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“What If” “X” Happens?
By William Sturgeon
Published: 12/14/2020

The “What If”, is a drill I started to practice many years ago when I first began my career in law enforcement. The basic premise of “What If’s was to create scenarios that I would run in my head and then develop possible solutions to various encounters prior to possibly experiencing them in real life. Throughout my career in both law enforcement and corrections, I have employed the ““What If”” drill, and have found it to be very helpful in taking the surprise out of situations.

Perhaps now is a time for local governmental agencies to practice the “What If” drills. It appears that the Presidential election could be a flash point should the various groups’ candidate lose the election!

Throughout the spring and summer of 2020, America has witnessed riots in the streets of some of its cities. Yes, I used the word riots because in demonstrations that I have participated in, we never destroyed property, burned down buildings, attacked federal buildings, or assaulted law enforcement officers.

Are local correctional facilities, jails, and police lock-ups ready for what might happen should displeasure with the election results turn to anarchy and riots in the nation’s streets?
  • “What If” there are mass arrests of unruly rioters in the facility and the staff prepared to manage these types of detainees?
  • “What If” some of these rioters /detainees are injured and need medical attention?
  • “What If” some of these detainees need to be decontaminated from pepper spray, tear gas etc.?
  • “What If” agencies personnel are injured?
  • “What If” additional agencies’ personnel are blocked from reaching the facility?
  • “What If” the perimeter is breached and rioters are attempting to enter the facility?
  • “What If” the rioters attempt to light the building on fire?
  • “What If” the facility has to be evacuated?
  • “What If” improvised explosives are being directed at staff and/or the facility?
We now know that some or all of the above are examples of what is possible in today’s world. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure”!

Mt. Sturgeon is a decorated Vietnam veteran who served with the 101st Airborne Division.

Visit the Bill Sturgeon page

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