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Policing Demonstrations

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 58 Issue: 8 Dated: (August 1989) Pages: 18-22
R J Johnston Jr; L F Loesch Jr
Date Published
5 pages
Policing demonstrations are a complicated challenge for law enforcement agencies, which must protect the rights of everyone involved and maintain order.
Police officers are often placed in the role of mediator or referee between two opposing forces in demonstrations. They must also consider the makeup of the demonstrators, the actions and conduct of a given group, their training and tactics, the number of demonstrators in relation to the number of police officers, the extent of police training and experience, and the physical conditions of the demonstration site. The training and experience of law enforcement personnel is crucial to success in handling demonstrations. The New York Police Department has an extensive training program and uses this training, planning, and the effective use of available equipment in handling demonstrations involving abortion clinics and other sites. As demonstrators become more sophisticated and disciplined, the police must rely on training and equipment to neutralize the strategies used. Photographs.