Demonstration Education Event

Tina Jones: Good morning. I’m Lieutenant Tina Jones, the Public Information
Officer for the Portland Police Bureau. We’re gathered here today for a unique experience,
a first of its kind really. I’ve gathered a panel of experts in crowd
management to provide some context and information to our media partners in the public. I know that this is an area that’s been of
intense public interest, and we want to provide a window into some of the behind-the-scenes
planning that goes on and some of the roles that aren’t always front and center out in
the field. Tina Jones: How this is going to happen today
is we have our five panelists here who are going to take time to present information
one at a time. Then we’ll have time at the end for a few
questions. We’ll just get going on that. Tina Jones: We will not be talking about upcoming
or previous events in specific or disclosing our tactics for a number of reasons, but we
do want to provide some context and information about some of the things that I think people
just aren’t aware of. Tina Jones: I’ve provided a picture up here
today. This is a sample of what we call an incident
command post. We’ll be talking about some of those things
before. But that’s a window into some of the behind-the-scenes
stuff that we don’t see out in the field when some of these bigger events happen. First, I’d like to introduce to you Captain
Craig Dobson. Craig Dobson: Good morning. My name is Craig Dobson. I’m a 21-year veteran here at the Portland
Police Bureau. I’ve had approximately 18 years where I worked
in crowd management, whether it was on the street or planning for events or also being
an instructor for our classes. Craig Dobson: I spent basically five years
as the special event sergeant in charge of planning and also executing some of the events
that we’ve had during the Occupy years and thereafter. Then also I am an instructor for FEMA, for
the Center of Domestic Preparedness and have taught with them as well across the United
States. Craig Dobson: I think what you’re going to
see today is the overarching goal and priority for us as the police bureau in the city as
a whole is to keep people safe, and is to keep people safe so they can enjoy their rights
and protections that are afforded to them as being citizens and people who live within
this country, this state, and for this city. Craig Dobson: With that, Portland has a long
history, rich history, of people exercising their constitutional rights, particularly
the First Amendment, based rates in the freedom to assemble, as well as speech. We appreciate the opportunity that we have
to be part of that community that is there doing that. Craig Dobson: These events, demonstrations
in particular, are extremely complex events. What we’re hoping today to do is dispel some
of the things that maybe people don’t understand, or open up the curtain a little bit to allow
people to see what goes on behind those events. Craig Dobson: In order to be successful in
any of those events, we have to be well-trained. We have to have good planning to prepare for
those events. Then during the events, we have to be able
to make timely and smart decisions. Then have proper execution of those decisions
on the street and finally have good partnerships. Each one of us is going to spend some time
today talking about those. Craig Dobson: My focus today is to talk about
training. I think one of the perceptions is that our
training is limited to teaching officers to stand on a line and how to use their equipment
and what the laws are to arrest people. But, over time, that has involved, and so
it’s far more complicated than that today. Craig Dobson: When we teach crowd control,
we teach it to all of our sworn members. Those members are trained not only to understand
those things that I just spoke about, but we in-depth talk about why do people demonstrate. Why are we there and what is our purpose and
role there? Craig Dobson: We talk about the history of
protesting here in the United States and the effects of those things that happen here in
the United States. We talk about decision-making and provide
officers and all sworn staff with a model of how to make decisions by taking in information
and processing that information, looking at the risks and assessing those risks, applying
the laws that are applicable, and then making decisions and contingency plans to make the
right decisions. Craig Dobson: We also talk about crowd behavior
theories as well as social identity theories, to talk about how people interact within crowds
and what causes people to do certain things or act in certain ways, and the effect that
we have in those things as well. Craig Dobson: We spend time talking about
case studies, case law so that we understand what the law, the current laws are and what
our abilities are to help keep the peace in times of demonstrations. We also teach the incident command system,
which is based on FEMA’s National Incident Management System of how to respond and how
it gives us structure. Sergeant Schell will be speaking a little
bit about that. It goes into a lot of our planning piece. Craig Dobson: We spend time talking about
communication and the importance of communication, how do we communicate not only with those
that are demonstrating, but with the public in large so that we can keep everyone safe
and everyone understanding what it is that we’re attempting or trying to do during those
events. We spend time talking about de-escalation
and legitimacy. How do we be part of the community and continue
to be legitimate and have legitimacy in those events? Craig Dobson: Again, these events are extremely
complicated and take a team to be able to work through. It’s not simply we show up to these events
and suddenly we just haphazardly make decisions out there. That’s kind what our objective is today is
to talk about how do we keep people safe and help them to exercise their rights in a safe
fashion. I’m going to turn it over now to talk about
planning. Tina Jones: [inaudible 00:06:40]. Marty Schell: Good morning. I’m Marty Schell. I’m the police bureau’s emergency manager. I’ve been with the police bureau for over
22 years. A large portion of my career has been spent
around crowd events or free speech events. Marty Schell: I worked at Central Precinct
as an officer, as a sergeant. I’ve been on our rapid response team both
as an officer and a sergeant. I was the sergeant of the Mounted Patrol Unit. Then I said I’m currently the emergency manager
for the police bureau. I have a lot of experience with dealing with
free speech type events and crowd events throughout Portland. Marty Schell: What I want to talk about is
planning and how we go about planning here at the police bureau, and maybe talk about
some of the misnomers about it. Planning doesn’t occur in a bubble. I think Captain Dobson just said that we use
a nationally recognized system, the National Incident Management System. We use ICS, which is the Incident Command
System. Marty Schell: In that, we’re not the only
people using that. What happens is it lets us be able work with
all of our other partners because they too are also using the same systems to do this. It helps us so we can work with fire, who’s
here with us today, other partners within the City of Portland, such as the water bureau,
the Bureau of Transportation, a lot of those other city bureaus or other outside agencies
locally, the police and the fire agencies. Then federally, people like the Coast Guard,
the EPA, they also use the same type of system to do their planning. Marty Schell: What it does is it’s not just
on me to do all the planning as the planning person. What I do is I facilitate the planning amongst
this team and then a much larger team to coordinate and take what the incident commander wants
to do and work that all the way down to what the people are actually going to do out in
the field. We take the objectives that the incident commander
has and we turn those into work assignments for the people to go out and actually do. Marty Schell: It’s a very prescribed process. We won’t go into it, but it is a very prescribed
process of how we go about doing it. But it is flexible, and sometimes we have
to be very flexible about how we’re doing things, because not every one of these events
will meet that kind of rigid planning procedure. Marty Schell: We’re also required to use this
because we get grants from the federal government. We’re required to use the Incident Command
System while we’re doing this. The picture’s gone away, but up there … Marty Schell: Well, there is a lot of planning
that goes into these events, leading up to the event. There’s also then the day of. I think we showed the incident command post
there, that then the planning also works the day of to make sure that everything is taken
care of, that the command post, the people are there working. Then afterwards, we follow up through an after-action
process that the planning person initiates. Marty Schell: We not only plan for it, we
work the day of the event, but then we also help with the capturing of the lessons learned
through the after-action process so we can get better at these as we go. Wendi S.: Okay. Marty Schell: All right. Wendi S.: I’m Wendi Steinbronn. I’m a commander at North Precinct. Then for events, I am the incident commander
on most events. I have over 25 years of experience with the
Portland Police Bureau. I looked at my training transcript from DPSST
the other day and realized I had well over 3800 training hours total over the course
of my career, which is an average of about 150 hours per year. I didn’t think it was that much, but it is. Wendi S.: Specific to crowd management incident
command, I’ve had over 200 hours of training. I’ve been one of four incident commanders
for crowd management events for the last two years. During that last two years, I’ve served on
12 events, 10 as either being the deputy or the incident commander. I was a member of the rapid response team
when I was an officer and then later as a sergeant, so at first as a line officer and
then later as a squad leader. Wendi S.: What I’m going to talk to you about
today is the incident commander’s role in these events. I should mention I also coordinate the crowd
management incident commander team. We have four incident management teams, each
one is headed by a different incident commander. We rotate on a calendar basis throughout the
year. There’s some overlap depending on who’s available
for certain events. Wendi S.: Prior to the event, we usually get
information, and it could be from the media, social media. Maybe the precinct commander calls and says
that they have information about an event, or through the permits office, we’ll get information
about an upcoming event. Wendi S.: Then we do a size up. We seek information on who’s coming. Is it permitted or not? Is there a person in charge that we can reach
out to and get more information about the event? When is it going to happen? What time? What location? What is the purpose of the event? If they plan on having a march, is that permitted
to have the street or do they plan on marching on the sidewalk? Either one, we would have to have a plan to
facilitate it and make sure people don’t get hit by cars or they don’t interrupt traffic,
and a crowd size estimate. Wendi S.: Sometimes we get three weeks’ notice
and we’ll start the planning process right away. For larger events, sometimes we get more,
especially for planned events. I want to also point out that precincts, especially
Central Precinct, they have many spontaneous events that come up that they’ll call me,
they’ll give me the size up is what we call it, and it’s something that’s not going to
require incident command, it’s not going to require rapid response team be called out. They manage those within their precinct resources. Wendi S.: I believe the commander of Central
was telling me they have well over 200 protest events … Or demonstrations, I should say,
not necessarily protest events, per year. Most of those, we don’t use this Incident
Command System for those. Wendi S.: Once I get that information, we
go into our first of what we call the strategy meeting. That’s part of the ICS system that Sergeant
Schell mentioned. During that, I’ll set my priorities and objectives
after consulting with the assistant chief of operations to verify that they want an
incident commander and RRT called out for the event. I’ll give the priorities and objectives, what
we call the commander’s intent. I give that through my chain of command, through
the assistant chief of operations, who then consults the deputy chief and the chief on
anything that they want changed or added. Wendi S.: My priorities for crowd events are
usually pretty much the same thing. There’s four priorities. Number one is always life safety. Number two is always facilitating free speech. Number three is protection of property. Then number four would be information management,
situational awareness prior to and during the event so that I can make the best decisions
possible. Wendi S.: Once we determine that, as part
of the strategy meeting, we look at past history. Have these groups come together before? If so, what happened, if anything? Has there been any violence when these groups
have come to demonstrate before? Are there other events in the city going on
the same day that we have to basically take into account and if any of those are going
to overlap into the planned demonstration? Is there any opposition to the event? That’s a big one. What actions or activities do we anticipate? Wendi S.: Then once we determine that in the
strategy meeting, typically the team goes into the tactics meeting where the operations
chief, who is the person that’s basically on the radio that day, we sit next to each
other in the command post. I determine the overall strategy for the event. The operations chief is the one that is giving
directions over the radio. They determine the tactics along with the
rapid response team commander, the planning section chief, and our logistics section chief. Wendi S.: I designate the demonstration liaison
teams to reach out to the groups before the event to see if we can set expectations that
we have of how people should behave during the event. Then gather any information from them as to
what they would like to see, how they would like to see the event go. Wendi S.: The official planning cycle, after
we have the strategy meeting and the tactics meeting, we determine how many resources we
need to manage the event safely, what type of resources, whether it’d be RRT, mobile
field force. Do we need Parks Bureau to close certain sections
of a park? Do we need a dump trucks to haul away debris? That type of thing. Wendi S.: Again, as Sergeant Schell mentioned,
we use all city bureaus, parks, PBOT. The mayor’s office is obviously very closely
involved in this. We order up the resources and then finish
determining the tactical plan based on what resources we have available that day. Then we go into writing the incident action
plan, which is a document that we use to manage the event. Wendi S.: During the event, we continue communicating
between the incident management team, our agency representatives, resources in the field,
and we do this by talking on the radio, live stream media events. When the media live streams events, we have
that in the command post to view as well. We pay attention to what’s going on, what
the different coverages are. There are even people that have their own
YouTube channels that go out and broadcast live during the events. We monitor those, too. Wendi S.: The purpose of that is basically
to get a good picture of what’s going on. I may have police resources in this one area,
but there may be something going on blocks away. If somebody’s live streaming that, I get to
kind of take that into my decision-making. Wendi S.: Decisions are based on crowd dynamic,
size, demeanor, and the potential for violence. Basically, the behavior people are engaging
in will determine what we do. After the event, we conduct a debriefing that
day, we call it the hot wash, where we get all the supervisors back in the room after
we’ve demobilized all the resources, the event is over for the most part. We get the supervisors in, we do a briefing. What went well? What could have went better? Wendi S.: I take all that into consideration
then I write a report that’s subject to public record. There’s a police report of my role in the
event. Then within about 10 to 14 days, we conduct
our after-action review, and that goes from the planning section chief all the way up
to the chief’s office. That’s it. Franz Schoening: Good morning. My name is Franz Schoening. I’m a lieutenant over at the Tactical Operations
Division. I am the rapid response team commander and
also a canine unit commander. Franz Schoening: I’ve been with the Portland
Police Bureau for 17 years, 22 altogether in law enforcement. I’ve been on the rapid response team, on and
off the rapid response team for the last 11 years. I have served as an operations section chief
for crowd events. I’ve also been in the Mounted Patrol Unit
as a supervisor. A fair amount of background and training in
ICS and managing these events. Franz Schoening: I was asked to talk today
a little bit about the rapid response team, our role for these events, some of the training
we do, and some of the challenges we face in these events. Franz Schoening: I want to stress first that
the rapid response team is comprised solely of police bureau members who do this as a
secondary job. They all have full-time jobs in their day-to-day
work. They’re patrol officers, detectives from around
the bureau. Franz Schoening: When we pull them from their
day job to come work in these events, it’s because they’re volunteering. There is no additional compensation for that. Their day-to-day job stacks up, and it may
mean there’s less officers available to respond to calls for service. It’s very impactful to their work and also
to the public. Franz Schoening: I also want to stress the
rapid response team is truly an all-hazards incident response team. We specialize in training for all types of
emergencies. Clearly, our main role that you see in the
public is crowd control. But we deal with hazmat incidents, we deal
with search and rescue type incidents, we deal with a variety of things. Franz Schoening: We train rigidly with our
partners, whether it’s other law enforcement agencies, the fire bureau, the National Guard,
for all types of emergencies. An example would be the tire fire at Killingsworth
and Cully a few years ago. That was a fire bureau incident that they
managed, but they asked for our assistance with maintaining a perimeter, doing evacuations. In order to do that safely, we had members
who have additional training in hazmat operations, additional experience and protective equipment
for hazmat operations. They were able to deploy and help the fire
bureau protect the City of Portland and the people in that community. Franz Schoening: All of our members go through
30 hours of basic crowd management and crowd control training that we conduct with our
regional partners. The reason we do that is so that we all understand
what the other agencies are doing. We all learn how to work together, use the
same principles for managing these events. Franz Schoening: In addition to that, we have
supervisors and grenadiers who are the ones that use the munitions you see out there sometimes
during crowd control incidents. They go through an additional 30 hours of
training on how to do that safely, how to deploy those munitions properly. Franz Schoening: We have members who are trained
on how to address protest direct action devices. You may have seen some of that down at the
ICE facility down there on Macadam. If protesters decide to use additional devices
to try and lock themselves, the doors or vehicles, [inaudible 00:21:04], we have members who’ve
gone through additional training through the Center for Domestic Preparedness on how to
get through those devices and remove those people safely. Franz Schoening: In addition, every year,
our rapid response team members go through an additional 40 to 60 hours of in-service
training. Again, that’s all types of hazards and emergencies. We conduct that training in conjunction with
our partners as well. Franz Schoening: Our role for these incidents,
as Commander Steinbronn pointed out, the incident commander sets the overall objectives for
the incident. The operations section chief takes those objectives
and crafts strategies and tactics for how to manage the event. They pass those on to the rapid response team
members out in the field to carry out those missions. Again, it could be crowd management or crowd
control. It just depends on what their priorities or
directions are. Franz Schoening: We like to stay in the area
of crowd management as low level as we can, but sometimes the actions of the crowd, or
members within the crowd, dictate that we shift to more crowd control. We address criminal behavior, not the content
of people’s speech, their ideology, any of that stuff. We have no opinion about what they’re there
for. We address criminal behavior that’s going
on in front of us. Franz Schoening: Some of the challenges we
face is, number one, keeping everybody safe, and that includes our own members. Frequently, when we see ourselves portrayed
in the media, you’ll see our officers are dressed in what you call riot gear. We call it protective equipment, personal
protective equipment. Franz Schoening: There are a variety of ranges
of personal protective equipment. Every patrol officer who goes out to work
the street has protective equipment on. It ranges from our ballistic vests to uniforms
to hazmat gear to additional helmets or padding that you would call riot gear. There’s a wide range that we use during these
events, and it’s focused solely on keeping our members safe. Franz Schoening: Unfortunately, during these
events, we’ve had people throw objects at our police officers, everything from liquids
to bricks and bottles and water bottles and fireworks. When we send our members out to do this job
that they’re volunteering to do, it’s our obligation to keep them safe. Franz Schoening: Part of the planning process
for these events is that the incident commander will look at the information available and,
in consultation with the operations section chief and the rapid response team commander,
will decide what officers wear when they’re going out on the field. It could be standard uniforms, it could be
bicycle gear, it could be full protective equipment, again, that you would call riot
gear. But the point is to keep the members safe. Franz Schoening: The challenges we also face,
I hear a lot in the media about why we’re not addressing a certain person’s criminal
actions in a crowd, why sometimes we end up going to a broad dispersal of a group. The challenge is we would love to surgically
remove one person who’s committing criminal activity from a group of what is probably
at least half or better of folks who were just out there engaging in free speech. Franz Schoening: Unfortunately, it’s difficult
do that safely. Traditionally, the people that are engaging
in criminal activity do so from behind the first several rows of people who are just
there engaging in speech with the police. Franz Schoening: It’s difficult for us to
communicate that to the rest of the crowd. We do the best we can with a sound truck,
but to go in and put hands on that person and arrest them safely without inflaming the
rest of the crowd, because really they don’t understand what we’re trying to do, who we’re
trying to go in to arrest. We do the best we can, but sometimes it’s
just not safe to try and grab the one person or five people or 20 people that are engaging
in criminal violent activity. Franz Schoening: We also are challenged in
this ongoing perception or narrative that we are biased for one side or the other during
these events. We’re not, I assure you. I work intimately with all the members of
my team. We have zero opinion about the ideology or
politics or speech of these groups coming together. Franz Schoening: We address criminal behavior. Unfortunately, sometimes that criminal behavior
is occurring in one area of the event, and so we have to address that criminal behavior. We understand the narrative or the perception
that may create from the community, and we do the best we can to mitigate that because
we are watching everyone involved in these events, looking for criminal behavior. But that’s where our focus is, and sometimes
it’s misinterpreted. Franz Schoening: Also, we fight the perception
that we allow criminal behavior or assault to take place during these events. I think the chief has spoken on this at length. But there are times when the resources we
have right there in the moment are not sufficient to safely go in and make an arrest or take
action. We’re absolutely doing the best we can to
keep people safe, and we’re calling for additional resources and trying to get people there to
take action. Franz Schoening: Frankly, sometimes there’s
so much going on that even if you have an officer standing near an assault that’s taking
place, there’s so much going on, they’re paying attention to so many things they may not perceive
what initially is happening during that assault. Franz Schoening: By the time they notice it’s
going on and they’re trying to evaluate whether there’s crime occurring, who the primary aggressor
is, they’re trying to figure out if they can safely go in and take action, communicating
up the chain of command to the incident command post what’s happening and calling for additional
resources, by the time we get all that done, it’s over, and the best we can do is try and
track that person who we believe committed a crime as they leave that area to make an
arrest afterwards. Sometimes the best we can do is document that
and try to make an arrest following the event, which we’ve also done. Franz Schoening: It is absolutely not that
we don’t want to take action or choose not to take action, it’s just we’re doing the
best we can to take action when we can, but sometimes it’s not safe to do so. That’s it for me. Damon Simmons: Hey, it’s Lieutenant Damon
Simmons with the Portland Fire and Rescue. My role here is I am the lead on the team
of EMTs that are partnered with the police bureau for these events, so the boots-on-the-ground
EMTs that are involved in these events. Damon Simmons: My background is I’ve got 20
years with the fire department. I’m also involved in the state incident management
teams, going to wild fires. I do several things. But in this case, the primary thing that you
need to know is that I’m the lead on that medical team. Damon Simmons: That team came about in 2017
and it was at the behest of the public. The public asked that we have medical personnel
more readily available for these incidents to be able to respond more quickly. It took a little bit of time, but that was
put into place, and it’s been very effective. Damon Simmons: I can tell you that we’re there
to provide medical aid to anyone who’s in need. It allows us to get to patients more quickly,
evaluate them, and then determine what other resources that we need to bring to the table. It allows us to get those resources in and
out safely. It allows better coordination in the event
that the medical situation escalates to a mass casualty incident or something like that. Damon Simmons: We’re also able to provide
other resources that the fire bureau brings to the table, so our hazardous materials resources,
our technical rescue resources. All those are brought to the table and we
have members on our team who are experts in those areas. Damon Simmons: The other thing that having
this team embedded does for us is it keeps resources available for other calls within
the downtown core area, or wherever the demonstrations happen to be taking place so that we’re not
bringing large fire engines, large fire trucks through the area to get to medical calls or
fires, things like that. If those things are needed, we’re able to
better coordinate getting those resources in. But for the most part, we’re able to deal
with the medical calls and then get an ambulance in and out in a relatively quick manner. Damon Simmons: It’s a pretty effective model
and it’s being looked up by agencies across the nation as a model of what does work. We treat, unfortunately, several patients
in most protests, and we do it very effectively, get them in and out, get them the care that
they need, and keep people safe. Damon Simmons: I’d just say that I’ve been
doing this for 20 years, and everything I do is about how we can take care of people
and how we can keep people safe and being there for the community and being a servant. This is just, I think, one more way to do
that. For the firefighters that I work with and
the officers that I work with, I think that that’s a belief that I find is shared by all
of them. That’s all I have. Tina Jones: [inaudible 00:30:32] have anything
you wanted to add? Craig Dobson: If I could just add just a couple
of additional things. Like Commander Steinbronn was saying, we have
over 200 events a year that we monitor, and many of those events, on a typical year, less
than 10 of those require us to actually call out a team or that we have any kind of violence
in where we have to make arrests. The large majority of them, they’re all peaceful,
they’re all quiet, and everyone is able to go home safely and there’s no problem whatsoever. Craig Dobson: The other piece is the partnerships. We spend a lot of time where we talked a little
bit about it here. But we work very closely with all the partners
that we have, and we couldn’t bring them all here today. But we work across the board with all of the
different groups in the city, in the state to make sure that we’re all working together
and on the same page when we do these. Craig Dobson: When we prepare, we prepare
always hoping for the best, but we prepare for the worst, whatever that information is. Most of the time, it comes out great and everybody
goes home and there’s no problems, whatsoever, which is how we, again, focus on that goal
of keeping everybody safe. Tina Jones: Thank you. Did anyone have anything else to add that
you can come … Okay. We have some time to take some questions,
if you have them. Again, we want to focus on the expertise that’s
here in front of you. We’re not going to be answering specific questions
about prior or upcoming events or tactics. But we want to help answer any questions that
you may have. Yes, Alex? Alex: Yeah, I had a question about the rapid
response team division. I just wanted to clarify. Tina Jones: I’m just going to repeat it. Thank you. Alex: They’re all volunteers. They volunteer to do that work. Are they not compensated, or those hours they
work in protests, that kind of volunteer way, or are they, I don’t know … Tina Jones: I’ll repeat the question since
we’re recording. The question was around the rapid response
team and their volunteers. But what is their compensation? Franz Schoening: I appreciate you asking the
clarification question. They are compensated for the hours they work. When I say they’re not compensated for their
duties, a variety of assignments here in the police bureau like our special emergency reaction
team, canine traffic have premium pays associated with assignment to those units. Under our contract with the PPA, for rapid
response team members, there is no additional premium pay. They get solely what they would earn for hourly
wages. Alex: Thanks. Speaker 8: I have a question about de-escalation
tactics. What are ways that you can de-escalate a situation,
a protest and what ways have you found have worked in the past? Tina Jones: The question was around de-escalation
tactics and what ways do we have to de-escalate situations and what ways have worked in the
past. Wendi S.: I think one of the things that we’re
developing now and have been using for the past year is the use of the police liaison
team, or we call them the demonstration liaison team. Depending on the number of groups, we will
assign teams of two officers each, and they will be assigned to that group to reach out
to any group organizer, any self-proclaimed leader, the permit holder if they have a permit,
and talk with them ahead of time about what they expect to happen, what are their expectations,
and setting expectations from us about, “These are the things that we’d like you to do. If you plan on marching, we’d like you to
get a permit. But if you’re not going to get a permit, we’d
like you to at least tell us what the route is so that we can safely facilitate blocking
off traffic for you,” those types of things. I think talking and developing that ahead
of time goes a lot towards managing the event. Wendi S.: This is something new that we’ve
been trying, like I said, for the last year. We’ve sent our members up to training in Canada
recently to look at their best practices and learn from that. They’re doing a bureau-wide training with
those liaisons next week. Tina Jones: We also have [inaudible 00:34:59]- Wendi S.: Oh, sure. Tina Jones: … or the sound truck because
I think that … Or one of you [crosstalk 00:35:00]. Wendi S.: [crosstalk 00:34:59]. Craig Dobson: I was going to say one of the
other options that we do is if we do have to, say, go in and make arrests or we identify
that we might be the problem, we might be the agitation there, we will remove ourselves
physically from that to try to de-escalate and encourage the people through our sound
truck to just continue on with the demonstration they’re doing and that we’re removing ourselves
physically from that, if we deem that we’re the agitation. Wendi S.: Yeah, thank you for mentioning that. I notice that people in the crowd often clap
when we do that. We are doing it intentionally. Dispersal orders, is that what you want? Tina Jones: Yeah. We’re talking about de-escalation and sound
truck. We’re communicating on social media and [inaudible
00:35:43]. Wendi S.: Okay, yeah. We push out those messages ahead of time. If we’re getting ready to disperse a crowd,
I wouldn’t really consider that de-escalation at that point because basically we’re giving
an order for people to leave the area. But we try to give out plenty of notice. We try to let people know the direction that
we’d like them to go. Is that what you’re getting at? Tina Jones: Yeah. Wendi S.: Okay. Tina Jones: Even before then, and maybe I
can talk. Wendi S.: Yeah. Why don’t you cover the social media? Tina Jones: That’s okay. Wendi S.: [inaudible 00:36:10]. Tina Jones: I know from the communications
team, we push out messaging ahead of time to the public with instruction as far as what’s
happening and where, so that people can try and avoid the area and, if they’re planning
to come, what some of the expectations are about, say, park rules or some of the laws. Tina Jones: Really, if it gets to the point
where we’re having to do dispersal orders, one of the things that we need everybody to
understand is we are at a point where, for safety reasons, we need a crowd to disperse. Those orders apply to everyone, and whether
it’s media or someone who’s standing there and looking. I think sometimes people think, “Oh, it doesn’t
apply to me because I’m not here for this event,” but it does apply to everybody. Tina Jones: If it’s get out of the street,
if that’s the instruction and the order that’s being given, or what direction to go, we need
everybody to comply with those orders for public safety. If people aren’t compliant, then that’s where,
depending on what’s happening, it may tip the balance for us having to make other decisions
up to and including force decisions. Where we would rather not be there, sometimes,
for safety reasons, that’s where it goes. Anything else to add? I know Franz said something else there. Franz Schoening: Every event is different,
and we attempt to de-escalate every event. For some events, we’ll have officers who are
out there in the crowd in their normal uniforms or in bike uniforms, because sometimes our
presence helps de-escalate the event. For other events, if the group is clearly
anti-police or anti-government, then our presence will make things worse. Franz Schoening: As the commander said, in
those cases, when we can, we’ll remove ourselves from that event, when we’re able to, to de-escalate
it. Sometimes we don’t have the choice. We can’t leave, because if we leave, other
criminal activity will take place, and so that option’s taken off the table. But every event, our choices are tailored
to that event. Tina Jones: One more for clarification on
that, too. Like Lieutenant Schoening is saying, every
event is different. Even though we might have prior events with
the same or similar groups, it may not be all the same people, and we can’t make those
assumptions. Tina Jones: Not everybody who shows up to
these events engages in criminal behavior or intends to. We always keep that in mind, but we also have
to keep that broader goal in mind as far as public safety. Other questions? Speaker 9: Yes. [inaudible 00:38:54]. You mentioned [inaudible 00:38:56] in the
area of crowd management and sometimes [inaudible 00:38:59] crowd control. Can you elaborate a little bit on what you
were referring to there and the differences [inaudible 00:39:06]? Tina Jones: The question was around elaborating
on the difference between crowd management and crowd control. Franz Schoening: Do you want to start with
Craig and talk about [inaudible 00:39:17], or commander? I’m happy to talk about the rapid response
team, how we do that, but really the theory of crowd management and crowd control is more
about [inaudible 00:39:25] management. Wendi S.: Oh, yeah. Go ahead. Craig Dobson: Thanks. Thanks. Managing a crowd, we would always like to
stay in managing a crowd. What we try to encourage people to do is to
self-police themselves. If they’ve said, “We’re going to take this
route,” we want them to stay on that route. When we start seeing things happen where they
maybe have an agitator or something is going on where they’re maybe not following the route
that they’ve stated with us, we’re going to reach out to them and encourage them to self-police
themselves and try to maintain that amongst themselves so that the police don’t have to
be there to help manage that. Craig Dobson: At some point, though, what
happens is when we start determining that the risks are starting to outweigh our ability
to be able to communicate with the group or the group itself to be able to control itself,
then you’ll start to see us start moving in and putting officers on streets to block and
help direct that crowd. That’s our next step. Craig Dobson: If that works, great, and we’ll
try to let that go. Then we’ll back off from that if it starts
to flow again and work for us and it looks like they’re able to get back under control
… Or not under control, but are able to control themselves and keep it peaceful. Craig Dobson: If that doesn’t work, then we
have to start looking at maybe making arrests and pulling those people that are acting out
and doing criminal actions. Then we’ll start removing those. That’s really where we start getting into
that control piece. Did that answer your question? You’ve got anything to add, Wendi? Okay. Tina Jones: We had a question. Speaker 10: Yeah. People often bring weapons to these events. Sometimes those are guns that they have [inaudible
00:41:18] carry permit for, but there’s also a wide range of other circumstances that play
into whether or not having a weapon is permitted. Can you just explain how do you assess that
ahead of time, that issue, and how and when you act to disarm people? Tina Jones: The question is around- Speaker 10: Guns, but not strictly guns. [inaudible 00:41:42]. Craig Dobson: Sure. Tina Jones: Sure. The question is around weapons being brought,
both lawfully or unlawfully, into these situations and how we assess that or how we handle that. Speaker 10: Yeah. Also, when something that might be lawful
becomes … What different factors affect whether a weapon is lawful and [inaudible
00:42:01] situation [inaudible 00:42:02]? Tina Jones: And when that might turn into
unlawful behavior. Craig Dobson: That’s what adds a lot of the
complexity that we have here, weapons in particular. If we don’t talk about firearms, let’s talk
about other weapons. We have a city code that allows us to seize
weapons when we can find them and see them. Basically what we do is we’ll go in, if it’s
safe for us to do so. Go in and seize that weapon, write a property
receipt, and that person can then come pick up that weapon at the end of the event. Craig Dobson: The challenge being that a lot
of the things that people bring to these events are weapons that they can easily conceal. We might not have any knowledge of what and
who is bringing those events. When we prepare for these events, we’re looking
at all of the information that we can have, open source-wise, to say are there groups
out there talking about bringing weapons? We’ll start that conversation. Craig Dobson: We work with our city attorneys
as advisors, as well as the DA’s office, to help advise us on what laws we can enforce
and what we can’t enforce at that time. It gets sometimes really sticky because certain
laws apply and certain don’t apply. Craig Dobson: When you talk about firearms,
then it gets more difficult because if you have a CCW, you can go in certain places,
and that’s okay as long as it’s unloaded based on the city code. But you can’t bring them into other places
because according to … If you’re at a federal park, you can’t carry that. Craig Dobson: There’s a myriad of laws that
we have to sift through. Then when we encounter different weapons,
we have to make that decision of can we seize it? Is it safe for us to seize at that point in
time? At times, it’s okay for people … Because
of the law, they can carry certain weapons. Legally, we have no right to be able to take
them depending on the circumstances. Speaker 11: If it’s still in a pocket in a
park [inaudible 00:44:10]? Tina Jones: It depends. Wendi S.: On the park. Craig Dobson: Again, it depends on the park. Speaker 11: Say Waterfront Park. Craig Dobson: As an example, Waterfront Park,
a pistol. Do they have a CCW or not? That’s one of the factors that we have to
look at. Because if they have a CCW, they can carry
that in the park in their pocket. Is it loaded? That’s the next question. Again, it gets really- Female: Can I stop you for a second? Craig Dobson: … hairy. Female: If they have a CCW, can they carry
it in the park loaded or unloaded, or … Because you brought up the is it loaded question. How does the is it loaded factor in? Craig Dobson: In some cases, you’re allowed
to carry a firearm in the City of Portland as long as it’s unloaded … Wendi S.: Open carry. Craig Dobson: … which is open carry. There are other times when you’re allowed
to carry it loaded. Again, that’s where we start getting advice
from our city attorney and the DA’s office so that we’re making the right decision. Like I said, it gets complicated really quick
when we start talking about weapons and where they’re at and how do we safely check and
verify that they’ve got what they need credential-wise to be able to carry that weapon. Craig Dobson: It becomes very complicated. We usually fall back on legal advice to help
us go through the mire that we have to make those decisions. Female: Thanks. Alex: How does the [inaudible 00:45:44] carry
permit or none [inaudible 00:45:51]? That’s [inaudible 00:45:51]; that doesn’t
transfer [inaudible 00:45:54]. Tina Jones: Correct. Out-of-state concealed carry is not applicable
here. Speaker 8: Is it applicable. Tina Jones: Is not, yeah. Speaker 13: Let’s say you determine someone
has a concealed carry … I know this is very specific, but I think this broadly applies. Let’s say you determine somebody has a legal
concealed carry and you know they have a weapon, and they’re attending this protest on one
side or the other. How do you as law enforcement respond to that,
I mean, to make sure that that situation stays safe? I think there’s a lot of concern about people
bringing weapons into these protests and not being monitored. I mean how do you as law enforcement respond
to that? Tina Jones: I’m not sure how to [crosstalk
00:46:37]. Craig Dobson: The question is when we know
someone has a weapon legally, how do we respond to that and keep people safe? Is that your question? Craig Dobson: I hate to give this … It becomes
situational. We are going to start watching that person. We’re going to observe that person and keep
track of that person to know that that person’s in the crowd and they have a weapon. Craig Dobson: They’re lawful and legal. It just means that we’re going to keep an
eye on that, because there are situations where that person might lose that weapon to
someone else. It becomes very tenuous for us to carefully
monitor those people that we know are carrying weapons to ensure that it stays safe. Craig Dobson: Again, it becomes situational
to each situation. It can vary based on them going from one location
to another location. Does that change things? There’s no concrete answer to how do we do
that, other than we keep track of those people from a distance to make sure that we’re monitoring
and keeping track of those that we know have weapons. Franz Schoening: [inaudible 00:47:39]. Tina Jones: Hold on. He’s going to add something. Wendi S.: Yeah. Franz Schoening: I know we just stressed that
when we have events where we know firearms are going to be present, we may staff different
resources or have different plans in place to deal with the potential that that could
come into play for the event. We may have more robust medical plans or resources
or police resource to deal with that. I can’t get into the specifics about what
we plan for, but we account for that potential during these events. Wendi S.: I think there was a question on
how can we tell if it’s loaded or not. Speaker 11: Yeah. Wendi S.: If it’s open carry and they don’t
have a concealed weapons permit, and we have reason to stop and talk to that person because
they’re either engaging in suspicious behavior or acting out in some manner, we can ask to
inspect the weapon. That’s how you would tell. Speaker 11: So if they’re angry and menacing,
you could stop them? Wendi S.: I would, yes. Speaker 8: You can ask to inspect their weapon,
but do they have to give it to you? Wendi S.: If they don’t have a concealed weapons
permit, they’re required to allow us to inspect it. Most people, I should say, with concealed
weapons permit have no problem showing us their permit and letting us inspect as well. Tina Jones: [inaudible 00:48:53]. Speaker 10: You mentioned in training that
you teach crowd behavior theories and socially identity theories. Can you just give a couple examples of the
relevant theories you want officers to understand, what you tell them about how crowds behave. Tina Jones: The question was around crowd
theory and social identity and providing some examples. Craig Dobson: Some of the old crowd behavior
theories have been debunked. Some of them came out of long ago mob mentality,
the idea that a crowd is going to act all in unison, almost like zombies or Borg, if
you will. Those have been debunked over the last 40
years of social scientists going in and looking at data and studying events. They’ve been able to disprove that and say
that people don’t lose their cognitive ability when they get together as a group. Craig Dobson: The social identity piece is
people … You hear the words birds of a feather flock together. We know that groups come together when they
have commonalities. We talk about what brings people together
and why does that bring people together. Craig Dobson: Then we also talk about when
you bring the police into those groups, how does that affect the group? How do we try to work with those groups when
we are viewed as an outsider, or possibly even as a threat to those folks? How do we de-escalate that situation? How do we build legitimacy with those groups
as we’re dealing with them when they’re viewing us as an outsider and maybe not have the same
views that they have? Did that help you? Speaker 10: Yeah. I mean on the first answer, it sounds like
you’re … I understand what you’re not teaching anymore, but I’m still confused about what
are the relevant ways that people’s behavior change in a crowd that you would want your
officers to be trained in and to understand, or are there any? Craig Dobson: Again, we focus on criminality. What we try to teach is that the old thought
processes of mob mentality are debunked and that people act as individuals within a group. They can be influenced, but they act as individuals
and they don’t lose their cognitive ability to make decisions on their own. Again, they’re not the Borg or zombies that
just walk around and carry their pitch fork and torch, but that they work as groups. Craig Dobson: Because of that, it’s important
for us to communicate with them. The more communication we can work with them
to explain why we’re doing what we’re doing based on what we’re seeing helps us build
that legitimacy and work with them, so that they know and they can trust us to know that
we’re there not necessarily to take away their away First Amendment right, but that we’re
there to keep them safe and remove criminality amongst that group. Tina Jones: Again, one key thing to remember
in all of these events that the whole group may not be engaged in criminal behavior. Most of the demonstrations that we see, the
majority of folks are there for the gathering for a particular purpose or intent. Tina Jones: Sometimes, though, there are individuals
who show up and their intent is to engage in criminal behavior. But we’re very careful and we train around
that, that that doesn’t mean that we need to treat the entire group as if all of them
are engaging in criminal behavior. That’s where the tactics and the decision-making
and have to take all of that into account. Female: Kind of a follow-up question to that
then, are your officers then planning to handle a group in a different way if you identified
that that group does view police as an outsider versus a group that views police as a protector
or an ally? How are your officers handling those different
groups? Craig Dobson: You want to repeat the question
and then I’ll answer the question? Tina Jones: Yeah. I’m trying to figure out how to summarize
that. I think the question was around if a group
views the police as an outsider, are we interacting with them differently than maybe a group that
might see us as a protector? Tina Jones: I think some of the response to
that would be it might be easier for us to communicate with groups and they might be
more compliant to direction if they are seeing us in a legitimate capacity and as a protector. They would follow our direction and maybe
not engage in criminal behavior. It may be easier to stay in that crowd management
mode rather than the crowd control mode. Tina Jones: Another group that might not see
us as legitimate or as that protector role, I think, would potentially be in that other
category where they might not be as inclined to communicate with us or follow direction. Some of them may be engaging or have an intent
to engage in criminal behavior, and then that might then tip it into that crowd control
mode where we would maybe get past where we’re asking them to do things and they’re not doing
it. Then we’re telling them and then we’re having
to take some sort of action to achieve that objective. Craig Dobson: We don’t treat groups differently. We treat them all the same. But there are groups that don’t maybe necessarily
identify with us as well. Craig Dobson: Like the commander was saying,
we worked on building liaison units or officers who will dress differently than a normal police
officer. They’re going to have a different uniform
on to be able to try to breakthrough that barrier of building that legitimacy and trust,
because they might come from a culture that doesn’t necessarily view the police as safe. We try to use other methods to try to work
with those groups. Does that answer your question? Female: Yeah. Franz Schoening: [crosstalk 00:54:59]. Female: I guess I’m just wondering to at an
active demonstration, is that affecting officer behavior? Are you going into the defensive with a certain
group, or is it affecting [inaudible 00:55:09] when certain situations [inaudible 00:55:12]? Craig Dobson: Part of the training that we
teach, as a side thing, part of the thing that we teach officers is to understand what
their hot buttons are or what their triggers are. We try to desensitize those triggers or make
them aware of those triggers so that they aren’t triggered, because there are certain
people who will try to agitate the police or come up and agitate an individual. Craig Dobson: We try to make them aware that
there are people that might try to do that to you and you have to be sensitive of knowing
what your limits are so that you don’t react in a negative fashion. But the broader question, I’ll pass it down
to Lieutenant Schoening and have him answer that. Franz Schoening: At the end of the day, we’re
trying to make things better, not worse. It’s critical that the officers in the rapid
response team understand the principles of the elaborated social identity model that
Captain Dobson was talking about, so they understand when they’re making that decision
on how to act, they have the framework to understand if their action is going to make
things better or worse. Franz Schoening: If you have a crowd that
is clearly anti-police, the agenda for the event is anti-police, having an officer go
into that group to try to be friendly and talk to them may escalate it. They may end up being the subject of force
that causes us to have to respond by using force. Franz Schoening: The example I gave earlier
of a demonstration where you’ve got the first row or two of people who are just engaging
in speech, and then someone three or four or five rows back is throwing objects at the
police, our officers have to know, yeah, ideally, we would walk into that crowd and arrest the
one person engaging in criminal activity. But when we go to walk into that crowd, the
first several rows of people who don’t know what’s happening behind them may perceive
that, like you said, as a threat. They may respond by pushing back on the police
officers. Franz Schoening: We may end up having to use
force on the first one or two or three rows to get to the person who was throwing things
at us. By the time we do that, we’ve used a whole
lot of force, and the person we were trying to get originally has gone because it has
taken so long. Franz Schoening: That’s the framework for
every decision our folks are making out there and the framework for the decisions that the
operations section chief and the incident commander are making when they tell us what
missions they’re giving us. Tina Jones: Can I add one quickly? [inaudible 00:57:20]. I just want to add one quick thing. I know our panel today, we brought in some
of the key decision-makers and those of us who’ve, I guess, climbed the ranks. But all of us have, at one point in time,
been out on that front line. What we haven’t really touched on as much
today are the officers who are on the line, other than maybe a little bit about RRT. Tina Jones: But these events, our officers
end up coming down, and they’re part of either RRT, SPOT or mobile field force, or they’re
in a support role. They are there to help the commander achieve
the objectives that are set out, but especially on the longer events. Tina Jones: I mean we’re human beings at the
end of the day and we make decisions based on what we have in front of us and the training
that we have. We can get tired and all of those things. We try and take that into account and provide
the opportunity to be aware of getting our folks rest and breaks. Sometimes, based on the event, we may have
to cancel days off. Those are all things that impact us as human
beings. It can be stressful out there for folks. Tina Jones: Those are all things that, in
addition to everything that we’re seeing out there, we also have to make sure that we’re
taking care of our people so that they can go out and perform at the high level and be
professional like we expect them to be. I think we’ve got time for just a couple more
quick questions. Male: A lot of these people are performing
for the media. How do you deal with these people? I hate to say they’re performing for the media,
but I’ve been going up to these things to know that that’s exactly what they’re doing. How does the media come into your handling
of these protests and these events? Tina Jones: That’s a great question. I didn’t summarize it. Wendi S.: That’s fine. It can be challenging because we are aware
of that. With the demonstration liaison teams, when
we try to contact groups, kind of more to your question, we don’t take at face value
what people tell us. We realize that they may not be … “Oh, we’re
going to come here and be peaceful.” We understand that that may not be the truth,
or circumstances may happen that change that intent. We’re aware of that, just so you know. Wendi S.: Then I’m also aware that there’s
people that like to go into the crowds and be a provocateur. Then try to turn around, saying, “Well, where
were the police? Why didn’t they help me?” We’re aware of all that. When we see that, sometimes you just have
to grit your teeth and you know what really happened and just ride it out. Tina Jones: I think we have time for one last
question. [Blaire 01:00:05]? Sure. Blaire: We’ve seen in the past sometimes at
these events the official purpose will end, but then violent incidents [inaudible 01:00:13]
after the fact. How does that factor into [inaudible 01:00:20]
for the day? Tina Jones: The question was around we might
see some main event, and then in the hours after it appears as broken up, there might
be other events and other locations after, and how are we planning for that or how do
we deal with that? Wendi S.: Okay. I know that we weren’t going to get into specific
events, but for this example, I’ll talk about a specific event. Wendi S.: I was the incident commander for
May Day. Once the major demonstrations were over with,
I felt confident that we could demobilize the teams and start sending people home. I wish I would have done that differently
because then a large group went over and there was a big disturbance outside a riot. I had demobilized the majority of the crowd
management teams. That’s on me. I have to accept responsibility for that. Wendi S.: What I did differently for June
29th, because I was also the incident commander for that, I made sure that we had those groups. After I demobilized the main resources for
that event, I made sure that we had adequate resources to be around that area in case that
happened again. Female: [inaudible 01:01:24]. Tina Jones: One of the things that we encounter
is that we’ll change our tactics and our strategies, and there are individuals or groups out there
who are always looking to try and thwart what we’re doing or counter what we’re doing. It really is that continuous learning and
adapting and being flexible. Tina Jones: I really appreciate everybody
coming out. I know we’ve had an hour to present and take
some questions. I would love your feedback. This is the first time we’ve done something
of this nature that I’m aware of. I’d love your feedback as far as whether or
not you felt it was helpful. Or if you have other questions that come up,
please feel free to send them to the PIO box and we’ll see if we can get answers for you. Tina Jones: I’d like to thank our panel members. I know it’s challenging to get up and sometimes
explain, but I think it’s really helpful to understand at a broader level some of the
roles and experience that really is present in our organization. Thank you all for coming.

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