unit Procedures

Upon arrival at the Processing Unit, the person should be fingerprinted and photographed using protocols set forth by INV01.

It is important to be able to track the arrestee to the arresting officer(s).

Prisoners shall be searched for weapons and contraband.

Dispersal Commands

General Command to Disperse

The command to disperse shall be given to the entire assembly by means of a public address system.


“I am [insert rank and name] of the [insert agency name]. I hereby declare this to be an unlawful assembly, and in the name of the State of Michigan, command all persons so assembled at [insert specific location] to immediately and peaceably disperse. If you do not do so, you will be arrested. Michigan’s Statute on unlawful assembly prohibits remaining present at an unlawful assembly”

██████████████████████████████████████████████████ “If you do not immediately and peaceably disperse, a reasonable amount of force may be used to make your arrest.”

Further commands to be utilized inside buildings

Read the above and then add: “You may leave the building freely at this time and only those persons remaining shall be arrested. If you choose to remain in the building, you will be arrested.”

After this add: “If there are persons present who are under a doctor’s care or who are recovering from illness or injury, you are requested to advise an officer so that you may be removed from the building now.”

Commands used with each individual

The Arrest Team Leader shall say to each person to be arrested: “You are violating the law. Would you care to quietly leave the building now?”

If the person does desire to leave the building, he/she will be escorted to the exterior of the building by an arrest team.

If the request to leave is refused, the Arrest Team Leader shall say: “You are under arrest. Will you submit to arrest quietly and walk out with this officer?”

When the last order is given, the person to be arrested shall be touched on the shoulder by a member of the arrest team.

Once arrested, the prisoner shall be removed to the Processing Unit.

MSU Office of the President Authorization

Consult the letter dated October 3, 2011 providing authority to the Chief to remove persons violating the law.