The New York Police Department’s commissioner told all uniformed officers to “be prepared for deployment” leading up to and following November’s presidential election as the department prepares for potential protests leading up to the election that could spill over into next year, according to an internal memo obtained by CNN.
In the memo Commissioner Dermot Shea also cites the possibility of protests surrounding the upcoming contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barret.
The deployment of officers could start October 25, the memo said, citing the possibility of protests before and after Election Day. Deputy inspectors and captains may be sent to command forces in the field.
“This November 3rd will be the one of the most highly contested presidential elections in the modem era. There is also a strong likelihood that the winner of the presidential election may not be decided for several weeks,” the memo states.
“Accordingly, we should anticipate and prepare for protests growing in size, frequency, and intensity leading up to the election and likely into the year 2021.”
Commissioner Shea informed officers they will be undergoing crowd control training and for the first time in decades there will be a focus on the psychology behind protests.
“The whole idea behind the training is to separate those people that are there to cause chaos, as opposed to the real reason that the protests began in the first place,” said Deputy Chief Samuel Wright, who is leading the initiative.
Some training began in July, shortly after the department responded to massive demonstrations after Floyd was killed.
Protesters have criticized the New York Police Department’s handling of the demonstrations.
A report by New York Attorney General Letitia James on the handling of protests over the summer said 2,000 arrests were made.