What do police consider important?
- ARREST TEAMS AND JAIL CONSIDERATIONS - During civil unrest, law enforcement agencies should have plans in place for arrest teams. The plan must include how the arrest teams will be deployed, how they will communicate during mass arrests, where to take the arrestees and how they will be transported. Before deciding to activate arrest teams, agencies must have an understanding of current jail capacity and inmate housing and security required at alternative locations.
- MUTUAL AID - Since there are no jurisdictional boundaries when it comes to civil unrest, agencies should have mutual-aid agreements in place with allied emergency responders. Having agreements in place with your neighboring jurisdictions and state, whether the agreements are formal or ad hoc, is the best thing you can do to help preserve your community's safety. The agreement should be revisited continually.
- UNIFIED COMMAND - Unified command is a key component to effective multi-agency or multi-jurisdiction response. Law enforcement agencies should expect there to be modest communications barriers at times but ultimately rely on trusting the tactical and agreed upon decisions coming from the unified command. Operating a unified command is no small undertaking. There is an incredible amount of consensus and strategic deployment within the unified command.
- EQUIPMENT AND FLEET INVENTORY - Agencies must know the type of equipment and fleet available to them. Taking inventory of PPE is one thing, and making sure the PPE is suitable for first responders is another.
- CYBER DISOBEDIENCE - Protestors are fueled with emotion and their actions are unpredictable. They are adaptive and technologically sophisticated. Agencies should prepare for cyber disobedience. Hackers may infiltrate public safety systems during incidents, deface websites and swatting may occur. Law enforcement agencies should discuss these probable scenarios and have a mitigation strategy for expected cyber attacks.
- SOCIAL MEDIA - Social media can be a blessing and a curse during times of unrest. It can be a powerful and useful tool that provides community members with rapid updates on safe zones, and it can make bad news worse when public outcry goes viral. Social media can intensify a situation in a matter of minutes and being prepared to assess a rapid reaction is not an easy task. Another consideration for departments is that there are individuals out there who may feign illnesses or suggest there is a lack of law enforcement response to lower the perception of your department. Establishing a social media plan, specific to civil unrest, will help safeguard the community and the officers on duty. Planning for deception will aid in your response.
- CALLING IN THE NATIONAL GUARD
- MANAGING CALLS FOR SERVICE
- CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND EXTRA SECURITY DETAIL
- WORK WITH PUBLIC WORKS
- ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
Agencies should make sure that masks are fit tested. The current condition of all body armor should also be considered. Also, law enforcement should prepare for equipment failure and vehicle tires to be slashed. An inventory of available helicopters and drones should also be added to this list.
- Safeguarding the community by not publicizing shelters.
- Possible role abandonment, not necessarily from within the department, but from any allied emergency responder.
- Have an inventory of less-lethal options and policies on when to use them.
- Be prepared to spend a lot of time with the media as the event is unfolding, throughout the event and after the crisis ends.
- During a crisis, it is common for cities to receive donations such as food, water, or financial contributions. Plan for how the donations will be managed.