Riot Training and More for Scouts Being Held in San Diego – Who’s Paying for All of It?

by on August 3, 2011 · 13 comments

in Civil Rights, Popular, San Diego

Bam! Bam! Bam! 'Get those hands up! I said get those hands where I can see them! Now, get down, you motherf*cker!' Bam! Bam! Bam!* Henry Martin, 16, of Chula Vista, keeps his eye on the suspect during a training exercise Tuesday. In the background, left, is his partner Jeff Luerman, 18, of Fallbrook. U-T photo by Peggy Peattie. (*Sounds and dialog added by OB Rag editor.)

“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.

Here is an article by reporter Pauline Repard of SignOnSanDiego .  And here are U-T photos of the young pre-cops.


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Sisto Maximo August 3, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Looks like they are setting up another Kent State where four protesters were murdered! This time there going use kids! I saw this type of training before, kids wearing brown shirts in Nazi Germany in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s! It’s those same colored shirts that Sheriff Deputies wear with shaved heads looking like military police! Militarizeing a civilian police force is against the U.S. Constitution by the way. It’s a very intimidating way of telling the public ;’ Step Out Of Line and We’ll Take You Away’! Indoctranating kids at this level is very scary! Wake up folks something coming down the pike and it’s not going to pleasant!


thinking out loud August 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm

you must be old…


bodysurferbob August 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm

you must be rude … obviously by what this person says, they’ve seen a lot, and all you can utter is some stupid remark. i could say ‘you must be stupid’ but i won’t.


barbara August 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Super post,

Frank! I should not be shocked but I am shocked! Having been arrested 13 times during the Bush years for protesting the war, I imagine myself being pushed around by some kid that could be my grandchild and it is appalling!


ss August 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm

pretty frightening young kids with guns is not a good thing, (Kent State). Appalling is a mild adjective down right scary.


Kenloc August 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

These kids are interested in getting into law enforcement and are going through the explorer program in school, not unlike kids who are interested in getting into other fields when they get older.The fact that you have boys and girls this age that are driven enough to do all they must do to be a law enforcement officer is a blessing, as they are training to protect and serve all of you when they get older.Many of them have parents or relatives who are officers and dream of following in their footsteps.I don’t see the evil in that.Some police officers are bad, and there are bad people in every profession. Many of these kids do go on to the police academy that you mention toward the end.The explorers is a program many kids get into to see if they’d like to pursue a career in law enforcement any further.How is this shocking,scary,or unethical?Kids can’t decide when they are seniors in highschool that they want to be officers or FBI?What age should they start thinking about it,20?30?


Frank Gormlie August 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Did you even read the article? You didn’t take up any of the issues it raised.


RuthAnn August 7, 2011 at 3:22 am

I agree with Kenloc…these kids are not going to be officers next year. If they are still interested in a career in law enforcement when they are old enough, usually 21, they will at least go through an academy (I’m certain this even does not count as an Academy). I doubt that Ms Barbara will be “pushed around” while being arrested by a 16 year old. (Sucks getting older – I have coworkers who are old enough to be my children. I have a supervisor who is old enough to be my son. My doctors are all old enough to be my children. Soon enough, they will be old enough to be my grandchild – if I’m lucky enough to live a few years longer!) Instead of blocking high school students from exploring a career interest, I’m way more interested in encouraging agencies to hire older and more educated men and women. Those issues raised in the article/comments should be addressed in an Academy. I support strong initial and ongoing constitutional & ethics training for our officers.


barbara August 7, 2011 at 7:23 am

Well , ruthann, when were you arrested last? I was in jail 13 times during the Bush crime spree and arrested by , not 16 yr old, but surely not yet 21. Some were nice others twisted our arms and even drug a vet who had only one arm down the street. In a recent demonstration, a peaceful one where most of the protesters were in their 70’s 80’s a trainee class roughed them up pretty good. This is not a venue for kids.


john August 7, 2011 at 7:46 am

Hey it could be much worse….

What if they had “Secret Army Organization Rats” at Quantico?

(betting only Frank will get that one and will get it quick)

In the meantime, Ted “COINTELPRO till the end” Gunderson finally passed away last Sunday. By all accounts he was doing the good work of the agency even as the last rites were read. Don’t hate me, Satan made me say this.


Frank Gormlie August 7, 2011 at 10:46 am



kaitlyn August 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm

i went this year and experiance the explorer academy.. what you dont understand that this program is for us who want to go into law enforcment and learn what challenges will be held for us. we went through intense physical training push ups, running, and team building. This program had us going to classes 3 times a day to learn about shootings, riots, and different cases. we had gone through penal codes, vehicle, codes amendments, and the BILL OF RIGHTS! Everybody who put this program together does it on their own time and they are not getting paid. The helicopter was volunteer! i have personally fundraise so that i could experiance this program and learn for my future. In order to become an explorer you go through a back ground check. this program is not a right its a privilege!


Patty Jones August 14, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Thanks for your thoughts on this, Kaitlyn.


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