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Readers respond: Are agencies doing enough to prepare LEOs for protests?

Over the past several weeks, we asked our audience a series of questions about crowd control

This information comes from recent Police1 polls. Polls are updated on the P1 homepage each month and open to all P1 readers. Make your voice heard HERE in our latest poll.

The in-custody death of George Floyd sparked massive civil unrest that saw thousands of Americans participate in protests. What the past several weeks have made clear is that demonstrations can happen anywhere; in addition to major cities like New York, protests calling for police reform also occurred in many rural areas that previously have seen little to no mass gatherings of this type.

We asked our audience a series of questions about crowd control that gauged how well-trained and equipped they are to respond to such events. The results suggest agencies could do a lot more to protect and prepare officers for large-scale disturbances.

Is a bigger emphasis on crowd control training needed? Twenty-four percent said their state offers such training at the academy level and only 11% said their state offers regular specialized training.

A whopping 40% of our readers said they were not provided any kind of protective equipment for crowd control.

Further, 42% of respondents said their agencies do not have anyone who is prepared to respond to a large disturbance.

Despite these numbers that point to a lack of robust crowd control preparation, 40% of readers said they had recently responded to a protest, and 20% had done so in the distant past.

Do you believe your agency is doing enough to prepare and equip you to respond to civil unrest? If not, what are your concerns? Have you recently responded to a protest or riot? Share your thoughts in the comments.

NEXT: Why this is a time for tried and true team tactics

Cole Zercoe previously served as Senior Associate Editor of Lexipol’s and His award-winning features focus on the complexity of policing in the modern world.

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