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Tools of the Riot Control Trade

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 36 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2009 Pages: 74,76,79
Sara Schreiber
Date Published
September 2009
5 pages
This article discusses the various tools and approaches in the field of crowd and riot control.
The Metropolitan division of the Los Angeles Police Department is a specialized unit that utilizes K-9, mounted units, and SWAT and responds to everything from high-risk barricaded situations to stakeouts, security details, and more. They are dependent on three types of less-lethal munitions to manage a crowd: a super sock beanbag shot out of a 12 gauge shotgun, a 40mm exact impact sponge projectile, and 37mm foam rubber multiple baton round. Metro unit officers are also equipped with 36-inch batons and 40mm foam baton rounds. The unit no longer uses shields and tear gas for riot control, as well as motorcycles. They do use a new vehicle, similar to a four-wheeler, outfitted with a magnetic audio device (MAD) system. However, the most effective crowd and riot control "vehicle" in Los Angeles is its mounted unit. In the end, when examining crowd and riot control, what is important is not only the right tools, but the right tactics.