Have you ever wondered how police are able to assemble enough officers to handle out-of-control crowds, riots, and the like? Tonight we learned that police in all communities are prepared for those situations by having their NIPAS and Mobile Field Force Officers ready to go at a moment's notice. Local police departments volunteer one or more of their officers to participate in NIPAS or as a Mobile Field Force Officer. This team of officers meets several times a month to practice techniques they would need to use to disperse an unruly crowd, from utilizing pressure points to encourage a stubborn person to relocate to officers lining up in groups, shields forward, to push their way through the crowd. When it is known in advance that a situation may turn ugly (such as the eve of a Bulls championship game), NIPAS officers standby near the event location, ready to go. The officers spoke about the more specialized branch of NIPAs, the SWAT team. This group of officers, again from various communities, hones its marksmanship skills to use during hostile and deadly situations.
Cheif Jones paid us a visit tonight to provide us with an overview of the GPD's Internal Investigations unit. He stressed that a police department must be vigilant in internal policing to ensure conflicts don't arise from within the organization. He also described some of the policies and procedures the officers are required to follow.
Next week's class will feature a visit from an Assistant State's Attorney to describe the criminal justice system in more depth. We'll also get a chance to meet and talk with GPD's high school liaison officer and a representative of Teen Court.