13 Steps Your Campus Should Take to Prepare for National Adjunct Faculty Walkout Day

These suggestions are also appropriate for other planned political actions and demonstrations that could occur at your institution.

6. Remind officers they can be recorded. Despite Supreme Court rulings allowing officers to be recorded and photographed during the normal course of their operations (as long as officer safety, crime scene integrity and several other limited exceptions are not jeopardized), it is surprising how many officers react badly, even illegally, when confronted by someone who wants to record them. Review the law with your officers to minimize embarrassment and the threat of litigation. Also, remember, officers may photograph protestors on campus, who have no expectation of privacy. You never know who you will capture on film. If arrests are made, photos will help you identify suspects and support your case against them.

7. Review disorderly conduct and related codes. Make sure your officers review all laws, college policies, and municipal ordinances pertaining to disorderly conduct, illegal assembly, etc. 

8. Identify where detainees will be held and how they will be transported, and by whom. UPS loves logistics. You should too. It probably would be a good idea to provide specific assignments to officers, such as who will cuff, who transports, etc.

9. Consult with your institution’s PIO. Who will speak for the PD, and will the police spokesperson be empowered to speak for the college? If not, the PIO will have to be briefed on your operations, and you both should be in constant contact. Who will deal with the press? A PIO can be a godsend, running interference for you with the press so you can concentrate on law enforcement matters at hand. Also, make sure your officers understand accepted procedures for dealing with the press, to include responding to questions (or referring questions to a designated authority), granting access to “hot spots,” press parking, etc.

10. Prepare for traffic control issues. Can parking services assist with traffic direction? In Virginia, for instance, parking officers are not allowed to direct traffic on public thoroughfares. If you lack the assets to cover a civil disturbance and traffic control, you will need to rely on signage and/or local jurisdictions for support.

11. Notifications may need to be made to the campus community as well as surrounding communities. When, by whom, and by what means will notifications be made? Will notifications potentially exacerbate attendance at the protest? Will neighboring communities be affected by traffic control, parking and associated issues? Here, the institution’s PIO can be invaluable.

12. Review parking signage and ticketing policies. You may want to forgo ticketing visiting protestors to avoid allegations that you are inhibiting their free speech and intimidating them. A dedicated, free parking area, designated by signage, will help set a tone of police impartiality.

13. Provide officers with flex-cuffs so they don’t lose their issued cuffs if detainees are taken to jail. My experience has been that when my cuffs go to jail without me, I seldom see them again!

The adjunct day of protest may turn out to be benign and peaceful. Prudent planners will get out in front of the event by planning for all possible contingencies. Good luck.

About the Author


Award-winning author Lt. John Weinstein commands Strategic Planning and Outreach for the Northern Virginia Community College Police Department. The views expressed herein represent the personal views of the author and should not be construed as representing the official view of the Northern Virginia Community College or any of its components.

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