WATSONVILLE—Officers from six law agencies met at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Tuesday through Thursday for training in how to respond to civil disobedience.
California Highway Patrol officer Dave Reed said the Mobile Field Force Disobedience course focuses on policy protocol for law enforcement officials during protests and riots, while protecting people’s rights and keeping police safe.
Classroom instruction led officers through constitutional protections such as free speech, the right to assembly and protections from unreasonable searches and seizures or immunities of citizens of the United States.
Santa Cruz area CHP Capt. Aaron Ching said he was pleased that local law enforcement agencies recognize the importance of aligning their standards. Watsonville Police, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies, Santa Cruz Police, Morgan Hill Police and Hollister Police were in attendance.
“We want to make sure our training includes understanding how people can assemble in a safe way,” Ching said. “This is a high-visibility level of training.”
The course included roll playing, active shooter, demonstrations of group separation and other such various scenarios, Ching said.