On June 28, several Emergency Medical Technician Program students boldly defied police orders to disperse during a protest; and they almost got away with it.
The SF Institute of Public Safety participated with the Florida Highway Patrol to prepare 100 state troopers to maintain order at the four-day 2016 Republican National Convention in July. FHP plans to send the troopers and 34 support personnel to the Convention. About 50,000 visitors and 15,000 credentialed media members are expected to attend.
The EMS students played the roles of protesters during scenarios designed to replicate situations that law enforcement officers could face in Cleveland. A few dozen Florida Department of Transportation employees also served as roleplayers. In one scenario, the protesters blocked the roadway of a three-way intersection by staging a peaceful sit-in. Other scenarios involved troopers gradually moving protesters out of prohibited areas in an orderly fashion.
“We’re proud that Santa Fe College could partner with the Florida Highway Patrol for such an important mission,” said IPS Director Tom Ackerman. “The scenarios allow FHP troopers to practice in realistic and controlled environments, preparing them for challenges that could arise at the Convention.”
Director Ackerman also pointed out that the roleplayers would benefit from the experience. “When these EMS students watch the events unfold on television next month, they’ll appreciate the difficult work that law enforcement officers do, and they’ll take heart in knowing that they played an important role in ensuring the safety of the troopers and the public.”