Police Drill for Crowd Control


ART AISNER
The Ann Arbor News
June 23, 2008

Police officers from around Washtenaw County descended on Ann Arbor’s Pioneer High School Friday for the first coordinated training session of a team designed to respond to large special events.

The newly formed Mobile Field Force is made up of 102 officers from around the county. It marks the first time each of the 11 police agencies in Washtenaw County is sharing personnel and resources for the same team, said Ann Arbor Police Sgt. Matt Lige, the team coordinator.

The force will be called on to keep the peace during large rallies, sporting events and visits from controversial speakers.

Previously, a coordinated response from several agencies could take at least 30 minutes, depending on the location, officials said.

“There is a mob mentality that plays into this when a situation begins to get out of control, and (that is) when we’ll try to intervene early to prevent the rally or event from becoming civil unrest,” Lige said.

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