“Crowd control” training to be held at UCSD Thursday, August 4th, with police helicopter
Did you know that a couple hundred Explorer scouts from around the State are in San Diego this week for training on how to be cops? And the training includes “crowd control” during an improvised “riot” on the UCSD campus, complete with Sheriff deputies masquerading as “rioters” and the use of a police helicopter. This will take place Thursday evening, August 4th, at the Residential Hall of 6th College.
The Explorer scouts, aged 15 to 18, also are having training in arrest techniques, ethics, shooting at a firing range, investigation of traffic accidents, gangs, domestic violence, and narcotics. The scouts will also be involved with taking control of a street in La Jolla.
This all part of the 38th annual San Diego County Law Enforcement Explorer Academy, and this year in involves 212 young scouts from 23 agencies.
But who is paying for all of this? This was the question I asked of contact person Gigi MaCalla of the Lemon Grove Sheriff sub-station, who is one of the staff responsible for the training. She replied that it’s all donated time and supplies, that the individual scouts paid for some of it, their agencies paid for some, and the individual deputies involved in the training are all acting as volunteers. The scouts, I was told, had done fund-raising over the past year for this year’s academy.
Is the helicopter from the Escondido Police Department also a volunteer? I still have this question. Why are San Diego County taxpayers picking up a bunch of the costs for this training? (Where is Richard Rider now?)
And I have other questions and concerns, but not about the financial aspect. More of the ethics aspect.
How ethical is it for our local Sheriffs to be training these kids? Their training looks to be fun, fun in the sun, fun in the “barracks”, fun at the BBQ. Yet police work is serious, sometimes deadly work. There are real police academies for this kind of training.
Ah, but do you see? If successful, these kids will be on track to be recruited by various law enforcement agencies.
Will these young pre-recruits also be educated in the fine points of the Bill of Rights? You know, the Fourth Amendment prohibitions against illegal search and seizure? Will these boys and girls receive expert training in the rights of suspects? I know the Sheriff’s Department has many such experts. That’s why only the “guilty” go to jail.
But there’s more. Will these youngsters be grilled in the nuances of protecting their communities from greedy corporations, corrupt and oppressive landlords, toxic polluters, and employers who violate workers’ rights?
Will the training involve how not to deal with a homeless guy – to NOT act like the 6 cops in Fullerton who just recently beat a homeless man to death? Or unlike San Diego Police Officers who shot a well-known Ocean Beach homeless man to death in February 2003? And hopefully, the training in “riot control” will offer lessons drawn from our very own Ocean Beach Collier Park Riot. Plus, hopefully, the training will get these young people ready to resist temptation and corruption, such as has enveloped our own SDPD over the years.
To me, it’s very ironic that the “riot” will be at UCSD, for our local history includes actual riots at UCSD back in the late sixties and early seventies. Plus in the Spring of 1970, the Yippies invaded La Jolla and took over more than a street in that community.
This is not a put-down of police in general. We all know hard-working officers who care about their peoples and the communities they serve. They’re working stiffs like many of us. And the extremists on the right are attacking their union rights and protections. Plus, it’s dangerous work. Serious work. Work that needs an actual academy for the training.
Do you have other questions and concerns? Oh, by the way, the Thursday night training in rioting is open to the public.