NER Washington forum; Police riot control training, part 1
Running out on my right arm. The sound you hear in the background is that of police M1 rifles the men firing these weapons are members of a suburban Washington D.C. Police Department undergoing a riot control training on the outskirts of our nation's capital and a continuation of the National Educational radio's look at various repercussions of race and civil disorders in the United States. This week the NDR Washington forum spotlights police riot control training. This program was produced for national educational radio through the facilities of W am you FM American University Radio in Washington the U.S.. National Educational Radio acknowledges the cooperation and assistance of the officers and men of the Fairfax County Virginia police. The five months allowed this reporter to participate in a
riot control program. I'm an E.R. public affairs director Bill Greenwood broadcasting from the Northern Virginia police academy in a suburban area of Washington. Last week this program discussed congressional legislation dealing with ways of halting out breaking and rioting in this country. Another aspect of this overall problem is the matter and what police departments cope without a right of civil disorder. President Johnson recently urged Congress to establish a national police training school to instruct officers on the latest methods of halting mob violence. Although such a large scale training program is still far from reality many a local police departments are now instituting their own programs. One of the departments that has taken an impressive lead in such training is this one in the Virginia suburbs aware of the demands that will be placed upon its men should rioting ever occur in the Washington metropolitan area.
The Fairfax County Police Department has ordered all men to train in the very latest riot control methods. The man who is in charge of training here in suburban Washington for this department is Lieutenant Dan Kris. Lieutenant Chris you seem to have a quite organized pursuit of this is this obviously the result of a great deal of planning. Yes it is and as a result of a great deal of planning we have been in a in the planning stage for the past three weeks. We have. Completed a week of training in which we saw more than one hundred fifty men go through this sequence. We heard a few moments ago in your training room an introduction to this course and I think at this time we're going to switch back from the firing range here to that training hall to let our listeners share this statement which you gave to the man undergoing this training. All right the first question I want to answer is why this particular type of training. For those of you
who work the night that we mobilize now to grow. So pretty good routine take place. In the absence of any recent training say recent blast we had last summer. The troops look pretty good. I was very proud the chief was proud. We did see some mistakes. And we're about to correct those mistakes. I want to happen after that. Now if you were there you saw Mr. Massey there. And you saw our commonwealth attorney present at Grove and. Obviously Mr. Massey being the chief executive representing the county on a county level comparable with the president. The United States had to be there. He was he was the overall boss. Now after these things happen just like all the other riots in Milwaukee and Buffalo What have you. There are always some on Monday morning quarterbacks. You did it wrong. You should have prepared you should have planned all that garbage out. Everyone's telling
who the hell is to blame for what I'm not going to stand here and tell you who's to blame because I don't know. All I know is that after our little foray down there our chief was called over and he was asked what is the state of training in this county right now. What is the state of preparedness in his county right now. What kind of equipment do you have. Well needless to say we didn't have what we should have. What we should have and the training was recent recently last summer. There was nothing wrong with the training we gave you people last year. The trouble is that as of early this year the tactics of the rioters changed. You know you're going to have a plan to combat rioting but if they don't riot according to your plan like they did in Milwaukee that's what happened. They went by the book and the riot didn't take place according to the book. So 5000 National Guard troops stand around not know what the hell to do. When I loaded rifles to boot. So. The tactics have changed. It's now street warfare guerrilla warfare. Last baron I had the pleasure of going up
to. Trenton New Jersey with Inspector Dotson on his bike across and we talked with a man in a field. We did not talk to someone who was a hundred miles away from the action. We talked to the man who did the shooting. We talked to the operations people. And let me tell you they were scared. They were scared. Because there was no way in God's world and on how many damn weapons around at City. All of our grief before a band up in Plainfield all the other places where the weapons were stolen. There was no way of knowing how much a weapon how much weaponry they had what kind of weaponry they had and how much ammunition and what to make it worse this type of warfare was new sniping. Well none of us have had any except in the service maybe that's my view from 14 storeys up 12 stories up from all kinds of windows shooting from all kinds of windows all at once in a different times. So we have to put together a training program we were under direct orders from the Board of Supervisors that this county shall be prepared for any emergency.
We had lots of staff meetings we did a lot of planning. Question was what are we going to do. What kind of training are we going to hear what kind of equipment do we want. That's requiring a lot of research looking into the other cities looking into Milwaukee looking into Rochester all these other places. What did they use there. What do they use we want to use what they use it we don't want to use in one setting are New Jersey and it's Life magazine here you'll see an Ark City police museum using an automatic shotgun. We don't want automatic shotguns. We want the banks and jobs so we were called on the carpet to put something together and we did in very very short notice in very very short order. Less than a week and a half we put this thing together. Everybody had their assigned task my assigned task was put in a training program together. Other people like out of Columbus was assigned to digging up equipment equipment sources and if you think you can buy shotguns in sizeable quantities you go out and try you just try to get weapons or you can't buy them you can't buy some of these damn weapons if you've
got a weapon you can buy the accompanying ammunition. So we put the thing together. Chief I have to ask what we thought about what I thought about training. I should have to be retrained. These are new tactics the old formations in the drilling we still want to do some drilling for the old formations are out the window or not this is this great warfare this is shielding police against the snipers and very high first. So we planned on equipping and training 300 might. Cost a lot of money a lot of money we're talking about on a thousand dollars. I was the second alternative the second alternative was have to force one hundred fifty men under that this and armed with this information. He went before the board the board granted him $50000. They turned down the equipping and training of all approve the retraining of the entire force equipping of a hundred five gave us something like $50000 with which to do it. This allowed us and Europe.
I won't go into details I have to have a squabble with your instructor here. One will tell you what he will have and you will have this information in your hand material but we want honest promise and we came back with this approval and we had all of that meetings up stairs we had to call an manufacturers representative like us overnight from that. Developmentally of this kind of gas what kind of weapon how about ammunition all that stuff out of the gun to put the training program together because obviously we can't for example we can't say we're going to use and one semiautomatic rifle and I'm just training time we don't have one. You can't you can't train an instructor on a dummy. So we have to wait until a real game. Now we have the young ones everybody Department will work with them one right now retraining so that you will qualify with a rifle a shotgun and a reservist with as many men as possible will get a chance to fire that GAFCON.
We're going to have a gas gun and later I'll be telling you about the different sequences that will be going on there. A lot of planning rather went under the bridge before we came to where we are or we started a week ago today in addition to all this planning policy had to be written. The chief had to come out and say this is what he's going to back this is the way it's going to operate if it's not here somebody's got to take a slice of that man isn't here somebody can take his place right on down to the Gap someplace. Somebody someone man's got to be in charge and we have the right policy on arrest the use of deadly force which all of you will get a copy of today is the chief going to ask you if you have it you can kill a man in certain conditions yet other conditions no you go off on a folly of your own just grab you one call exotic and and let him have it you going to find out you're not going to get the support. Do your job the way you're supposed to according to the law and the department back your way your instructors will tell you about more of this later.
So I can have the jump on us but that on the 15 point on 131. We find that under certain conditions we can go from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. They can come here and we can do all that. So we have to start thinking about uniform training training which is compatible with our link training which is compatible with Fairfax City Vienna austerity and other jurisdictions which are participating. If we go into Arlington we're going to work as uniformly with them as possible. If we need the forces of Vienna we need to force the Fairfax City because these men have gone through the same thing. When I report the scene of a civil disorder they know exactly what they're supposed to do. A squad member will know what I squad leader job is a squad leader will know what a squad member job is. And the people of the squad leader will not want to feel commanders Japanese so that we can put all these functions together and we don't trip over each other as we go along. Jurisdictional crossing jurisdictional boundaries brought into question who will command if we go
into Arlington do we stay under Chief Gar or do we go on the chief. This had to be our No. What about other forces operating within Fairfax County and if I disorder or comes in here we know from experience that the state police come in the state police retain command of their people. They never turn over command of their people to the local police. This had to be worked out about the FBI we don't want to be stumbling over each other's feet. All these have to be worked out and this is why we have this training. So we can be compatible with the other jurisdictions. So the training is can be uniform so we know where the hell were going so we know who's running the show so we know what our obligations are. After this day is over we should be able to have an M-1 rifle than any man in his room and he should know how to load that thing and fire it. We should be able to get a gas gun any man in his room and he should know how to fire. Same thing with these other kind of weapon will be given you. We have a new M7 gas mask
every man would be familiar with. You'll find it's a big improvement over what we've had in the past. And we have to be prepared because we have talked with these other jurisdictions when I cited your actions I'm talking about state police. And National Guard when I talking about two hours before they can mobilize. If you follow it I don't have to tell you you know what the hell can happen in two hours. Now within two hours we have at our fingertips. If we mobilize all our forces we have almost 500 police available. That is using all the city police and town police and county police. That's a lot of damage. We ought to be able to contain with what may come up here even in a city of Alexandria played at twenty thousand dollars. That. I think we can handle it. Or do. We talk about mobilization of troops. Three four hours that's a long time and I can do an awful lot of bombing and buying and killing in a time. We've got to be prepared. There's no question about it. We are the first line of defense.
We were going to have four groups. One receiving instruction on the Firing Line act as a clear target noumenon the weapons. To the firing line practical training in the use of. Striking. Revolvers and semi automatic rifles under actual smoke and fear gas conditions. I don't get excited. One hundred fifty men went through before nobody died nobody turned tail and ran. Nobody got sick. We're just using plain O sing and tear gas. On the range and a little smoke makes then. Very very Highness. The theory is twofold one we want to find out who is allergic to tear gas. As we did in one of our cademy classes one man got so broken out it looked like about a third degree case of. Poison Ivy. And we want to find out if we're going to have any emotional problems. Now I might be a battle man because I thought somebody about this yesterday and I want to play down this madness of cowardice I don't think there's a coward among us. But we're talking about
emotions we want where we're talking about a mile of line and. We're talking about my other revolver under tear gas and smoke and accurate and we want to know this. If he's going to panic. You know as a man and you are I'm. No less a policeman. But we're going to have to put him somewhere else. In the auxillary or support position where he really will be a danger to the other people around. So you'll be hearing on the actual smoke the tear gas conditions for a period of about 10 minutes. There. So no they do not a good man. Sorry no man will be given to structure my view of the gas. You're looking at her name pass him up and say I want your projectile Jack on semi-automatic rifle. Everybody will get instruction and training on this. While working out in the field all here also under either Lieutenant Tuck Lieutenant well to attend a base on and it will. Be going into some of
these rock formations in close order drill. I say well I came down to the march all day. No you didn't come down here to march all day. But what we want to do is let you and help help you know you're right for. Your right foot from your left foot. And we want you to know that one of my answers calm right March. Everybody goes in the right direction. One of the things that impressed the writers of the New Jersey as we saw in the film when I was troopers came marching out of that armory and I wasn't a trooper out of step. And. That's the group we want to impress most are the rioters. You hear phrases such as a show of strength. A show of force. Well we found out one thing up there you know make a show of strength you know make a show of force unless you're ready to use that force. Life that forces ready to go into action. You just don't march a hundred fifty men down the street. We found out that in many instances where the town such as.
Detroit. Where they were hasn't been hesitant to put out the man where they were you reluctant to say to kill if you're fired upon. That's why they had trouble. We found a lack of coordination and Detroit. Was a major factor 5000 National Guard troops. Five separate command post and neither one knew what the hell the other one was doing. No communications went off. We could've packed up her duty back and went home. Least of all the police didn't know what the hell was going on. So we're going a bit of both or nothing much. A record for the use of handcuffs. The use of handcuffs and arrest techniques. We're going to find I'm going to use handcuffs for them on the way they should go on or don't put them on at all because you're giving them a weapon. Those of us who've been down a chronic on him individual instruction by the FBI we find ourselves handcuffs are secure. All you need is a Lady Bobby Turner happened open and.
We're going to get some of your relation with the I-17 gas mask. No gas mask you're going to like it. It doesn't fog up you can talk through it very very. No more canister down here. The diaphragms around which makes a lot of you go way over. Here but you know that was a piece of my gas propellant. Every man every man of the hundred fifty men we mobilize will be given and actually will be given a tear gassed beat maker tear gas propellers will put a little dab on the left GUYS I'M GOING TO KILL YOU. We want we want you to do it just see how fast that reacts. And attended by Skinner has been doing a pretty good track I won't tell you what it is because if you'll look you'll see how it plays off when you put under your eyes and shot familiarization everybody will get familiar with the shot. Struck a plea here in a collateral we're talking about departmental organization. Who declared for some urgency who's in charge. If he isn't here who's in charge of his voice. Right on down the line. How will we know where we will be mobilized how we are
going to deploy them when we mobilize. Them or of all the policy concerning operations on the raw conditions. We will be reading a lot because you're going to be given a handout. But they'll be discussing it just a little bit. Time from the. Familiar use of the Polaroid camera. We bought five one hundred. Five Model 100 Polaroid cameras. We are going to have at least one cameraman for every two squads every man in this room will use a camera today. Every man will be familiar with the use of this simple. Camera which has the steps one two three right on a camera. That you fall to take a picture. They have found in the initial arrest up in some of these cities the policeman yes white blouse from them in a six by six. And I got down to where they went to court. I don't lock this guy up. How did your name officer. Golly I don't remember the know a damn thing about all those arrests. So I decided somebody
got the bright idea that they would photograph. But the use of the regular camera you'd have to wait until all this to develop to see whether you got a picture or not. We wanted instantaneous photographs if the picture didn't come out we want to take it over again. Polaroid was the only answer. So you'll be working with a Model 100 Polaroid day. And the purpose behind it of course is to photograph First of all if we can photograph any police officer being assaulted. We're going to do it when he goes to court this will be a refresher for him. As to what happened. So we may have we may have built along the way. There are probably 100 things we forgot to do. We've gotten most of it off the ground. What I did learn. Out of last week's trip up to New Jersey was very pleased that when they started telling us about what planning they did and where they made mistakes. They had a run that we did and over 75 percent of all our planning that we did. Was exactly what should have been done. Now this happened yourself on a back a little bit for
this because we've never had a ride. We don't know what a ride it's going to be we don't even know how we're going to be performed under his conditions. But at least better than 75 percent of our planning seems to be going in the right direction. This training is in a right direction. All the equipment we're buying I have bought is in a right direction. If a riot never comes so what. And if it does come we're prepared as a Roman said once many many thousands of years ago. If you want peace prepare for war. If we don't prepare and it comes we're up the creek without the proverbial paddle. What if it doesn't come. So what. OK we're going to show you some movies. The first clip here is on. A CBS report. Concerning the riots. In Watts. A lot of. That. At my time recently when I say recently I mean in the last few months. Concerning guerrilla tactics. And sniping tactics is unavailable. What we're going to see here. We're going to see some learning here we're going to see some preaching rather
in the film. We're going to show you the CBS report now with scenes as they happen filmed and recorded. You're going to hear the comments made by the police at the time. And this is what I want to call your attention to. I want to call your attention to the coolest on the would be hey want to call here. A man may have a very little garden you couples and the tenants pay attention because this is what you should be sure your men do. When I tell them Get out a car get their hands up he means it. And he says first man drops that name he brings in five gallon. And no no question about it Commander's daughter will see it and this film will see some interviews with some college subjects. And we will see also some interviews with Chief Parker. I know you're not interested in and I poverty and the fact that a colored man has a job or doesn't have a job of a riot starts we have only one objective part but damn Right now we could care less whether the guy's working seven days a week over these numbers. We've got a riot on our hands our job is to put it down. What you're going to see
some of the reasons why these people want off. On a tangent. If you read the handout on the psychology of the masses you will learn why people are behaving the way they do. Why a person gets lost in a crowd and goes along with everybody when they're doing something. After this we'll show you a clip of the riots. You know hon. And the riots in Rochester Now these are news clips they're not ideal. There are gaps. Between them the usual numbers lying on the screen summer sounds sort of violent. But what I'd like you to do is compare what you see in the first film. Concerning the behavior of the police with what you see in a second film. That's most critical. Because you're going to see a second film policeman waving guns at each other. You're going to see policemen running down a damn street shooting at anything that moves. That's how panicky they got totally disarmed no organizational not near. In fact I'll even make a comment that the police fired so many rounds in here they ran out of ammunition. Now that's what can happen want to police forces this organize. Now. We watched an awful
lot of trouble and I say we are not taking personal credit for it. Because I've got the full cooperation of a lot of people Officer Tom Shaw who works right underneath me and my assistant. We put an awful lot of night time and weekend time putting hand up material to get the people you don't have to thank a cotton picker known as class not one unless you want to. Everything is put down in plain everyday language for you. A lot of arrests. Right. Yes formations patrol procedures psychology of masses everything has been prepared for you. Now if you take it home and throw it in some damp. Or a trash can somewhere. Then comes the day when you're going to need an affirmation. You're going to be a lost man. Let me tell you. I got it on the front line is going to be a critical man. We need the support from people like communications and people who are going to transport food and all that first line at critical line of defense who will be doing the fighting on the street. These guys are important. And if you're one of my own and I had that material I have the middle name and read. And you're not going to
be of much value to yourself or to anyone else. So I. Ask you. I respectfully request that you read the handout material we have prepared. Because all of it is directly related to this training. The voice you just heard was that of Lieutenant Dan Kris chief training instructor for the Fairfax County Virginia Police Department. Is comments were made and recorded during an actual police riot control training session at the Northern Virginia police academy that's located in Fairfax County Virginia just outside Washington D.C.. We presented these remarks as the first of two programs to exhibit typical police training in revised methods of coping with civil disorders in this country. You heard the police instructor outline the broad scope of his training procedures the various
reasons for each aspect of the training and the results of recent fact finding trips to other cities hard hit by civil disorders rioting looting and arson outbreaks. Although this training occurred in Virginia it is not unlike the programs being conducted by other departments throughout the United States because of this area's adjacency to the nation's capital. Men here are only too aware of the demands that would be placed upon them. Should rioting ever occur here in Washington. They hope this training will never be used. They hope that the prepared for riots will never occur but they are aware that precautionary training is a necessity. Their awareness is not unlike any large city police force in America. But how does this instruction work in actual training situations
that will be answered next week. As you hear this on the NBER Washington forum. I gotta step. Up. I sound like an army boot camp but it's still here at the Northern Virginia police training academy. Police are learning one of the basics and that is marching. This is the second phase of training following I was shooting at the M1 rifle the offices are lined up in two rows there marching up and down a huge field here in Virginia while another squad of trainees now practices with tear gas we will be getting that a little later Sarge embolus is one of the instructors here at the police academy and you have a rather unique. Duty when I haven't seen before that a photography where does that play a role in riot training in order to have cooperation in person the arrested
an officer when they arrive in court when you have a mass arrest over a large period of time. Take a picture so that it is attached to time and then a judge can look at the officer and the static and they are put together at that point there's no guesswork and he says I think that's the man. This is not a case we know the man is going. That's just a sample of what you'll hear next week guys the NE our Washington forum features the actual training in the field national educational radio thanks to the officers and men of the Fairfax County Virginia Police Department for allowing us to participate in their riot training program and to share these experiences with you our listeners. This program was produced through the facilities of W am you Effie American University
Radio in Washington D.C. I'm an E.R. public affairs director Bill Greenwood inviting you to listen again next week when we feature the actual sounds and experiences of this modern police riot training system that's on the NBER Washington forum a weekly program concerned with the significant issues before us as a nation. This is the national educational radio network.
- NER Washington forum
- Producing Organization
- WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
- National Association of Educational Broadcasters, WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This program, the first of two parts, focuses on police riot control training at Fairfax County, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.
- Series Description
- Discussion series featuring a prominent figure affecting federal government policy.
- Public Affairs
- Media type
Host: Greenwood, Bill
Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters, WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-24-24 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- MLA: “NER Washington forum; Police riot control training, part 1.” 1967-08-29. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 23, 2024. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-3t9d8s36>.
- APA: NER Washington forum; Police riot control training, part 1. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-3t9d8s36