POLICE Magazine Supplements

Civil Unrest 2017

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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S P E C I A L R E P O R T: C I V I L U N R E S T 9 peace. Not all of these officers need to be nor should be trained to the same level. Basic and advanced training standards should also be set up and adopted. e basic level of mobile field force (MFF) training has been offered for more than 40 years. But now some law enforcement departments have taken it upon themselves to search out alternative advanced public or- der methods, equipment, and standards. ese departments and their leaders have looked outside of the box and beyond their egos to explore other global train- ing options. A number of these departments have looked at British and European models, which have been created and refined through vast experi- ence. ey are now adopting a hybrid British, Northern Irish, German, and American model. is includes high standards of equipment to mitigate the risks of injury in violent disorder. It also calls on officers to be trained in core function defensive tactics techniques, so they can per- form hands-on procedures and use reasonable and necessary force. In this hybrid model, officers are introduced to de-escala- tion strategies and communication skills that enhance their ability to possibly change the outcome of a fluid and volatile situation. Scenario-based training and repetition of different outcomes helps them build confidence in the equipment and tactics used. One of the key differences between the U.S. public order re- sponse training model and the British model is that in the U.K. chiefs and commanders have to attend a three-week-long pub- lic order cadre course where in addition to other training they go through highly realistic real world scenarios with the line officers. is results in the command ranks having an under- standing of the capabilities of their teams to influence the out- come of public order events. At the same time, they learn how to oversee the welfare and safety of every officer under their command. LEVEL 1 TRAINING I n 2016 this hybrid public order response model was adopted by the Maryland State Police, the United States Park Police, the Montgomery County (MD) Police Department, and other agencies. In this model, officers who respond to protests and other civil unrest events are divided into three levels of training, standards, and responsibili- ties. Officers who are trained to stand the line in patrol uni- form during peaceful protests are designated Level 3. Officers with a little more training and more protective equipment are designated Level 2. And of- ficers trained and equipped to react to violent unrest are des- ignated Level 1. Agencies that follow this model hand select volunteers who want to be considered for appointment to one of the Level 1 public order teams. A Level 1 team is a specialized po- lice public order unit that has specialized personal protective equipment, gear, and vehicles. ey also have strong motiva- tion, and the highest levels of training. Officer fitness standards are very high for a Level 1 team. For example, they have to be able to complete a 1,000-meter run, carrying a riot shield, and wearing personal protective equip- ment in a time of five minutes or less. Some may argue that there is no need for such fitness lev- els for public order officers. It can be controversial for law en- forcement departments, chiefs, and unions to set a minimum U.S. Park Police public order team officers train in all weather conditions, both night and day. U.S. Park Police and Maryland State Police officers preparing for Molotov Introductory Training. Field Force GEOFF PERRIN

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