Under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, people may assemble into crowds. However, the amendment does not extend protection to disorderly crowds. A crowd, therefore, becomes unlawful once it is disorderly.
Crowds, whether or not they are orderly, may be planned or spontaneous, and they assemble for various purposes. Every crowd may be divided into smaller crowds within the larger crowd. However, the larger crowd generally contains these basic similarities:
1) A perimeter that the crowd assembles within.
2) A reason or reasons for assembly.
These considerations must be assessed to ensure adequate crowd control and to ensure the crowd does not devolve into a riot:
1) Size of crowd.
2) Area of assembly.
3) Points where crowd has freedom of movement.
4) Restricted points.
5) Reason(s) for assembly.
6) Attitude of crowd.
7) Alcohol/drugs present.
8) Location of security command post.
9) Potential of emergencies.
Security officers should maintain order by observing the crowd, reporting illegal activities, controlling access and traffic, giving directions, identifying sources of trouble and removing trouble makers, and responding to emergencies. Officers must remain calm and objective. If a crowd becomes disorderly, then follow this procedure:
1) Call 911.
2) Determine who is causing the problem and report to police.
3) Keep a safe position and keep others out of the way of harm.
4) Never attempt to stop a crowd that has become a riot, because one officer or a small number of officers cannot stop a riot. A riot is a dangerous situation that can kill anyone in its way. Allow the police a chance to form the appropriate response to an out of control crowd.
5) Report in an incident report.