Police departments throughout the United States have cancelled days off, prepared tactical response teams, and are collecting intelligence on social media in preparation for possible post-election unrest as November 3 approaches.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) stated on Oct. 24 that business should prepare for possible political violence following 2020 election results. The department has reportedly been preparing for weeks to secure the city in the event of violence and rioting on Election Day.
Miami, Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, Chicago, Orlando and other major cities across the states have also been preparing for the potential violent outbreak, according to Fox News.
Vincent Vallelong, the vice president of the New York-based Sergeants Benevolent Association, said that he hadn’t seen such disaster preparation in his city since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, reported The Daily Caller.
“Stuff like this was done during 9/11 when everybody went to 12-hour tours, but they basically put the whole job on alert right now,” Vallelong stated in a phone interview.
“I’d be lying to you if I said I wouldn’t be worried,” he added. “We’ve already seen cops get assaulted in New York the last time this broke out. This is something not to take lightly right now.”
Dennis Slocumb, the vice president emeritus of the International Union of Police Associations, stated: “Every city is preparing for it, it’s not just New York and Minneapolis. I would think that any police chief in any metropolitan area has probably been preparing for this for a while.”
“What they’re probably doing is cancelling days off and going on their form of tactical alert,” stated Slocumb, a veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office. “They’re probably preparing response teams, and they’re going to get those rosters all squared away and make sure they’ve got the equipment they’re going to need.”
“I’m sure every agency is monitoring social media and they probably have undercover officers involved in both social media and some of these groups,” he said. Slocumb also stated that law enforcement agencies are able to establish arrangements with departments in the surrounding areas, known as mutual aid, to create contingency plans if officers are needed to supplement an area's police force. The same authorities are likely to start talks with local trauma centres and their respective fire departments, he continued.
Vallelong, an active sergeant with the NYPD, stated that police “should have the horses out, they should have everybody out in [riot] masks, and they should allow our judges to make decisions.” He also stated that instigators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and that New
York’s bail reform, which seeks to free detainees who are not considered violent felons, “should be suspended.”
“Keep these people in the system until it gets under control,” Vallelong told the Daily Caller.
He continued that police departments throughout the country are in close contact with cities that were plagued by violence and riots following the George Floyd case in May in order to learn from the past instances of violent unrest. He also noted that the NYPD is most likely gathering intelligence ahead of Nov. 3.
Vallelong, however, insisted that the police response is contingent on the “marching orders” given by Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. He added that previous decisions by de Blasio during earlier racial justice riots proved to be ineffective.
“I know what should be done, but it’s gonna be a matter of what are the marching orders that are going to be given from city hall when all of this happens,” he said. “We know from the past with watching what we saw — they let everybody run loose and pretty much destroy everything in the city.”
Vallelong also noted the NYPD, experiencing a surge of 75% in retirements compared to 2019, is struggling with a lack of officers, according to Newsday.
“If it gets that bad and the NYPD can’t handle it, I don’t know of a bigger police department out there that could come and save them,” Vallelong concluded. “At that point you’re talking about the National Guard.”