Update Your Plans for Civil Unrest

Doing so now will ensure you organization isn't caught off guard.
Published: August 11, 2011

While working with a client’s emergency preparedness planning team last week, attention turned to their lack of any current protocol for civil unrest. The team now has draft versions of plan components for all staff that should be completed, printed and distributed in the next few months. They would have not become aware of this gap had they not been working on a grant-funded project to update their plans

There has been much speculation in the media in recent days about the types of riots we are seeing in many parts of the world coming to the United States. I make no such dire predictions but do feel that any campus organization should be prepared for such situations, be they student protests or problems resulting in spillover from events occurring in the neighborhood near campuses. Any large scale community disaster can strain local public safety resources, and riots are certainly no exception.

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I recall a state law enforcement official relating to me how law enforcement personnel were dropping tear gas canisters to disperse rioters near a university in the Atlanta area a few years back. He told me that the situation was extremely close to a disaster and that law enforcement resources had been strained. The official said the public would have panicked if they knew that law enforcement officials were down to a single canister of chemical agent in the helicopter when the rioters finally dispersed. 

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Like many crises, these types of situations can be rather challenging to address under the best of circumstances. If you do not have robust plans to cover incidents of civil disorder, this might be a good time to develop or revise them. Make sure that area law enforcement officials are asked to assist your planning team to create action steps that are properly integrated into the resources and realities of the community and their organizations.

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Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series