During the Boston explosions recently, the police presence proved to offer additional security to individuals attending events, as trained officers were able to deal with the emergency situation. During major events, spectators can repay the favor by taking measures to ensure that officers are safe as well.
- Respect requests – recognize that it takes a lot of work, and a great deal of risk to protect a crowd at events. If an officer is requesting that you take a few steps back, don’t take it as a personal affront, simply respect their request. After all, the police are there to protect you, and you don’t need to risk their own personal safety.
- Do not take things personally– often, in heated situations like a protest, it becomes simple to take things personally when participating in a crowd. Know that the issue is not about you, and that the police are not there because they are opposed to the circumstance being protested. They are simply there for your protection.
- Check yourself – we know, and we think that the expression ‘check yourself before you wreck yourself’ is “interesting” too. But take it seriously. Sometimes, when you are feeling particularly passionate about an issue, it is easy to get out of hand. However, the police are not there specifically to oppose you and your beliefs. Try and remember that even during a protest, you’re there to oppose an issue, not confront the police with your inappropriate behavior.
- Leave drugs, alcohol and weapons at home – if you bring these items to an event, you’re asking for trouble from the police moderating it. These items have no place in a civil discourse about political or societal issues.
Remember, the police are there for your protection. If you violate any of the above guidelines, you are putting both yourself and the cops at risk. Is that really worth it?