Today I was browsing an internet news feed and saw some potentially alarming calls for action against local city government. These people were calling for others to attend planned demonstrations in major cities across America. What were they suggesting that is alarming? They weren’t calling on the many good people willing to exercise their Constitutional rights to peacefully demonstrate. They were advocating all our war, violence, and hate. The plan calls for them to infiltrate peaceful protestors and, when the time was right, to create chaos by attacking police, buildings, and others with opposing views.
If you are tasked with leading a department response to a protest what would you do? Would you be ready to handle a small protest erupting into a full scale riot? Your job as law enforcement is now to protect the property interests of the city, but also the safety and well-being of the peaceful protestors who now are victims of violent, anti-Constitutional actions. These anarchist (to use the generic term) groups will come with masks, weapons, and other means of disruption. You need to be ready.
The worst thing to do is to do nothing. Not to plan. You can not sit back and assume it won’t happen in your town. Get out and prepare your department and your officers. With proper planning and preparation, you can better manage a protest turned riot. The California Association of Labor Relations Officers maintains current training and information on labor dispute, First Amendment audits, and protest actions occurring across the country. If you or your department could benefit from training, see our training events page for upcoming classes.