General Order












Written Directive System





November 5, 2004



May 24, 2018





CALEA 12.2.1; 12.2.2




Sheriff of Monroe County




I.PURPOSE: The purpose of this directive is to establish a consistent format to insure proper preparation, indexing, distribution, and purging of written orders, directives, procedures, and policy statements.

II.DISCUSSION: It is of the utmost importance that personnel receive current information and consistent direction. An efficient written directive system is invaluable in achieving this goal. The written directive is the primary means by which policy is developed, revised, and maintained. It is the policy of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to provide a written directive system.


A.Written Directives: policies, plans, procedures, rules, general orders or special orders, training directives/bulletins post orders, job descriptions or other documents that are binding upon Office personnel.

B.General Order: the official written policies and procedures promulgated by the Sheriff for permanent guidance of member behavior and conduct and Sheriff’s Office operations.

C.Special Order: a directive affecting only a specific segment of the Office or a statement of policy or procedures regarding a specific circumstance or event that is of a temporary nature or a directive of a temporary nature.

D.Division Directive: a written rule which further clarifies General Orders or to direct activities within that particular division. [CALEA 12.2.1 h]

E.Personnel Order: a written directive issued by the Sheriff or his designee designating a change in the status of personnel (i.e. transfers, promotions, salary changes, etc.)

F.Training Bulletin: a written directive which provides information relative to matters that require special explanation or training.

G.Inter-Office Memoranda: written inter-agency or county government communications that contain directives or advisories which do not create, state or alter the policies of the Sheriff's Office.

H.General Operations Manual: the collection and combination of General Orders.

I.Letter/Correspondence: official written communications with outside entities


A.The Sheriff has the ultimate authority to issue, modify and approve agency written directives. [CALEA 12.2.1b]

B.The Sheriff’s Office Mission and Values Statement is the shared product of input from every level within the agency and are placed in the beginning of the General Operations Manual, in Outlook and on the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office website. [CALEA 12.2.1 a]

00: 1 of 6

C.Authority to issue directives is determined by the level of directive. Authority to issue directives is as follows;

Order Type

Issuing Authority

General Order


Special Order

Sheriff, Undersheriff

Division Directive

Bureau Commanders, Captain, Lieutenant, Executive Director, Director, or


Section Supervisor

Personnel Order

Executive Director of Human Resources for the Sheriff

Training Bulletin

Training Director


Any Agency Member


Any Agency Member, under signature of the Sheriff

D.No directive will be issued which conflicts with a General Order and applicable accreditation standards. [CALEA 12.2.1 i]

E.Format [CALEA 12.2.1 d]

1.All General Orders, Special Orders, and Division Directives will follow the prescribed format and include:

a.Purpose: The purpose should provide a brief statement of the need or goal of the order

b.Discussion: If needed, the discussion provides a brief examination into the subject in support of and justification for the order.

c.Definitions or Terminology (if needed)

d.Policy: Provides a statement of policy

e.Procedures: The procedure shall clearly delineate the method of completing tasks or effecting an act composed of steps or a course of action.

f.Issue Date

g.Authorizing Signature (on original document)

2.Any directive draft submitted not in this format will be returned to the author for correction.

3.All Personnel Orders will follow the prescribed format and include:

a.Member Name

b.Change Made By

c.Type of Change

d.New Hire Checklist (if appropriate)

e.Exit Checklist (if appropriate)

f.Payroll Change Checklist (if appropriate)

4.All Training Bulletins will follow the prescribed format and include:

a.Course Title

b.Total Hours




f.Target Audience






00: 2 of 6

5.All Inter-Office Memorandums will follow the prescribed format and include:

a.Addressed to

b.Via (if applicable)

c.Addressed from




6.All Letters/Correspondence will follow the prescribed format and include:

a.Format on office letterhead







h.Typed senders name and title

F.Directive Formulation [CALEA 12.2.1 e]. Any member of the Office may submit a directive draft for a General Order, Special Order, or Division Directive.

1.The draft shall be submitted in the format described above in paragraph E of this directive.

2.Commanders should seek assistance from the Director of Professional Standards when drafting a indexing, updating, revised and/or purging of existing orders proposal.

G.Review [CALEA 12.2.1 i]

1.All directive drafts shall be submitted to the Office of Professional Standards through the Chain- of-Command for review of accreditation standards compliance and conflicts with directives and statutes.

a.If the draft conflicts with a standard, state statute, or existing directive, it will be returned for revision to the submitting party with an explanation.

b.If no conflict exists, it will be codified and submitted to the appropriate authority for approval.

2.General Orders and appropriate Special Orders shall be submitted to the Sheriff's Staff for review, editing and approval before submission to the Sheriff for signature. For review purposes the Sheriff’s Staff consist of:

a.Undersheriff (Colonel)

b.Major, Bureau of Law Enforcement

c.Chief, Bureau of Administration

d.General Counsel

e.Collective Bargaining Unit Representative (for information and feedback purposes only)

f.Affected Commanders (for information and feedback purposes only

3.Appropriate Special Orders shall be reviewed and recommendations made by the Undersheriff's Staff before submission for signature. For review purposes the Undersheriff’s Staff consist of:

a.All Division Commanders

b.All Station Commanders

c.Commanders Special Investigations

00: 3 of 6

d.Director Public Relations

e.Inspector General

f.Director of Communications

4.Division Directives shall be reviewed by each appropriate Staff, submitted to the Sheriff’s Staff for review, then submitted for signature.

H.The Office of Professional Standards shall maintain a historical file of all current and rescinded Directives.


1.General Orders

a.Once approved will be codified by Professional Standards for inclusion into the General Operations Manual (GOM).

b.The General Order will be formatted for insertion into the appropriate GOM chapter and page. If the directive is a new chapter it will be codified in relation to Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) Standards chapters. If no corresponding CALEA standard exists, the directive will be inserted according to subject matter.

2.Special Orders/Division Directives

a.Special Orders shall be codified in accordance with guidelines for the codification of General Orders

b.Division Directives shall be codified by Professional Standards.

3.The codification shall identify:

a.The applicable Division

b.Date of order

c.Sequential Number

d.Order of insertion in the General Operations Manual

J.Indexing: General Order’s shall contain a searchable index, which shall list the main subject title of the General Order. The index is available to all members and located on the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office website. [CALEA 12.2.1 e]

K.Distribution [CALEA 12.2.2 a]

1.General Orders will be distributed to all members by the Office of Professional Standards through current Electronic Media no later than seven days after the effective date of the Order

2.Special Orders will be distributed only to those members affected by the directive through current Electronic Media. Division Directives will also only be distributed only to those members affected by the directive, and may be distributed through current Electronic Media or hard paper copies.

3.Electronic Distribution: For new and revised policies, the Office of Professional Standards will send an e-mail to all members of the agency through Outlook. The e-mail will advise the member to log in to PowerDMS, go to their inbox, click on the policy, read the policy and click the “sign” button to acknowledge receipt and understanding. [CALEA 12.2.2 a, b, c]

4.Paper Distribution: Members who choose to maintain a paper format of the Operations Manual are responsible to print out the updated material themselves when an update notice is received

00: 4 of 6

via e-mail. They are also responsible to place updates into the appropriate section, removing the outdated material. [CALEA 12.2.2 a]

5.A hard copy of the General Orders Manual will be kept available 24/7 in the Communications Department. The Director of Communications is responsible for keeping this manual up to date. [CALEA 12.2.2 a]

L.General Orders

1.Operations Manual

a.Electronic Format: The complete Operations Manual is posted and maintained for access by every member of the agency in PowerDMS and on the MCSO webpage. The General Operations manual and policy modifications and updates are available to every member by use of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office computer system. [CALEA 12.2.2 b]

b.Paper Format: Members may maintain a paper format of the Operations Manual and are solely responsible for inserting revisions into their Manual as they are issued electronically. Each member shall be responsible for maintaining all Orders in the Manual in proper condition. The Manual and contents shall be considered Office property. [CALEA 12.2.2 b]

c.The Operations Manual is divided into Chapters. Within the Chapter, specifics are delineated. Particular topic areas within a Chapter can be located by the Master Index for appropriate Chapter page.

d.All personnel are responsible for knowing, understanding, and conforming to the contents of all information, orders, and procedures issued.

e.Any question regarding the contents of information, orders and/or procedures issued should be brought to the attention of the member's immediate supervisor.

f.The General Operations manual and policy modifications and updates are available to every member by use of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office computer system.

2.Revision of the Operations Manual [CALEA 12.2.1 e]

a.Once a year the Manual shall be reviewed in its entirety by the Office of Professional Standards for the purpose of indexing, purging, updating, and revising directives.

b.As new or additional directives are distributed for placement in the Manual, a statement will be attached explaining what section is to be purged, updated, or revised depicting what pages should be added or deleted.

c.Proposed revisions to the Operations Manual may be submitted by any member of the Office.

d.Once a General Order has been signed by the Sheriff it will be formulated into manual format before issue.

M.Special Orders

1.All Special Orders shall be placed in the rear of the Operations Manual.

2.The Office of Professional Standards shall maintain a copy of every Special Order

00: 5 of 6

N.Division Directives: All Division Directives shall be available to each affected member via the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office webpage, outlook or hard copy.

O.Personnel Orders: Personnel Orders shall be initiated by the Sheriff or his designee.

1.When signed by the Sheriff or his designee, distribution shall be accomplished by the Human Resources Section with the original order placed in the affected individual's personnel file.

2.Personnel Orders shall not be placed in the Operations Manual. Rather, they shall be kept by affected personnel under a separate folder.

P.Training Bulletins: These are written directives that provide information relative to matters that require special explanation or training.

1.Training Bulletins shall be prepared and distributed by the Training Office on forms approved by the Administrative Commander.

2.Training Bulletins shall not be placed in the Operations Manual. Rather, they shall be kept by affected personnel under a separate folder.

Q.Inter-Office Memoranda: Inter-Office Memoranda may be prepared by any member of the Office

1.It is not necessary to cross-index or number the memoranda.

2.Inter-Office Memorandum will not be placed in the Operations Manual, unless otherwise directed. Rather, they shall be kept by affected personnel under a separate folder.

3.Memorandums may be produced on blank paper or Office letterhead with the following format:

a.Header: Inter-Office Memorandum

b.Date: the date memo was written

c.To: the person to whom the memo is directed with title and “via-chain-of-command”, if appropriate

d.From: the person who authored the memo with title, if appropriate

e.Subject: one line memo content reference

f.Body of memo: memo content


1.Letters are the agency’s official means of written communications with outside entities. They shall be prepared on letterhead stationery in the accepted business letter format.

2.Sheriff’s Office letterhead shall not be used for personal or private correspondence, nor may a member use the official mailing address for the purpose of receiving personal mail not connected with official agency business except where provided by law.

00: 6 of 6