Postby admin » Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:32 am

CHAPTER 8: Technology’s Role in Major Events: Communications, Video and Social Media

Improvements in law enforcement technology have changed the way police manage crowds, maintain situational awareness, and communicate directions to officers on the ground and to the public. New social media platforms—such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter—have also provided law enforcement with new tools for gathering intelligence on agitators.

Police leaders at the PERF Executive Session shared their thoughts on the most important emerging technologies and how agencies can take advantage of them in the context of managing a major event.

Seattle Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh:
Streaming Overhead Video to the Commanders on the Ground Will Allow for Better, Faster Decision-Making

More than a decade ago, during the WTO protests in Seattle, our commanders and higher level personnel were looking out and seeing peaceful protests. But they didn’t see the whole picture. Working behind the peaceful demonstrators, other protesters were launching metal nuts and bolts and throwing rocks at our police officers and some were breaking into businesses and assaulting citizens.

What we’re looking to do now is stream real-time video to the people on the ground. That will give on-site commanders a better sense of what the crowd is actually doing and help them make better decisions. The field commanders need accurate and timely information. They’re the ones who are going to implement tactics.

Once commanders have the information needed to determine they need to act, they must have the intent to implement the actions. They also need support prior to and when taking action. We had difficulty with those higher in the chain of command supporting the need to take action. This lack of support hindered the field commander’s abilities.

During major special events, police departments need to have the capacity to take action, but as importantly, the commanders need support for their actions in three key areas: the department, the political arena, and with the public. At WTO we did not have these three.

Former Boston Police Director of Telecommunications Dave Troup:
In 2004, We Worked to Have Good Radio Systems

During the Democratic National Convention in 2004, we tried some things for the first time. That was the first time we really used video from the street. We knew where the venues were, so we set up cameras and sent videos back to our command center.

Boston Director of Telecommunications (ret.) Dave Troup

We also brought in a lot of outside agencies, and we wanted to make sure we could all communicate with each other. One of the advantages we have in the Boston area is a radio system called the Boston Area Police Emergency Radio Network (BAPERN). All the outside agencies coming in have these frequencies in their radios, and could be patched into the Boston channel. They could listen to ongoing radio traffic so they knew what was going on all the time, and when necessary they could talk to the dispatchers and their supervisors. We also put up a VHF radio channel so that the federal agencies in Boston could hear what was going on. We felt during the DNC that everyone involved knew what was going on at all times.

Washington, DC Commander Hilton Burton:
The Comedy Central Rally Overwhelmed the Cell Phone Network

Any time a major rally is coming to D.C., we look to see what the organizers are doing, how many people they’re planning for, and the type of people who are coming. For the Glenn Beck rally in August of 2010, the organizers told people what subway stations to get off at and what routes to take into the city. Using that information, we could anticipate where the crowds would be and try to deal with traffic around those locations.

Washington, DC MPD Commander Hilton Burton

But with the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Comedy Central rally in October of 2010, the initial information we got wasn’t accurate. The organizers expected around 80,000 people to arrive, but close to 300,000 people showed up. I was right there in the middle watching the traffic, and I was getting information from the Park Police and Metro Transit about what the crowd situation was. Metro Transit was able to tell us that at 10 a.m. there were about 200,000 people using the subway system. On a normal Saturday you would get a third that number throughout the entire day. So we knew that we had to keep modifying our plan based on the incoming information, and expand the perimeter for the rally.

One other issue is that many of our people can’t communicate when the cell phone networks overloads, and that’s what happened during the Comedy Central rally. Most people at the rally had a cell phone or PDA, and it overloaded the system. We couldn’t use our cell phones in some areas on some of the network providers. We’ve got to find a better way to communicate.

Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee:
Social Media Help in Intelligence Gathering and Communicating with the Public

It is extremely important to have someone from the Police Department monitoring social media sites. We have a full-time person at our intelligence resource center who follows social media. Following Facebook and other social networks is important because you can gather some very important intelligence from those sources.

Detroit Chief Ralph Godbee

There are three types of people who frequently organize large gatherings of people, or who spread information about such gatherings: “flash mob” types, entertainment people, and social activists. So we have someone following all of these types of social media outlets.

We have “Tip-411,” which allows citizens to anonymously send in crime alerts via text. We also have a system called Citizen Observer, which allows us to send an e-mail blast out to the public regarding certain events. Finally, we have a Facebook and a Twitter account. You have to engage these new types of resources because a lot of people don’t have home phones anymore; cell phones, smartphones, and apps dominate communications. We need to engage those media. Tip-411 has produced a lot of substantive crime tips that have helped us close out major crime incidents.

University of Wisconsin Police Chief Sue Riseling:
Twitter Is Good for Sending Instructions to Large, Tech-Savvy Crowds

I never thought I would “tweet” as a police chief, but I have become a believer. President Obama came to visit a couple of months ago, and we had a line outside over a mile long. We knew that the venue was not going to be able to hold the number of people who wanted to come see the President. So we tweeted that if you’re in line and you’re west of a certain block, you won’t get into the venue, and provided them with a list of alternative sites where they could go to hear the speech and maybe even catch a glance of the President. It worked pretty well. I have a community that is very plugged in to technology; whatever device you can imagine, they’re using it.

University of Wisconsin Chief Susan Riseling

Former FEMA Director Dave Paulison:
Police Must Tap into the Vast Social Media Network

On the topic of social media, there are two YouTube videos that I highly recommend watching. They’re called “Social Media Revolution” and “Social Media Revolution 2,” and they demonstrate how quickly social media are spreading. For example, it took radio 38 years to reach 50 million people. Facebook reached 100 million people in nine months.

There’s a whole communications system out there they we aren’t tapping into sufficiently. Fifty percent of the U.S. population is under 30 years old. Ninety seven percent of those under 30 are on some type of social media platform. We talk about cell phones not working when a network is overburdened, but text messaging works even when the system is overloaded. It pretty much always works. A lot of us are still on a system where one person picks up the phone and calls one operator to report an incident, when really there could be two hundred people on the ground all seeing the same thing who could get you the information a lot quicker. But we really don’t have a method for gathering information from crowds that way. We’ve got to pick up on that.

Communication has to be our next step. First, we have to ensure that we have enough broadband to continue doing the things we’re doing, and then we have to try to find some way to tap into the social media system. We’re just scratching the surface on that now. The people using this system are so far ahead of us it’s just remarkable.

NYPD Assistant Chief Harry Wedin:
A Blimp with Video Helped NYPD Track Protesters During the 2004 RNC

We’re using social media a lot—not just for major events, but every weekend. Our intelligence division tracks Twitter and Facebook. There are a lot of underground “after-parties” in New York after the nightclubs and bars close, and these events result in violence if we don’t police them. We get ahead of the curve by knowing when and where they’re going to be.

During the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, we used a blimp to get live shots of protesters. We could see people’s faces clearly. In addition, we have live video on our helicopters that feeds right into our command centers. We can monitor where the groups are moving and then immediately alert the officers in the field that there’s a group of 300 people coming down Madison Avenue from 45th Street, for example. We could move the field forces to cut off groups of protesters and keep them away from the delegates. We could tell where people were going before they got there.

Philadelphia Commissioner Charles Ramsey:
We Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Videotape Our Officers

We’ve got to get over this fear of videotaping our own people. During the 2002 World Bank protests in Washington, D.C., one of the reasons we didn’t have as much video as we could have had was a fear that we would capture something that we didn’t want to see. But you’re going to get far more video showing officers doing the right thing than video showing improper actions by officers.

Philadelphia Commissioner Chuck Ramsey

And a police department needs to have its own video, because most of the protesters will have their own cameras and their own video clips. And they may edit their video in ways that are misleading, showing little clips that are entirely out of context, so you miss the real picture. We need to help our officers get over any fear of being videotaped. We need to record these major events and be able to show everything that went on.

We also need to preserve the video recordings, so if people later accuse us of violations, we can determine exactly what took place and have proof of it.

Arlington, TX Lieutenant Leland Strickland:
Work with Cell Service Providers to Test and Improve System Resilience

Dealing with Dallas Cowboys games, we have found out how much we rely on cell phones. You don’t realize it until you lose service. AT&T is a sponsor of Cowboys Stadium, and they’re at every event, tweaking and upgrading the system to make sure that the wireless network can support 120,000 people in that building using cell phones and PDAs on game day. It’s a constant struggle, and they’ve worked hard to manage that level of strain on the system.

Arlington, TX Lt. Leland Strickland

We also have a public safety radio system with repeaters throughout the stadium to ensure that we can effectively communicate. When we have hundreds of public safety personnel on post, the system has to be able to handle that load. To my knowledge, we have no dead spaces.

And certainly we have found that you can never have enough intelligence. Monitoring the social networks is critical. When handling major events like the 2010 NBA All-Star Game or Super Bowl XLV, one of our major initiatives is to combat the prostitution and human trafficking that accompany those events. We’ve found that monitoring social media is a good way to identify hot spots for that kind of activity as we prepare for a major event.

Recommendations/Lessons Learned

• Use closed-circuit TV systems to monitor crowds and to determine if plans need to be altered.
• Streaming live video to commanders on the ground can help them make tactical decisions in real time.
• Video feeds from blimps and helicopters offer a wider view of crowd movement to command centers.
• Don’t be afraid to record video of major events, including your own officers. Having your own video recordings is critical to reviewing officers’ actions. The news media and participants will be making their own recordings, but they may edit recordings to create false impressions or show incidents out of context. Police should have their own record of the event.
• Set up a radio communications link for outside agencies to connect to during an event.
• Work with cell service providers to obtain increased capacity during major events. Be aware that text-messaging often works when phone and data systems fail.
• Track relevant groups on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace. These platforms can provide relevant intelligence, both during and in the run-up to an event.
• Provide ways for the public to communicate with law enforcement, such as reporting crime tips via text.
Use techniques such as e-mail blasts, Facebook, and Twitter to inform the public about events, developments, police procedures, or other announcements. Specifically, Twitter can be used to manage crowds by ‘tweeting’ instructions to attendees.
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Postby admin » Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:35 am

CHAPTER 9: Post-Event Litigation: Strategies to Prevent Lawsuits While Ensuring Accountability

Many police chiefs have learned that the impact of a major event doesn’t end when the crowds disperse. Lawsuits can trouble cities, police departments, and police executives for decades. Thus, police should consider the possibility of post-event litigation, and should start thinking about it on the first day of planning for a major event.

Former Miami Chief John Timoney:
Plan Your Post-Event Game From the Beginning

I was commissioner of police in Philadelphia in 2000, during the Republican National Convention, and we thought it went pretty well. For the first time, instead of using officers in riot gear, we used about four or five hundred police officers on bikes to handle the protesters, which gave us great mobility. And for the first time we embedded reporters with us. They reported every day on how great things were going. It felt pretty good.

But about two weeks after the event was over, the press started to take a second look. They said, “Well, maybe they weren’t that good, and maybe the police violated these rights and those rights.” And all of a sudden we were hearing from lawyers. “We’re filing a lawsuit. You did this, you did that; you made illegal arrests.”

To this day, I look back and think, “What the hell happened there?” We thought we did it right, and I still think we did it right. But there’s this third part to major events, after the preparation and the event itself: the post-event.

Two years later, when I was chief in Miami, we began to plan for the Summit on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and we understood that we needed a postgame plan, in addition to the training, planning, practicing, and managing of the event itself.

One key to keep in mind from the beginning is that you need to document what you do. You need to keep meticulous records. I was fortunate to have John Gallagher, then an Assistant Chief in Miami and previously police commissioner’s counsel in Philadelphia, doing all that with a lawyer’s eye towards the future. And after the event, he sat down and wrote the after-action report in two weeks. All of our recordkeeping didn’t prevent lawsuits, but it helped us to fight them.

This postgame element involves two institutions: the press and the legal community. And they can tie you up for years. The FTAA event was in 2003, and I’m still doing depositions. Once again, the lesson here is to keep your eye on the postgame plan from the beginning, because that’s going to envelop you over the next five, seven, or ten years.

Asst. U.S. Attorney John Gallagher:
Documenting Your Extensive Planning Can Help Defend Against Charges of “Deliberate Indifference”

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, John Gallagher served with John Timoney as counsel to the Philadelphia Police Commissioner, and later as assistant chief of police in Miami.

Once a major event is over, you have to move on, because you’re policing a major city and new things are happening all the time. New issues and crises don’t wait for you.

Asst. U.S. Attorney John Gallagher

But if you make the mistake of thinking that the major event is completely behind you, you’re going to pay for it through lawsuits. As John Timoney said, when the RNC ended in Philadelphia in 2000, the police were the darlings of the country. Governor Bush accepted the nomination, and everything appeared to be great. The press was on our side; the politicians were on our side; and even some of the civil rights and community groups were on our side. And then this drip began. The whole story started to go out of control. Stories began to come out about the police oppressing protesters and suppressing civil rights and free speech. We knew that none of that had happened, but we weren’t ready for the aftermath.

Doing a good job during the event isn’t good enough. In the aftermath, if there’s a vacuum of information about what happened, the vacuum will be filled by people who have an agenda. People who are upset because they weren’t allowed to disrupt the event, people who simply don’t like the police, people who want to make money off of it, lawyers who want to raise their profile—they’re all lying in wait. That’s why we concerned ourselves with the aftermath of these events.

Why do you need an after-action report? Because we all have short memories, and things happen quickly during a major event. You will be asked about different situations in the litigation long after the fact. We took the lessons that we learned in Philadelphia to Miami, and instead of documenting things in a cursory way, almost as an afterthought, we started documenting the FTAA Summit from the initial planning meeting. We started our after-action report on day one, at the first meeting. Everything we did was documented for the after-action report.

By and large, the initial impression from the public and the media after the FTAA Summit was, “Nice job, Miami PD.” But, again, the drip of false information started very soon afterwards. We saw it coming, and we released our after-action report as soon as possible. Within 14 days of the event, we had a 100-page document that captured everything that we did.

And yes, we made some mistakes during the event, but we confessed to those mistakes; we didn’t try to gloss them over. We didn’t want people to look at our report and say, “Look, they’re just blowing sunshine in our faces.” There were some things we could’ve done better, some lessons we learned. If you don’t put those in the report, not only does your report lose credibility, but when other agencies look to your report, they may repeat the same mistakes.

When our FTAA report came out, I think we caught our adversaries by surprise. We filled the information vacuum with our account of the event. In addition to the written report, we had boxes and boxes of supporting documents. We made sure that there wasn’t a thing in that report that we couldn’t justify with hard proof. Within two weeks, we allowed the press to look at the supporting information. We also put out a video after-action report. That helped push back some of the false information that was circulating.

I wrote the report not only to fill the information void and share the lessons learned, but also with an eye towards the post-event litigation. Miami’s city solicitor used the report as the basis for defending the lawsuits against the City of Miami. The city had to put out some money, but it was nothing compared to what it could have been. With the report, no one could say that the Miami Police Department had acted with “deliberate indifference,” which is the legal standard for getting a “payday” in civil court. We did so much planning, preparation, and training that you couldn’t prove deliberate indifference. Maybe we made some mistakes in the heat of the moment, but that’s a lot less expensive than being found guilty of deliberate indifference.

Philadelphia Commissioner Charles Ramsey:
A Police Chief Should Know Everything in the After-Action Report, and the Documentation Must Be Carefully Preserved

Make sure that you have everything in an after-action report centralized, and that there’s a single report with interviews and other documents.

Documenting the times where you didn’t make arrests is probably more important than the times you did make arrests. Be able to show when you tolerated illegal behavior and when you let it go. We had a situation in D.C., which I’m still fighting now, where arrests were made, and the lieutenants who made the arrests sent in their own after-action reports. Well, some of those reports contained personal opinions that weren’t based on facts. So you’d better know everything that’s in those reports, because one day you’re going to be sitting on the stand and the lawyers will wave them in your face.

Oklahoma University Police Chief Elizabeth Woollen

Also, be sure to keep track of the documents. When an order comes from the court to save and preserve all documents, that’s exactly what you’re supposed to do. If documents get lost, it looks like you’re trying to hide something. Now we all know that there’s no way that you can keep anything secret in a police department for longer than five minutes. So how could you get an entire department to conspire to hide documents? It’s impossible. But in a court, that’s exactly what it looks like. So not only do you need to know exactly what’s in your after-action report, you also have to preserve those documents.

Toronto Superintendent Tom Russell:
Consider Hiring a Professional Contractor to Aid with Documenting a Major Event

I agree with what Commissioner Ramsey and John Gallagher have said. I think our biggest take-away from the G-20 protests in Toronto last year is that it is incredibly important to begin your preparation on day one for managing the after-event phase. Immediately after the riots, our chief stepped forward and faced criticism from all directions. He has weathered that storm, but now it’s continuing in the form of lawsuits and inquiries.

You may want to consider hiring a professional contractor for project management documentation. The information for after-action reporting is incredibly important. We have information management systems that we use for criminal investigations like most agencies do, but they don’t always lend themselves well to an event like this. Keeping the project moving forward with milestones and documenting every step are essential.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gallagher:
Dismissal of Minor Charges Can Be Portrayed—Erroneously— As Unlawful Arrests

Many arrests at major events are for minor charges like disorderly conduct. For example, we lock people up because they’re blocking traffic, and they spend a night or two in jail because the system’s backed up. They go before a judge, the case gets dismissed, and they are released with time served. They don’t get a criminal conviction, but later the police are criticized in the media because of the high percentage of cases that are dismissed.

Washington, DC MPD Assistant Chief Alfred Durham

But the judges don’t see it that way. We had a judge in Philadelphia who was a former homicide prosecutor, a very strong law-and-order guy. We had 40 or 50 protesters blocking I-95; they stopped traffic and shut it down. That’s against the law, and it’s on videotape. The cops have to catch these guys, which takes hours, and it’s a huge inconvenience for everyone. But even this law-and-order judge says, “No harm, no foul,” and releases them two days later. Well, guess what? That’s 40 or 50 potential lawsuits because the incident is now perceived as an unlawful arrest. Of course, it’s not really an unlawful arrest; they were lying in front of the cars on an interstate highway.

Philadelphia Commissioner Charles Ramsey:
Consider Prosecuting Traffic-Blocking Protesters in Traffic Court

Say you have a case of protesters blocking a major road. If you send that to criminal court, it’s treated like a nuisance. Those judges are handling more important cases and feel like they don’t have time to deal with someone who was blocking traffic. So the case will get tossed, and the minute they toss it, it’s almost considered a false arrest, as if the police had no justification at all.

Instead, you should send a case like that to traffic court. Those judges don’t think it’s beneath them; they’ll do something with it.

NYPD Assistant Chief Harry Wedin:
Have an Attorney on the Scene to Ensure that the Reasons for an Arrest Are Articulated to the Prosecutor

At the 2004 RNC, we tried to make sure there was an attorney from our legal bureau who was on the scene during any mass arrests. Also, we made sure that the officer making the arrest was fluent in what he was charging, and that he knew how to articulate that to the Assistant District Attorney (ADA).

Here’s why this is important: If you’re not careful, you end up with ranking officers on the ground ordering cops to make arrests without explaining exactly why. For example, the officer should specify that protesters were impeding vehicle traffic for five minutes, and had ignored repeated warnings before they were arrested. It’s very important to make sure that someone is there instructing the officers who are making these decisions about how to articulate that to the ADA, so the charge isn’t declined before it even gets to the court process. If a charge is declined by the prosecution at the very beginning, you’ll have a lawsuit on your hands.

There are still depositions going on to this day. We thought we had everything in place, but it’s very complicated, especially in New York. Even when these cases do go to court, judges will say the same thing, “No harm, no foul,” and cut them loose right away. Then when it becomes a civil lawsuit, the city will end up settling with them. Settling with someone— spending ten or twenty thousand dollars to make the case go away—is cheaper for the city than defending itself in court.

St. Paul Senior Commander Joseph Neuburger:
Closed-Circuit TV Was a Great Investment For Fending Off Lawsuits

We recently got a summary judgment on our first mass arrest from the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul. The allegation was that we used excessive force and arrested people without cause. The protesters and their lawyers pieced together bits of recordings from the event as evidence.

Probably one of the best investments we made was a little over $2 million worth of closed circuit TV and seven terabytes of storage. We made our video available to the judge. The judge watched hours of tape, and it had context, unlike the little snippets that the defense attorneys were showing. If you only looked at the short clips, some of it looked bad. But if you put it in context, it’s completely different.

So two years later, we got a major judgment in our favor which we think is going to take us through the rest of our lawsuits and hopefully set the pattern for Tampa and Charlotte when they host the national political conventions in 2012.

The other thing to mention about this is that we told all of our officers, particularly the mobile units and crowd control units, that they were going to be videotaped by us. So we told them, “If you don’t want to see it on TV, then don’t do it.”

Chicago Assistant Deputy Superintendent Steve Georgas:
Try to Recover Costs from the Organizers of Major Events

In Chicago, we’re trying to go on the offensive when it comes to litigation in the wake of a major event. If the event has a permit with a known organizer and they either exceed their permit or we have arrests with convictions, then we document everything and take the organizer to civil court for cost recovery. The idea is that we try to get our costs back for their actions. This is a recent change in strategy. I know there are three or four cases right now in which, after we’ve had arrests with convictions, we’re billing the organizer for our costs.

Philadelphia Commissioner Charles Ramsey:
Avoid Arrests if at All Possible

My advice is to avoid arrests if at all possible. You have to make up your mind in the beginning that there are certain behaviors you just have to tolerate. You can’t lock people up for everything they do. There are a couple reasons for that. First, the more arrests you make, the more likely it is that you’ll wind up in court for a long time, and it can be difficult to remember what happened seven or eight years ago. Second, you deplete your own resources by making a lot of arrests. If you make a mass arrest, you take your people off the line to go process prisoners and so forth. You’re losing personnel that you may need later on.

Protesters will often send out groups who try to get arrested. They’ll do all kinds of things to provoke you into making an arrest. Maybe they’ll block an intersection, but so what? Just direct traffic around them and let them sit there. You really need to think about these situations in advance to determine whether or not you should make an arrest in different scenarios. If they’re blocking an Interstate highway, of course you have to do something. But a city street where you can just redirect traffic is a different ballgame. You can’t fall into the trap of feeling like you’ve got to lock everyone up. It winds up being a situation where you take personnel off the line, and you wind up with a lot of lawsuits.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus:
When We Ignored Protesters Blocking a Street, They Got Tired and Left

I agree with Commissioner Ramsey. I remember an incident back when I was in Washington, D.C., shortly after the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle. I was standing at an intersection at about 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. on the second day of a major event. It was foggy and not quite light out, and you could hear off in the distance the pounding of drums and the rumbling of a lot of people shouting. We couldn’t quite see how many people were there. And all of a sudden they came through the mist, a couple hundred protesters. I had a squad of motors with me, and they were all ready to react. This protest group sat down in the middle of the intersection at 23rd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, and the motormen were all ready to jump up and start arresting them. But instead, we just pulled away and diverted traffic around them. After a while, the group got tired and left. It wasn’t a big deal. So if you don’t have to arrest, don’t do it. It will save you a lot of problems. We don’t need to go after every single person who acts aggressively towards a police officer unless there’s a danger of an officer getting hurt.

San Antonio Chief William McManus

Boston Superintendent-In-Chief Daniel Linskey:
Make Expectations Clear to the Officers on the Ground

Arrests are our problem. We need to let our cops know that there are other ways to maintain peace besides making arrests. But it’s tough to get them that message. During senior commander meetings, you tell them your expectations. You say that you expect some rocks and bottles to be thrown and some names to be called, but you want your officers to be calm. You tell them that everyone has a video camera out there, and their officers should behave accordingly. And you tell them that if an officer does make an arrest, he should be saying “Please stop resisting” the whole time, because you’re going to end up on YouTube.

But when you go out in the street and you talk to your cops, you find that they didn’t get these messages from their senior commanders. Somewhere down the chain, the message goes awry.

So now, we’ve instituted a new policy in which every supervisor has to come in an hour before a special event. We do a supervisors’ brief, and we give them the mission statement with the things we want our cops to know. Afterward, I go out on the street and quiz the cops on the street. What’s our policy on public drinking? What are you going to do if this or that happens? And that’s helped to get that message out.

There is another tactic that we have found to be effective. When we encounter people who are drunk and fighting or causing other problems, we put them in protective custody. They have the right to blow into a breathalyzer. If they pass the breathalyzer, they can go home. If they fail it, they stay with us until they sober up. This method doesn’t take a cop off the street to go fill out hours of paperwork. And it’s easy to defend in court, because the person was under the influence of alcohol and likely to hurt himself.

Indio, Calif. Chief Bradley Ramos:
“Amnesty Boxes” Reduce Arrests during Music Festivals

Indio is in Southern California just south of Palm Springs. Every year we host the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which is basically a rave concert with a curfew. That brings in 90,000 people for a three-day event. And then the following weekend, we have the Stagecoach Festival, a country music event that brings in about 70,000 people.

Indio, CA Chief Brad Ramos

With cutbacks, we’ve reduced our department by about 25 percent. We’ve always had to contract out for help. We contract with the California Highway Patrol, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, and neighboring local agencies. There are about eight other agencies that give us about 450 police officers to police the events. The budget that we have is about $1 million for the two weekends. We put about 100 plainclothes narcotics officers in the venue, and they look for the people who are selling drugs.


We’ve looked at different ways to police without making constant arrests. One innovation we’ve come up with is the use of “amnesty boxes.” If you have any drugs, narcotics, or weapons, you can dump them in these amnesty boxes, which are located along the security lines. But once you get past the location of the amnesty boxes, if you have any drugs or weapons on you, we’ll take you into custody. We’ve found we get voluntary compliance; people will dump their drugs and weapons as they come in. The first year we did this, the narcotics units that came in and helped us thought it was strange, but now we’ve actually had this recognized by the California Narcotics Officers Association as a strategy for preventing drugs from entering the venue.

What’s the outcome? We’re not taking officers off the line; our people can deal with the incidents going on in the venue. More importantly, it reduces the burden on our medical aides and our EMS. Before we implemented the program, we would have probably 100 medical aid requests a day relating to drug overdoses; now we’re down to about 30 a day. And now we can focus on the people who are selling dope in the venue. It’s kind of a strange way of doing business, but it’s been very successful for us.

Recommendations/Lessons Learned

• Get into the habit of documenting every decision and action from day one.
o Document all planning, meetings, training, and the execution of plans.
o Make supporting documents available to the news media.
o Debrief as soon as possible following the event.
o Admit your mistakes openly.
o Note the times and places where arrests were not made and officers showed tolerance or discretion.
o If an arrest is made, the arresting officer needs to be specific and document exactly why the person was arrested.
• Closed-circuit TV can be an important investment for fending off frivolous litigation.
• Work closely with police department lawyers before, during, and after an event to flesh out any potential legal issues.
• Make sure you have competent leaders in the field to prevent officers from overreacting.
• Ensure that your message (i.e. protocols, directives, special instructions, policies) reaches the cops on the street.
• Mass arrests can deplete your resources as officers get tied up with processing offenders and paperwork.
• When suitable, take protesters blocking roads to traffic court, where the offense is more likely to be taken seriously.
• Think carefully before you make arrests. Arrests can take valuable resources away from the event and later can result in years of litigation.
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Postby admin » Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:38 am

CHAPTER 10: Advice from Federal Agencies

Representatives from the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service, and ATF attended the PERF Summit to discuss their roles in helping local police departments manage major events. Participants shared their thoughts on the value of pre-event tabletop exercises and the appropriate role of an assisting federal agency in event management.

Are tabletop exercises worthwhile?

Former FBI Critical Incidents Response Group Section Chief Matt Chapman:

Tabletop Exercises Are An Excellent Investment

One of the things we like to do in support of these major events is a tabletop exercise. It gives you the opportunity to get eye-to-eye with all the different organizations involved. There may be some people in the room you don’t know. It’s an exercise with a great bang for the buck. You’re in a low-risk environment where you can discuss difficult topics and perhaps make some course corrections if you need to. It’s a good tool, it’s easy to do, and our experience has been that most people have found them productive.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Matt Chapman, Mobile, AL

U.S. Secret Service Deputy Assistant Director David O’Connor:
Disagreements Should Be Aired during Tabletop Exercises

In my opinion, a tabletop exercise is most useful if you have plenty of disagreements at the tabletop. We want to expose not only the vulnerabilities in a security plan, but also any disagreements between stakeholders. We want people to say things like, “No, you’re not in charge of that; that’s ours.” If everybody sits at the tabletop and nods their head and you don’t air out any of the potential problems, then you’re going to have the problems on the day of the event, and by then it’s too late to fix them.

Working with state and local agencies on managing major events

U.S. Secret Service Deputy Assistant Director David O’Connor:

The Federal Role Is to Facilitate, Not Take Over

The local agencies run the event. It’s their city, it’s their event, and most of the federal agents we bring in are going to leave when the event is over. At the end of the day, the city has to deal with the fallout of how successful or unsuccessful the event was. So we realize the importance of these events to the state and local organizations, and we try to come in and just facilitate. Are we always successful? No. But I think we’ve really improved our ability to work hand-in-hand with our state and local partners.

Former FBI Critical Incidents Response Group Section Chief Matt Chapman:
Contact FBI Field Offices for Help with a Major Event, Especially Regarding Terrorism

Every one of our field offices has a special events coordinator who can work with local law enforcement on any major event. You can reach out to your local FBI office at any time and we’ll be happy to begin as early as you want. We’re working closely with Arlington, Texas on the Super Bowl right now, just as we did with Tampa and Miami before. Early is better from our perspective. For planning a major event, “next year” becomes “tomorrow” faster than you’d think.

It’s your event, your town, your resources. We can add resources to an extent. Our primary role for being involved is counter-terrorism. That’s why we bring the Joint Terrorism Task Forces to bear.

FBI Critical Incidents Response Group Unit Chief James Ammons:
Face-to-Face Meetings Help Ensure that Everyone Is “Speaking the Same Language”

One difficulty I’ve noticed is the need to translate federal language into state and local terms. Sometimes we will be talking about the same things in two different languages. But once we’ve had some face-to-face time, and an opportunity to explain where the federal government and those assets are coming from, we can translate it into a language that we can both understand. Then we can overcome most of our obstacles.

FBI Unit Chief James Ammons

ATF Special Events Branch Special Agent In Charge Michael Draper:
Get Us Involved In the Early Stages

I really appreciate when local authorities keep us involved in the planning subcommittees from an early stage and keep our people involved informed regarding the logistics and any resource needs. Our main focus is making sure that we have enough of a heads-up to pull together the resources that we need to be as helpful as possible.

ATF Special Agent in Charge Michael Draper

Recommendations/Lessons Learned

• Tabletop exercises give you an opportunity to get eye-to-eye with other organizations involved in the event.
o A successful tabletop exercise brings to light disagreements or misunderstandings between stakeholders in advance of the event.
o Use tabletop exercises to discuss difficult topics and make course corrections if needed.
o Tabletop exercises establish a unified command structure among agencies and provide an opportunity to see how stakeholders will work together and communicate effectively.
o Use tabletops exercises to teach mutual aid personnel about your policies, protocols, and expectations.
• Start planning early and notify your partner agencies early in the planning process.
Fully utilize the resources available to you in your area. For example, FBI field offices have a special events coordinator available to help your agency with any major event (not merely National Special Security Events).
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Postby admin » Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:38 am

About the Police Executive Research Forum

The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is a professional organization of progressive chief executives of city, county and state law enforcement agencies who collectively serve more than 50 percent of the U.S. population. In addition, PERF has established formal relationships with international police executives and law enforcement organizations from around the globe. PERF’s membership includes police chiefs, superintendents, sheriffs, state police directors, university police chiefs, public safety directors, and other law enforcement professionals. Established in 1976 as a nonprofit organization, PERF is unique in its commitment to the application of research in policing and the importance of higher education for police executives.

PERF has developed and published some of the leading literature in the law enforcement field. The “Critical Issues in Policing” series provides up-to-date information about the most important issues in policing, including several recent reports on the impact of the economic downturn on police agencies. Other Critical Issues reports have explored the role of local police in immigration enforcement, the police response to gun and gang violence, “hot spots” policing strategies, and use-of-force issues. In its 2009 book Leadership Matters: Police Chiefs Talk About Their Careers, PERF interviewed 25 experienced police chiefs about their strategies for succeeding as chiefs and working well with their mayors, their officers, and their communities. PERF also explored police management issues in “Good to Great” Policing: Application of Business Management Principles in the Public Sector. Other publications include Managing a Multijurisdictional Case: Identifying Lessons Learned from the Sniper Investigation (2004) and Community Policing: The Past, Present and Future (2004). Other PERF titles include the only authoritative work on racial profiling, Racial Profiling: A Principled Response (2001); Recognizing Value in Policing (2002); The Police Response to Mental Illness (2002); Citizen Review Resource Manual (1995); Managing Innovation in Policing (1995); Crime Analysis Through Computer Mapping (1995); And Justice For All: Understanding and Controlling Police Use of Deadly Force (1995); and Why Police Organizations Change: A Study of Community-Oriented Policing (1996).

To learn more about PERF, visit We provide progress in policing.
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Postby admin » Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:39 am

About Motorola Solutions and the Motorola Solutions Foundation

Motorola Solutions is a leading provider of mission-critical communication products and services for enterprise and government customers. Through leading-edge innovation and communications technology, it is a global leader that enables its customers to be their best in the moments that matter.

Motorola Solutions serves both enterprise and government customers with core markets in public safety government agencies and commercial enterprises. Our leadership in these areas includes public safety communications from infrastructure to applications and devices such as radios as well as task-specific mobile computing devices for enterprises. We produce advanced data capture devices such as barcode scanners and RFID (radio-frequency identification) products for business. We make professional and commercial two-way radios for a variety of markets, and we also bring unlicensed wireless broadband capabilities and wireless local area networks— or WLAN—to retail enterprises.

The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions. With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. We achieve this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships, and fostering innovation. The Motorola Solutions Foundation focuses its funding on public safety, disaster relief, employee programs and education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming.

Motorola Solutions is a company of engineers and scientists, with employees who are eager to encourage the next generation of inventors. Hundreds of employees volunteer as robotics club mentors, science fair judges and math tutors. Our “Innovators” employee volunteer program pairs a Motorola Solutions employee with each of the nonprofits receiving Innovation Generation grants, providing ongoing support for grantees beyond simply funding their projects.

For more information on Motorola Solutions Corporate and Foundation giving, visit

For more information on Motorola Solutions, visit
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Postby admin » Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:39 am


Participants at the PERF Executive Session
“Managing Major Events: Best Practices from the Field”

November 18, 2010, Washington, D.C.

Captain Mike Adams

Deputy Chief Rob Allen

Unit Chief James Ammons

Deputy Chief Michael Bates

Assistant Chief John Bennett

Commander Craig Bettis

Supervisory Special Agent.
Jeff Blanton

Deputy Chief Kirk Bouyelas

Commander Hilton Burton

Special Agent in Charge.
Lewis “Matt” Chapman

Social Science Analyst.
Brett Chapman

Inspector Philip Chatwin

Chief Phil Cotten

Special Agent in Charge.
Michael Draper

Assistant Chief Alfred Durham

Principal Deputy Director
Joshua Ederheimer

Senior Policy Advisor.
Steve Edwards

Assistant Chief Mark Eisenman

Captain Jennifer Evans.
(PERF Fellow)

International Science &
Technology Coordinator
Alan Farmer

Program Analyst Patrice Floria

Captain Philip Fontanetta

Sergeant at Arms Terry Gainer

Assistant U.S. Attorney
John Gallagher

Major Doug Gallant

Deputy Chief Patrick Gannon

Assistant Deputy
Superintendent Steve Georgas

Lieutenant Bruce George

Chief Ralph Godbee

Major Lane Hagin

Assistant Chief Marc Hamlin

Assistant Chief Janeé Harteau

Captain Thomas Helker

Chief Dwight Henninger

Director of Government
Funding Domingo Herraiz

Assistant Chief for Operations
Stephan Hudson

Deputy Chief Jeffrey Humphrey

Assistant Chief Wayne Jerman

Corporate Vice President.
Kelly Kirwan

Communications Director.
Dean Kueter

Special Operations Bureau
Commander E. Jay Lanham

Chief Cathy Lanier

Deputy Chief Doug LePard

Superintendent in Chief
Daniel Linskey

Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh

Staff Superintendent.
Jeff McGuire

Chief William McManus

Captain Darryl McSwain

Chief Security Officer
Jeffrey Miller

Chief Rodney Monroe

Chief Phillip Morse

Vice President for Government
Strategy & Business
Development Rick Neal

Senior Commander
Joseph Neuberger

Deputy Chief James Newman

Deputy Assistant Director.
David O’Connor

Consultant Dave Paulison

President Carl Peed
Chief Bradley Ramos

Commissioner Chuck Ramsey

Captain Luther Reynolds

Chief Susan Riseling

Lieutenant Johnny Romero

Superintendent Tom Russell

Deputy Assistant Secretary
Gary Schenkel

Director Frank Straub

Lieutenant Leland Strickland

Senior Vice President
Karen Tandy

Executive Assistant to the City
Manager Saskia Thompson

Assistant Section Chief
Kim Tilton

Senior Vice President
John Timoney

Assistant Chief Drew Tracy

Director of Telecommunications
Dave Troup (retired)

Chief George Turner

Assistant Chief Harry Wedin

Lieutenant Jason Whitney

Lieutenant Charles Wilson

Chief Elizabeth Woollen


Challenge to Change: The 21st Century Policing Project

Exploring the Challenges of Police Use of Force

Police Management of Mass Demonstrations

A Gathering Storm— Violent Crime in America

Violent Crime in America: 24 Months of Alarming Trends

Patrol-Level Response to a Suicide Bomb Threat: Guidelines for Consideration

Strategies for Resolving Conflict and Minimizing Use of Force

Police Planning for an Influenza Pandemic: Case Studies and Recommendations from the Field

Violent Crime in America: “A Tale of Two Cities”

Police Chiefs and Sheriffs Speak Out On Local Immigration Enforcement

Violent Crime in America: What We Know About Hot Spots Enforcement

Violent Crime and the Economic Crisis: Police Chiefs Face a New Challenge – PART I

Violent Crime and the Economic Crisis: Police Chiefs Face a New Challenge – PART II

Gang Violence: The Police Role in Developing Community-Wide Solutions

Guns and Crime: Breaking New Ground By Focusing on the Local Impact

Is the Economic Downturn Fundamentally Changing How We Police?

Police Executive Research Forum
1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 930
Washington, DC 20036
202-466-7826 fax

We provide progress in policing.

We are grateful to the
Motorola Solutions Foundation
for its support of the
Critical Issues in Policing Series
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