Protective Equipment for Civil Disturbance Response
Calls regarding civil disturbances are becoming all too frequent for Kentucky law enforcement agencies. Whether related to the celebration of a sporting event, clashing views of groups with opposing opinions or protests of specific government actions or inactions, law enforcement officers are expected to protect the rights and safety of all involved.
Yet, no matter how much training is provided on how to deal with civil disturbances, if you do not have the appropriate protective equipment during a demonstration or riot, you will offer little protection to those around. The Justice and Technology Information Center has addressed the protective equipment needed for law enforcement during civil disturbances in a brief report.
Currently, the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice is in the process of developing standards for Civil Disturbance Units’ (CDU) protective equipment. Until then, remember times are changing, and what was rare in the past is becoming probable. So be prepared for disturbances that may include impact weapons such as bats and pipes, Molotov cocktails, projectiles from rocks, bricks, bottles, chemical agents and bullets.
When responding to a civil disturbance, do you have the following equipment?
Flame retardant uniform
Protective and flame retardant gloves
Personal defense shields
Blunt trauma limb, torso, shoulder, abdomen and groin protectors