Police Must Be Proactive When Dealing with Riot Control

Police Must Be Proactive When Dealing with Riot Control

Having watched the recent events unfold in Charlotte, it is clear that in order to effectively address large groups of rioters, the police must be proactive. The live TV coverage last night showed a static police line. The police would hold their ground, throw tear gas into the crowd and the crowd would disperse. But then these disorderly groups would return, regroup, and then attack the police line again and again.

In order for police tactics to be effective, police must use skirmish lines to push the group back. The skirmish lines must move forward, push the crowd back and disperse them into different areas. Once they are pushed into different areas and blocks, additional skirmish lines can be established to prevent the groups from reforming in mass. This procedure must be continued until the groups are broken down into manageable sizes.  Those who engage the police can then be pulled behind the lines and arrested.

There are times when the police have no choice but to remain static. It may be because of a lack of manpower, equipment, training, or orders. It is possible that leaders on the ground last night did not have sufficient manpower to control the crowd. Lacking sufficient manpower and attempting to move a violent crowd can place officers are great risk. If the officers become too spread out, they are placed in a dangerous position.

With the national guard and state police being activated, it is time to employ effective riot control tactics so as to put an end to this criminal behavior. With additional manpower the time has come to take control of the streets. Skirmish lines, in conjunction with chemical weapons, pepper ball, flash bangs and mass arrests, will quickly send a message that the game is over. America cannot allow large groups of unruly people to take over a community and engage in crime. People have a right to peacefully protest and air their grievances. However, once you break the law, set fires, assault police and steal other people’s property, it is no longer a protest, it is now a riot and swift and decisive action must be taken to end the violence.


About the author:

Joe Blaettler is a retired Deputy Chief of Police from Union City, New Jersey. Joe is currently the President of East Coast Private Investigations of New Jersey. He is a recognized police policy and procedures expert and has rendered numerous expert reports on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. Joe has been approved by the New Jersey Patrolman’s Benevolent Association, The New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police and the Suffolk County Police Department to render, and has rendered, expert opinions in support of their members.  He is also an adjunct professor of criminal justice and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. To Learn more about us go to http://ecpinj.com/