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Mitchell

Abstract

The DRNC is not the first large scale political convention seen in the criminal justice field. Many departments have organized and prepared in varying ways, and have seen varying degrees of success. Here, Miami Police Department leadership analyzes past events and the successes and failures of each, in the hope that recent history will assist the department in its preparation. The functional flexibility of Miami PD’s officers, the continued consistency of their processes and evaluations and the communication of our leadership are vital to the conducting of the event in question. Communication and preparation are emphasized virtues in this report.

After Action and Case Study Analysis

The DRNC will bring major positive economic and social impacts to Miami Dade county. Nationwide coverage means nationwide eyes and ears, leaving the department with an opportunity to exhibit our core values while simultaneously leaving potential to get exposed and embarrassed by the capacity of the convention and its requirements. Truly, past is prologueand it is rightfully diligent to examine reports and case studies of similarly structured and sized events. As chief organizer, it is the comprehensive understanding of the problems, and accurate foresight on proper solutions that will be helpful insight to policing a successful event.

A large reoccurring issue with many sources who re-tell their experiences is the challenge that new and previously unforeseen acts or protest methods can present. A string of violent and prolonged protests paralyzed the Seattle Police Department and led to millions in property damage ( Nunez, 2011). Here, the novelty of the variant of protest type caused confusion and a delay in decision making by the leadership involved. This is a particularly scary proposition, as it is now no longer unthinkable that a new or strange act that our officers had not been trained for presents itself in real time.

In addition to the problems we cannot yet foresee, the one that is most expected also causes a myriad of problems; the size of the crowds expected at the DRNC. Previous national political conventions had seen a groundswell of the number of attendees, often above the expectation- and preparation- of the local civil service departments ( Earl, 2011). For our purposes this outcome is unacceptable. Being underprepared for crowds and protests of this size could affect our ability to process arrests, coordinate response locations for Emergency Medical Services and communicate with our own officers due to radio and vehicle traffic( Hodges, 2017). These shortcomings would be embarrassing for the department and possibly jeopardize the integrity of the local criminal justice system.

The commonly associated fundamental cause for these shortcomings is the general lack of specific training and monetary resources in the preparatory phase of these conventions. It is well documented that local police are generally not equipped to handle, subdue or even control large groups of people seen at these events ( Sloan III & Paoline III, 2021). Those that expect a municipal police force- albeit with federal help – to perform efficiently and effectively is living in a dream world. Additional to this problem is the additional training be required by federal agencies for not only boots on the ground officers but for leadership as well. It is clear that many problems seen in convention type events start or end at the top, and is more or less a question of organizational skills already possessed by higher authorities but not shared with them before hand ( Nunez, 2011). Increased training and resources to better facilitate and equip officers would serve wonders for the safety of all.

In terms of a preparatory solution, perhaps the first place to start would be leadership training conducted by higher federal authorities like ATF, Secret Service or even the FBI. These are better funded, more experienced agencies that can organize leadership to create better response times to unforeseen events. It is not out of the question that these larger agencies may have encountered situations that the Miami PD had not anticipated before the convention. This fact, followed up by training including live and real time exercises to prepare for these ‘known unknowns’ can solidify any weaknesses before the department gets exposed ( Worley & Worley, 2014). It is the opinion of this author that the department will not rise to the occasion, but rather sink to the level of its preparation.

To best combat a surprise movement of protestors and other groups around the city, which would serve to potentially trap officers or catch them off guard without means to remedy the situation, one functional solution would be the utilization of air reconnaissance throughout the event. These eyes in the sky would improve communication, relay up to date information and intelligence on group movements and help route EMS and other response teams away from traffic or even danger. This would alleviate delay times an accuracy issues commonly associated with conventions of this size and crowds the department can expect to see.

As far as the aerial reconnaissance recommendation, it is easily imagined how productive constant and clear information from the sites in question would be to the policing and maintaining of a safe and proper DRNC. It is well documented how aerial reconnaissance from police departments has continued to produce consistent and dependable results since the 1960’s ( Shinnamon, 2012). The potential pitfall lies with the new training called for above. Although advantageous and rightfully desired, communicating the changes associated with the new training across the organization will be a longwinded but necessary task. Gaps in communication on new procedures, tactics and thought processes may leave convention goers, officers, and property vulnerable to avoidable damages.

This is why I am suggesting a live, real-world exercise on behalf on the entire department. It is vital proper language, reactionary procedures and chain of command and its corresponding communication is used during the event. These ‘live fire’ exercises are vital to military and federal agency operational command, and we should conduct a similarly structured and idealized session ( Djozo et al, 2014). Zeroing in response times and strategies, fine tuning organization and testing the functionality of leadership communication are all hallmarks of successful political conventions of the past ( Nunez, 2011). The city and department were trusted to put on a safe and fulfilling event, we must be mature enough to practice before the DRNC arrives and learn from any potential shortcomings

  
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