Tampa's Republican Convention police training video warns other agencies against anarchists

06/20/12 Janelle Irwin
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The Tampa Police Department and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office are busy making security plans for the Republican National Convention this summer.

They’re releasing a training video for the 59 law enforcement agencies that will help patrol Tampa during the convention.

In the video, Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee coaches officers to follow proper protocol to ensure situations don’t get out of hand. He said it’s important to keep things in order so that law-abiding protesters are able to demonstrate safely.

“Mixed in with the thousands of peaceful demonstrators will be those individuals bent on disruption. We’ve put countless hours into building our deployment in response to these troublemakers.”

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor goes on to stress how important maintaining a positive image is. She said there will be people everywhere with cameras trying to document incidents and portray them to the public as incidents of police brutality.

“In all situations we fear the unknown. With the RNC it’s the anarchists. But our intelligence shows us that these groups try to deliberately deceive or mislead law enforcement into believing that they are a serious threat just to bait us into action.”

Law enforcement and city officials in St. Paul are still fighting off and settling lawsuits from protesters who say their rights were violated during the 2008 Republican National Convention. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa plans to purchase $10 million in liability insurance to mitigate that risk.

Watch the Complete training video here.

Here is the list of 59 law enforcement agencies and a Last Call discussion of the video.

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Handling Protest

In my new book, “Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police” (Amazon.com), I write that the proper handling of protest in our society by police is one their primary hallmarks -- and indication of good policing. For a discussion of what needs to be done further to improve our nation's police I urge you to read my book and visit my blog at http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com.