The First Amendment in Action

I think our Founding Fathers would be thrilled to see tens of thousands of Americans (remember they were the first to call themselves “Americans” as British Colonists) protesting with protection.

Act proactively for once will ya? I’m not taking about cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or the other top 100 agencies across the nation which are typically prepared with policies, procedures, equipment and training, but rather the average police department comprising the other 15,000+ agencies spanning our country. This movement is growing and its grassroots support network (which nobody knows how many are involved there) is too. Don’t wait for a group of protestors to arrive in a high school parking lot and then send two cruisers over and try to remove them. The executive leadership in your agency needs to be speaking with your law director to see what is legal for your locality and what is not in terms of demonstrations and how you handle them. Those protesting seem to like using technology to communicate. You should too. It’s their generation, learn to speak to them their way. Set up Facebook, Twitter, whatever you use, that in the event intelligence suggests a protest is headed your way you can script out legally defensible directives to provide guidance, not orders. Identify areas of protest ahead of time, counter protest areas, etc. Finally, and most importantly, recognize that this isn’t some foreign country and that the protestors are not your enemy. If you weren’t a cop you just might find yourself on the other side of the skirmish line. These people could be neighbors you never met, or friends of friends of yours, but at a minimum they are Americans.

Oh, one other thing. Are these “kids” doing the protesting really just lazy, don’t want to work and seek to have someone else pay off their student loans so they don’t have to? Before you answer that question watch the 60 minutes segment below and understand that the person standing before you is mad as hell that he or she has lost a lot due to our failed government with it’s marriage to big business corrupt influence. As a cop do you remember when your pension took a dive, and now you have to work 5-10 years longer on the street with a loss in medical insurance for you and your family when you finally do retire? Before you take a swing at that kid with your nightstick just give thought that you may have more in common with that person than you think.


In loving memory of Raymond John Lavery (1932-2011)


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About The Author:

Keith R. Lavery, M.A., CMAS, is a full-time criminal justice educator teaching at a public Career Center, University System of Ohio. He has facilitated and designed criminal justice, security, and law enforcement courses of instruction at the post-secondary level. Keith had a very diverse police career spanning nearly 20 years, working in urban and rural law enforcement settings with assignments ranging from patrol to specialized functions, to include HIDTA Drug Unit, CLANLAB Enforcement Team, SRT and Supervision. In 2008, Keith was awarded the Certified Master Anti-Terrorism designation from the Anti-Terrorism Accreditation Board. Academically, he has completed post-graduate course work dedicated toward a Doctorate in Education. Keith is currently the Law Enforcement Liaison for the Cleveland, Ohio, Chapter of ASIS International.

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