Sheriff’s Deputies, Local Police Train for ‘Civil Unrest’

NORRISTOWN PA – Officers in the Limerick Police Department are among the first to receive “rapid response team” training (at top) from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office as part of what’s being called a county-wide plan for an “emergency response to civil disturbance,” according to the sheriff’s office Facebook page.

Sheriff Sean Kilkenny earlier this month explained the plan is part of “an effort to fulfill regional law enforcement’s duty to protect people and property during protests and civil unrest.” It’s intended to ensure “that county personnel and responding law enforcement agencies are operating under the same guidelines, to better facilitate safe and successful resolutions to a variety of situations.”

Already trained in addition to members of the Limerick force are others in the sheriff’s office, as well as police in Montgomery, Whitpain, Upper Uwchlan, Plymouth, and Springfield townships, and the borough of Telford.

A classroom portion of the course, according to the sheriff, includes an introduction to rapid response and crowd management concepts such as crowd situation recognition, legal considerations, and lessons learned from protests that occurred earlier this year in the Greater Philadelphia area.

It also includes “a series of hands-on activities that allow responders to practice all of the learned skills” in field force tactics, arrest team tactics, and officer safety when operating in civil disorder and riot situations,” the Facebook post stated. Instructors are members of the sheriff’s office Emergency Response Team, certified through the Department of Homeland Security’s Field Force Operations and Command school, it said.

Photo from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office via Facebook