Local law enforcement prepare for chaos - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Local law enforcement participate in riot training, prepare for chaos


Law enforcement officials from all over the region are teaming up, preparing for massive chaos in the wake of a natural disaster.

One hundred fifty officers practiced crowd control techniques Tuesday in their annual training.

This year six agencies have come together, including Savannah-Chatham Metro Police, Chatham County Sheriff's Office, Georgia State Patrol and even Chatham Emergency Management.

Here's the scenario of the drill: the people of Chatham County return to their homes after a strong hurricane. There is no electricity, no food and no water. Residents grow frustrated and chaos ensues. Throughout the day, officials pushed back crowds of aggressive actors, using shields and batons.

"Once you bring everyone together, GSP might have different term for something, the military police might have a different term for something," said Capt. John Best, Exercise Commander. "We use plain English, we work together and we all get a feel for how each unit does something and we bring it together and we try to make it as streamline as we can."

In order to get the best results from these drills, they brought in military men to act as actual rioters to simulate a real world situation.

There might have been actors, pretending to be rioters and protesters but they couldn't pretend to be aggressive.

Most of the actors were decked out in body pads so officers could use as much force as they needed to, shoving some to the ground, making arrests as if it were an actual crisis.

One protestor says he was doing all he could to try to instigate law enforcement and force them to make a wrong move. 

"We've engaged the arrest team, engaged the horses and we have engaged their shields," said Staff Sgt. Roy Dewey, protestor. "And every time we came on the losing end of it.

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