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Beaches Police Train In Riot Crowd Control

8:54 PM, Nov 17, 2004   |    comments
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By Kyle Meenan First Coast News JACKSONVILLE, FL -- It was a disturbing sight to those passing by, as two dozen fully-armed riot police squared off against an angry mob. Only there were no rocks or bottles being tossed at police. Instead these protesters were waging an assault with tennis balls and water balloons. Fun and games? Cops and robbers on an adult scale? "Not so," said Jacksonville Beach Police Spokesman Mike Zdunkiewicz. "This is serious training." Officers from Jacksonville beach, Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach donned their state-of-the-art protective gear, including foot and shin guards, thigh pads, arm, elbow and shoulder pads, a full chest protector to be worn over their protective vests, and battle helmets with face shields. The officers each carried protective shields and polycarbonate batons. They stepped in unison, shoulder to shoulder. A formidable wall of law enforcement for any adversary, much less the civilian volunteers from the Jacksonville Beach Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association. "We're learning how to coordinate the team in conducting crowd control now so we'll know what to do should the need ever arise," said Zdunkiewicz. Several of the volunteer "rabble-rousers" were "arrested" during the training. Skilled officers learned skills they hope to never employ. "We hope we never have to use this gear," said Zdunkiewicz, "but we do need to be prepared."

First Coast News

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