Background: The following story is a fictional account of planning and preparation leading up to the mythical Democratic-Republican National Convention (DRNC) event in Miami, Florida. The story is loosely based on an amalgamation of real life occurrences in the lead up to the Free Trade Area of the Americas conference in Miami, Florida in 2003. The names of all the characters in the story are fictional.
Meeting of the Mass Arrest/Mass Casualty Subcommittee (Six weeks before the beginning of the DRNC)
Major Louis Warren of the Miami-Dade Police Department has been appointed by MDPD Director Melanie Duncan as the principal planner and overall Incident Commander for Security of the DRNC special event. Major Warren has appointed Captain Barry Jackson and Captain Steven Black as co-chairs of the Mass Arrest/Mass Casualty Subcommittee. The subcommittee is comprised of the following members:
CRJ522 Written Exercise Topics
Captain Barry Jackson, Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department, Special Operations, Intake and Release Bureau Captain Steven Black, Miami-Dade Police Court Services Bureau Jerome Bethel, Government Liaison & Public Relations Office of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida Cynthia Fox, Miami-Dade County Clerk of the Courts Flip Morrison, Miami-Dade State Attorneys Office Gladys Thorpe, Miami-Dade Public Defenders Office Linda Riley, Jackson Memorial Hospital
Captain Barry Jackson called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m. Captain Jackson introduced Major Louis Warren and Captain Earl Bishop to the rest of the subcommittee members. Both Warren and Bishop were known to most of the members. The Mass Arrest/Mass Casualty Subcommittee had met twice before, but Clerk of the Courts and the Public Defenders Office were being represented for the first time at this meeting, and Jackson felt that formal introductions were necessary.
Major Warren spoke briefly to open the meeting. He gave a brief recap of the overall security planning for the DRNC. Everything was on schedule, and most of the purchases of new equipment had already been completed. Warren also told the subcommittee that the training schedule was also moving along on time. After the short update, Warren gave the floor to Captain Bishop, who was there to provide an overview of the lessons learned from the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Conference in 2003. That was the last time that the MiamiDade area had encountered an event similar to the upcoming DRNC.
Captain Bishop had put together a PowerPoint presentation as an overview of the issues encountered and the lessons learned from the FTAA Conference event (see the FTAA Independent Review Panel Report 209-20-04 in Doc Sharing). Bishop mentioned that in 2003, there were 234 arrests directly related to the FTAA Conference civil disturbances over a five day period. He told the subcommittee that they should expect at least twice that number for the upcoming DRNC. During the FTAA, there were approximately 10,000 total protestors. Bishop said that intelligence reports so far suggested that up to 20,000 protestors would be coming to Miami-Dade during the DRNC. Therefore, it was reasonable to expect at least twice the number of arrests this time around.
Bishop said that the 234 arrests during the FTAA were mostly done without incident, but that a few problems had been encountered. At one point during Thursday, the heaviest day for arrests during the FTAA, the booking desk at Dade County Jail had become overloaded. This occurred despite the setup of a temporary field detention site under the Metrorail station at Earlington Heights. It was at Earlington Heights that most of the problems occurred. There were the typical complaints of handcuffs being too tight and the lack of drinking water by the prisoners. But the most serious allegation was a sexual battery complaint against one of the Miami-Dade Corrections officers. That allegation was later determined to be unfounded, but the mere fact that the allegation was made had prompted the MDC Department to consider other preventive measures in the future to avoid the allegations in the first place.
CRJ522 Written Exercise Topics
The most prevalent complaint that week came from prisoners who claimed that their personal belongings had been thrown away by the police after they were arrested. The investigation after the incident revealed that indeed this had occurred on several occasions. Most of the instances were attributed to the hasty manner in which the prisoners were arrested and booked at the temporary detention facility. This was an allegation that was supported by the post-incident investigation.
The other issue that Captain Bishop brought up was the solidarity protest at the Civic Center on the last day of the FTAA. That was when approximately 200 remaining protestors converged at the parking lot of the State Attorneys Office next to the Dade County Jail in order to express their unhappiness with the arrest of their fellow protestors the day before. It was during Fridays solidarity protest that Miami-Dade Police discharged three Pepperball rounds during the arrest of seven protestors who had refused to obey a dispersal order. That was the only time that any chemical agents had been dispersed by MDPD personnel the entire week of the event. By contrast, the City of Miami PD had made use of chemical agents and other less lethal munitions on several occasions that week.
Captain Bishop concluded his presentation and stated that he was mostly concerned with the mass casualty angle. He asked the subcommittee how ready they felt to handle a large number of casualties should it occur during the DRNC. At that point in the meeting, Ms. Linda Riley from Jackson Memorial Hospital (JMH) took the floor and briefed the committee on the mass casualty plan that the subcommittee had been working on. That plan included JMH and other nearby hospitals and trauma centers.
For the purpose of this assignment, you are playing the role of Captain Barry Jackson, the cochair of the Mass Arrest/Mass Casualty Subcommittee. Your job is to prepare a mass arrest and mass casualty plan of action for the DRNC special event. You are to consider and identify the key issues associated with the possibility of mass arrests and mass casualties during the DRNC. Refer to the observations and lessons learned from the FTAA PowerPoint and from the Independent Review Panel Report, both of which can be found in Doc.Sharing.
Prepare a report not to exceed 1,500 words to explain your recommendations to Major Warren and submit the document to the Dropbox and post it to the communication board.
Resources on Written Exercise screen in the module:
DNRC Scenario FTAA Miami, 2003 After Action Review & Lessons Learned Independent Review Panel Report
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