County law en­force­ment trains for crowd con­trol


jbellmyer@ ce­cil­whig. com

— A year ago when Bal­ti­more City was be­set with ri­ot­ing in re­sponse to the death of Fred­die Gray, Ce­cil County law en­force­ment was called on to help.

“None of our de­part­ments other than Mary­land State Po­lice were pre­pared,” said Sgt. Joseph Ap­pleby, with the Perr yville Po­lice Depart­ment. “They had no train­ing and no equip­ment, so un­for­tu­nately we had to tell them we can’t send any­one to help you.”

How­ever, Ap­pleby spent the last 13 of his 28 years with MSP as the tac­ti­cal op­er­a­tions train­ing of­fi­cer. Not long af­ter hav­ing to refuse the re­quest for backup, all the de­part­ments gath­ered and took ac­tion.

“They de­cided we’ve got to be able to do some­thing whether it be in Bal­ti­more City or here,” Ap­pleby said Thurs­day.

So in March, he be­gan train­ing of­fi­cers from the Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and the mu­nic­i­pal de­part­ments from Elk­ton, Perr yville and Ris­ing Sun. Nearly 100 have been cer­ti­fied in what Ap­pleby calls “the dy­nam­ics of crowd con­trol.”

Ce­cil County paramedics are also tak­ing the train­ing.


Nearly 100 of­fi­cers have been cer­ti­fied since March in tac­ti­cal crowd con­trol. A class of 28 took a con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion course Thurs­day at Ris­ing Sun High School.

In a ses­sion held in the gym­na­sium at Ris­ing Sun High School, the sergeant ran 28 of­fi­cers through for­ma­tions that would be used in a typ­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in an ur­ban set­ting. Each of­fi­cer was out­fit­ted in ad­di­tional gear, in­clud­ing a hel­met with a face shield and neck pro­tec­tion, gas mask, shin guards, a ba­ton and a large clear plas-

tic shield with ei­ther “Po­lice.”

“Most of these of­fi­cers have al­ready had some form of train­ing,” the sergeant said. “This is just a con­tin­u­a­tion of that.”

He ran them through the for­ma­tions in­clud­ing one he called “Tes­tudo,” call­ing to any­one who may have been a Univer-

em­bla­zoned “Sher­iff” or

sity of Mary­land grad­u­ate that would be fa­mil­iar with its ter­rapin mas­cot. They then learned how to be­come a tur­tle shell of pro­tec­tion for the po­ten­tial of rocks or other pro­jec­tiles be­ing dropped from above.

“They are pre­par­ing for the in­evitable,” said Al Miller, Perr yville po­lice chief. “With­out this train­ing, we’d be run­ning around con­fused.”

Ap­pleby said the train­ing is ap­pli­ca­ble in any num­ber of sit­u­a­tions and lo­ca­tions.

“We do gas mask drills, ar­rest team drills, res­cue team drills,” he said.

As they stood in for­ma­tion, Ap­pleby re­minded the men and women, “We are al­ways out­num­bered.”

Then he added, “ev­ery­thing we go to, we’re out­num­bered; a riot, a do­mes­tic, a party. That’s the na­ture of law en­force­ment. Tac­tics will al­ways pre­vail over num­bers.”

Miller said Ap­pleby con­ducts the train­ing on be­half of the town depart­ment.

“It’s on our dime. That’s what law en­force­ment is. We share re­sources,” the chief said.

How­ever it won’t be en­tirely free. Ap­pleby said the cost to out­fit each of­fi­cer with proper equip­ment is around $ 700.



Sgt. Joe Ap­pleby from the Per­ryville Po­lice Depart­ment shows his Thurs­day morn­ing class how to po­si­tion them­selves be­hind their shield dur­ing a crowd con­trol oper­a­tion.

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