General Order:
Effective: DRAFT
Number of Pages: 8
SPECIAL OPERATIONS: Civil Disturbances and Mass Arrests
Accreditation Standards: 46.1.3
The purpose of this directive is to establish procedures for the East Carolina University
Police Department's response and resolution of civil disturbance situations. This directive
serves as a supplement to General Order 1300-01 Emergency Operations Plan and should be
utilized in conjunction with that directive.
Civil disturbances may take various forms and vary in size and amount of danger to the
University community. Civil disturbances can include events such as organized riots and
demonstrations, as well as spontaneous disturbances arising from events such as rock
concerts, large parties, or sporting events. In the event of a civil disturbance, it is the policy of
the University Police Department to isolate and maintain control of the activity while
protecting life and property.
All procedures outlined in this General Order are to be implemented in conjunction with the
Department’s Emergency Mobilization Plan and the University Emergency Operations Plan.
Initial Response
Upon arrival at a situation involving a hostile or disorderly crowd, the first
responding officer will make an initial assessment as to the size, actions and
intentions of the crowd and will communicate this to the communications
The senior officer on duty will take charge of the scene and establish a field
command post (command post may be the officer's police unit). The ICS
model will be utilized to determine the Incident Commander as detailed in
General Order 1300-02 Incident Command System. The officer will
immediately begin gathering intelligence relating to the activity and monitor
the crowd using all resources on hand.
At this point, no further action should be initiated by the police except to
prevent injury to bystanders or major property damage.
Communications Responsibilities
Upon receipt of the initial assessment from the Incident Commander, the onduty telecommunicator will notify the Operations Commander or, if after
normal business hours, the Staff Duty Officer and advise them of the officer's
The telecommunicator will monitor the situation and disseminate additional
information as it is received. If the incident escalates to the point of a Level-1
or Level-2 Emergency as described in General Order 1300-01 Emergency
Operations Plan, the Operations Commander or Staff Duty Officer will ensure
that the Chief of Police is notified.
Communications will serve as the contact point for other agencies unless
otherwise stated by the Incident Commander.
Determination of Manpower Needs
The Chief of Police, or designee, will make a determination as to resolving the
situation with on-duty resources, or to declare a Level-1 or Level-2 Alert
requiring additional resources. At that time the department Emergency
Operations Plan shall be put into effect.
Once the determination is made for more personnel, Communications will
begin callback of all full-time and reserve personnel. Personnel should be
instructed to report to the Police Department headquarters building or to the
designated staging area as determined by the Incident Commander.
If a determination is made to request assistance from other agencies, the Chief
of Police, or designee, will have Communications contact the Greenville
Police Department, Pitt County Sheriff Department, the N.C. Highway Patrol,
or any other agency in which an interagency agreement exists for the
following purposes:
Advise of all known circumstances of the situation.
Request additional police assistance as advised by the Chief or
Request that the on-duty shift supervisor or other higher ranking
command official of the assisting agency be notified of the
circumstances of the request.
The Chief of Police, or designee, and the ranking police official of the
assisting agency will jointly plan and implement any immediate course of
action deemed appropriate to resolve the situation. The Chief of Police or
designee will remain the Incident Commander.
Members of the Police Department and those from assisting agencies will
assume a support role in the operation. This role may include, but is not
limited to:
Advise of the location of the assembly area/command post.
Traffic and bystander control;
Supplying geographical and building data;
Assisting in the mass arrest procedure;
Providing transportation;
Assisting in establishing a field command post and staging area; and
Any other activities requested by the Incident Commander.
The Chief of Police or designee will serve as the liaison between all police
personnel and University Administrators. The Chief will actively participate in
any decision concerning the use of force, the use of chemical agents, or the
initiation of mass arrests.
Civil Disturbance Interdiction and Crowd Control
Once appropriate and adequate personnel and equipment are in place, the Chief of
Police or designee will ensure that the following steps are implemented:
Approach the crowd and inform the leaders that the assembly is unlawful, and
the crowd will have to disperse. If the crowd is violent, this may be
accomplished by use of a P.A. system.
A time limit for dispersal should be established and no extensions permitted.
If the crowd fails to disperse and continues its activity, the Chief of Police or
designee will:
Authorize the use of force or chemical weapons, as appropriate; and/or
Order the formation of police lines and establish crowd control.
If time and resources permit, an officer will be assigned to record operations
related to crowd control by use of video equipment.
Legal and Prosecutorial Liaison
The Chief of Police or designee will notify the District Attorney or appropriate
representative of the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office whenever an
unusual occurrence develops on campus that may involve unusual legal
considerations such as in barricade/hostage situations or where multiple
arrests are anticipated. In major incidents, this liaison may be accomplished
through the assisting law enforcement agency.
Chapter 14-288 of the North Carolina General Statutes provides for the legal
disposition of persons participating in riots and civil disorders. It also
empowers the Governor of the State to promulgate emergency rules and
regulations, commit State militia and other law enforcement agencies.
Public Facility Security
Personnel not assigned to specific duties related to the incident will be responsible for
securing University facilities adjacent to the incident area to ensure the continuance of
essential university services. In some instances, it may be necessary to evacuate and
secure areas or buildings to safely guard persons and property.
Intelligence/Threat Assessment
The Chief, or designee, will designate an investigator to serve as the
intelligence/threat assessment officer when the situation dictates. This officer is
responsible for establishing on-site surveillance in order to assess objectives of the
crowd, monitor crowd size and movement, and predict crowd action, as well as
reporting any other pertinent intelligence information the surveillance produces. In
large-scale occurrences, this activity may be conducted by, or in conjunction with, the
appropriate assisting agency.
Mass Arrests
During the course of a civil disturbance, arrests may become a reality. These
arrests must be handled quickly and efficiently, providing for transportation,
release, arrestee rights, etc. The following procedures will apply as necessary:
The designated Incident Commander will ensure that an arrest team is
established to handle prisoners and will provide personnel as needed to
staff the arrest team. A police supervisor, if available, will oversee the
operation of the arrest team.
The supervisor will ensure proper assignments are made to provide
security for the field command post and the field booking area.
Arrested persons will be removed from the point of disturbance by the
arresting officer and brought to a point where the initial booking will
take place.
Arrest team duties will include:
Establishing detention areas for arrested persons during the
field booking.
Photographing the arrested person with the arresting officer
with a digital or Polaroid camera. The officer(s) taking
photographs will maintain a log of all photos taken.
Arrest/identification information will be recorded on the back
of the photo when using the Polaroid camera. Established State
laws and Department policies regarding taking photos of
juveniles will be adhered to at all times.
Preparing field arrest forms.
Providing for the proper collection, tagging, identification and
preservation of personal property and evidence collected at the
time of any arrest.
The supervisor will ensure officers are assigned to provide
transportation of the prisoner to the Pitt County Detention Center
where formal charging/booking will take place. The Pitt County
Sheriff Department will be requested to provide prisoner buses for
mass transport. If the number of arrests requires additional transport
capacity, the Department of Corrections may be contacted by the Chief
or Incident Commander and a larger D.O.C. bus utilized for transport.
Arrested persons will be allowed the opportunity to contact legal
counsel at the conclusion of the booking process.
Arrested persons who are injured will be given medical treatment
before being transported to the Pitt County Detention Center.
Any necessary provisions of food, water and sanitation for prisoners
will be coordinated through the Pitt County Detention Center or the
commander of the assisting agency.
The District Attorney, or designee, will provide legal advice to the
Incident Commander as appropriate. Magistrate's assistance will be
coordinated by the Incident Commander in conjunction with the field
arrest team.
Juveniles involved will be segregated from adult offenders and
processed in accordance with normal department policies and
procedures relating to juvenile operations.
Only the minimum force to effect an arrest or control will be authorized. All
use of chemical agents for the purpose of crowd control or arrest must be
authorized by the Chief of Police or designee.
Media Operations
The University public information representative will respond to appropriate
news media requests. If unavailable, the ECU Police Department Public
Information Officer will assume all media relations duties.
News media briefings will be held on an “as needed” basis, intended to:
Inform the public of imminent or present danger;
Provide casualty information;
Provide property damage reports;
Provide warnings to potential looters and others involved in criminal
Provide a means to control rumors.
All news media releases will be in accordance with University and
Departmental procedures.
De-Escalation Procedures
Once the disturbance has been brought under control, the Chief of Police, or designee,
will begin de-escalation procedures, to include:
Ensure that all available evidence is collected.
Disengage officers, as appropriate.
Ensure that all Department equipment is accounted for and collected.
Terminate Incident Command and notify Communications of termination.
Continue extra patrol in the area for the balance of the patrol shift.
Post Occurrence Duties
All key personnel participating in the control of a civil disturbance/mass arrest
situation will prepare an after action report that will detail:
the incident itself;
all actions taken by the officer;
final outcome of incident;
any injuries occurring to persons or property;
use of force reports, if applicable.
The Incident Commander or his/her designee will prepare and submit the final
after action report which includes the after action reports of the other key
persons involved. Details of the report should include:
A chronological log of all significant events;
Copies of related offense reports, supplemental reports and narratives
from individual officers;
Any other pertinent information received from other agencies or
individuals including photographs, news articles, videos, etc;
In Level-2 incidents involving outside agencies, the Incident
Commander’s after action report will be submitted for inclusion into
the appropriate agency's final report on the incident.
Robert C. Stroud
Chief of Police
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