Officers gear up with riot training

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Deputies in Richmond and Columbia counties are preparing for any civil unrest or overexuberant celebrating that might take place after next week's presidential election, officials confirmed Monday.

Although they were quick to say that no problems are anticipated, authorities said as many as 60 deputies will undergo an eight-hour training course Thursday -- learning crowd control and disbursement techniques.

Richmond County sheriff's Col. Gary Powell said the department will not have deputies stationed at local polling centers Nov. 4, but they will be ready to respond if necessary.

"We just want to be prepared in case something does happen, but I don't really anticipate something here," Col. Powell said.

Since shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, the department has issued road patrol deputies riot gear, including gas masks, but most have not undergone "formalized training," Col. Powell said.

Law enforcement agencies across the nation are adding officers and riot-control units and are putting SWAT teams on standby.

A story published last week in The Hill , a leading newspaper for Congress and Capitol Hill, said authorities from cities including Detroit, Oakland, Philadelphia and Chicago -- Democratic candidate Barack Obama's hometown -- plan to deploy extra police. Many believe that some blacks would be angry if Mr. Obama loses, the article said.

It's something Mallory Millender, a longtime Paine College professor and community activist, said is not likely to happen unless there is the impression that the election was stolen from Mr. Obama.

"Otherwise I think there will be jubilation," Dr. Millender said. "I absolutely don't think there will be violence and disorder in a negative sense."

Capt. Steve Morris, a spokesman for the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, said that no matter which party wins the election, it will be an unprecedented event that requires added security.

"It will end in either the nation's first African-American president or the nation's first female vice president," Capt. Morris said. "It demands more preparation and a greater police presence."

His department will send about two-dozen of its Special Response Team deputies to train in Richmond County, he said.

Col. Powell said the biggest problem on Election Day might be the one they already have faced -- traffic. On Monday morning, advance voting traffic was a problem outside the Henry Brigham Center on Golden Camp Road as a large number of drivers entered and exited the parking lot.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

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CanDawgsDoMath
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CanDawgsDoMath 10/31/08 - 09:32 am
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Today on my way to lunch I

Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read Vote Obama, I need the money. I laughed. Once in the restaurant my server had on a Obama 08 tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference--just imagine the coincidence. When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need--the homeless guy outside.

CanDawgsDoMath
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CanDawgsDoMath 10/31/08 - 09:32 am
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The server angrily stormed

The server angrily stormed from my sight. I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful. At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient deserved money more. I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.

CanDawgsDoMath
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CanDawgsDoMath 10/31/08 - 09:33 am
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The budget should be

The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC

JohnQPublic
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JohnQPublic 10/31/08 - 10:39 am
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Apex, I could ask you the

Apex, I could ask you the same question. Besides, I write comments, not stories. You have no idea if I wrote a letter to the editor, nor is it any of your business. Stick with the topic, the comments to this article instead of changing the subject.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 11/03/08 - 02:40 pm
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toppergem, do you realize how

toppergem, do you realize how many people with diminished judgmental capacity we have all over the U.S.? There's people tipping cars over after football games for Pete's sake. That's enough to make a car owner react violently. I would be pretty upset myself. Violence tends to spiral when misunderstanding piles upon misunderstanding. Add in drug users and abusers, alcohol or meth, & who knows what else, you never know who might set what in motion. Again, this is not limited to one age, gender, race or socio-economic strata. I know a mom who had a drug problem at one time; now her middle-aged son is in jail for not just taking them, but trafficking them. They are not lower middle class either, they are upper middle-class, maybe even classifiable as rich, & are well-connected. Drug use is rampant in our country at all levels & you're telling us that we don't need to be prepared for someone reacting in an uncivilized way to an election that mightn't go there way, maybe starting a riot? Variables like drugs & alcohol put many people in a mindset that isn't civilized. Some people just have temperaments inclined to acting out anger or joy in a violent way (steroids?).

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 11/03/08 - 02:44 pm
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In other words, again,

In other words, again, prepare for the worst but hope for the best. No matter what the outcome of the election is, some people probably won't behave appropriately. Some may be sore losers, others maybe go over the line in their jubilation at a win. Law enforcement simply want people to be civilized and considerate of others, in other words, don't break the law to mark the election.

ya-ya
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ya-ya 11/04/08 - 02:24 pm
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convertedsoutherner McCain's

convertedsoutherner McCain's adopted daughter is NOT black---check your facts

dale88fan
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dale88fan 11/04/08 - 03:02 pm
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piperpig == do you have

piperpig == do you have lipstick on?

dale88fan
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dale88fan 11/04/08 - 03:04 pm
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osama is == opps -obama is

osama is == opps -obama is only 7% black-- but he is close enough for all the peps out there!

toppergem
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toppergem 11/04/08 - 05:22 pm
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This entire section should be

This entire section should be removed from the Augusta Chronicle website. Why does this newspaper allow this inflammatory crap to be posted to stir up feels of hatred and fear in our community? There is something very wrong with a newspaper that constantly feeds upon the fears of members in its community. It is one thing to take such a conservative position in the news you provide for the community. To place things in that newspaper that the editors knows will only add fuel to a slow burning fire is another thing. Sales at the Chronicle must be really low to stoop to this type of agitation to try to drive sales up. Race baiting is beneath contempt.

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