Written Exercise 7 – DRNC Case Analysis Scenario for CRJ 575 Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
The following story is a fictional account of planning and preparation leading up to the mythical Democratic- Republican National Convention (DRNC) event in Miami, Florida. The story is loosely based on an amalgamation of real life occurrences in the lead up to the Free Trade Area of the Americas conference in Miami, Florida in 2003. The names of all the characters in the story are fictional.
As you read the story, keep in mind what contemporary criminal justice issues are likely to arise. At the end of the story, you will be asked to respond to several questions related to this scenario.
Miami-Dade Police has been designated as the lead local agency and lead operational planner for the event security. This policy differs significantly from the 2003 FTAA in which the City of Miami was designated as the lead local agency. Director Melanie Duncan is the head of the Miami-Dade Police Department.
Since this event meets the criteria of a National Special Security Event (NSSE), the U.S. Secret Service has been designated as the lead coordinating agency with overarching statutory authority for the planning and execution of the event. Supervisory Special Agent Samantha Salerno has been appointed as the lead agent in-charge for the event.
Organization charts of the Security Subcommittee are provided for your reference.
Case Study – Surveillance Drones for the Police
It was early Tuesday afternoon, and the Security Subcommittee of the DRNC Host Committee was meeting for fourth time. The DRNC was still seven months away, but pace of the meetings had picked up considerably since it was first learned that Miami-Dade was going to host the event. Clearly, there was considerable trepidation on the part of the Security Subcommittee members as to what they were about to embark on. At the last meeting, the subcommittee members had been briefed by a Major from the Tampa Police Department about their experiences with the Republican National Convention in 2012. They had also been briefed about the turmoil that the police agencies in Minneapolis, Minnesota had experienced during the 2008 RNC.
Director Duncan had her own memories of the FTAA in Miami, Florida (2003) to contend with. At the time, she served as one of several Mobile Field Force commanders on the front lines in the clashes with the Black Bloc tactic protestors. This was nothing new to Duncan, but for subcommittee chair Samantha Salerno, this would be a quick tutorial on what to expect from the anti-globalization protestors that were expected to amass in Miami for the DRNC.
Accompanying Director Duncan at the meeting today was Major Louis Warren. Warren had asked to be allowed to address the full subcommittee regarding a request that had been made by some of his Mobile Field Force lieutenants. Recently, Miami-Dade County had been awarded $1.9 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to partially defray the cost of security for the event. Warren and his lieutenants wanted to use part of that $1.9 million to purchase a $300,000 unmanned helicopter drone so that they could have a nearly continuous and indefatigable “eye in the sky” during the week of the convention.
Warren and his lieutenants wanted to explain to the subcommittee members how the purchase of the drone would save considerable costs associated with the regular police helicopters. It was estimated that to keep a regular manned police helicopter flying costs approximately $320 per hour. This estimate includes fuel costs, as well as other related expenses necessary to operate the aircraft. By contrast, the cost to operate the drone aircraft amounted to only $50 per hour… a fraction of the cost of the manned helicopter.
But it was not just a cost issue. There was also the matter of pilot fatigue associated with manned surveillance aircraft. During the FTAA Conference civil disturbances in 2003, Major Warren and his lieutenants had seen for themselves how effective the aerial surveillance of the protestors had been in predicting their next moves. The police helicopters had played an instrumental role during the event by providing timely “real time” information on the movements of the protestors to the police commanders on the ground.
Having that eye in the sky proved to be one of the most important factors for the success of the police during the FTAA disturbances; however, there simply were not enough pilots and aircraft to keep a constant watch over the protestors during the entire week of the event. In 2003, there were many coverage gaps as the manned helicopters had to refuel regularly and the pilots had to rest. Major Warren remembered that from his own experiences, and he wanted to purchase the unmanned drone in order to fill those coverage gaps. Moreover, Warren had been a commander of a tactical unit prior to his current assignment, and he knew full well how important it was to keep the high ground surveillance of suspects during hostage and barricaded subject calls. The drone helicopter would be used by the MDPD Special Response Teams (SRT) long after the RNC had concluded. Or at least, that was the proposed plan.
Unfortunately for Major Warren, he faced an unexpected barrier to his proposal from FBI Assistant Agent in Charge (ASAC) Felicia Fontaine, who was one of the main members of the subcommittee. It appeared that ASAC Fontaine had a different use for the Homeland Security grant money. Fontaine had not said what she wanted to spend the grant money on, but clearly she indicated that she was opposed to the purchase of the $300,000 drone aircraft.
The ultimate decision on whether to purchase the unmanned drone aircraft for the DRNC event was going to be made by policy makers associated with the Miami area Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) group, but the recommendation of the subcommittee would carry considerable weight for making the final determination on how to spend the $1.9 million grant money.
There were many factors to consider before the final decision would be made. Costs alone would not be the only determining factor.
For the purpose of this assignment, you are to play the role of U.S. Secret Service ASAC, Samantha Salerno. Your job is to weigh the risk and cost-benefit factors associated with the purchase of the unmanned drone. Consider all sides (the pros and cons) associated with the purchase of the drone aircraft. Take into consideration a broad array of stakeholder concerns with the use of unmanned drone aircraft for law enforcement purposes. Do not limit your analysis to cost variables only. Your recommendations will likely be heeded by the policy makers at the Miami UASI.
In a narrative essay not to exceed 1,200 words, explain how you arrived at your conclusions. Your report is important because it will form the basis for planning the DRNC and the implementation of policy.
Post your essay in the Assignment Dropbox no later than 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.
Additional Resources: (Links for these resources are available from within Module 7)
• PDF PowerPoint of the DRNC Convention – Overarching Theme
• PDF PowerPoint Org Charts for the DRNC Host Committee and Subcommittees
• PDF PowerPoint of the Stakeholders for the DRNC
• PDF PowerPoint of the Information and Collaborative Networks for the DRNC
• PDF PowerPoint of the DRNC Layout in Downtown Miami
Case Analysis Rubric (70 points) CRITERIA RATINGS
Critically examines the case synthesizing the supplementary materials while integrating the class text, lectures, outside sources, scholarly journals and/or publications. Posits new ideas, “outside the box” theories as well as assessing the value of theories in real world situations by predicting or drawing conclusions based on reasoned arguments. Stays within the parameters of the case fact pattern. Research is examined critically, researched scholarly and implemented realistically.
Case analysis not submitted.
Case analysis poorly written with no to little research. No graduate level theories or ideas are presented. Rehash of familiar ideas with no new thoughts presented. The fact pattern presented is not followed or not used. Supplementary materials are not used or ignored No or few sources used and/or referenced. High percentage of copied and pasted work. No to poor APA formatting. Numerous spelling and grammatical errors.
Case analysis shows basic research. Student provides few unique ideas or theories. Analysis does not adequately predict outcomes. Sources are not sufficient for graduate research paper. Minimally uses fact pattern and supplementary materials. Findings and conclusions do not connect to the topic itself. Formatting does not always comply with APA standards. Some spelling and grammatical errors.
Case analysis provides good theories and ideas which draw good conclusions and posit unique theories. Ideas and theories presented are reasonable in real world situations and have clearly been thought through. Research adds to the fact pattern producing reasonable conclusions relative to what is given. Sources are good and sufficient for the research presented. APA formatting is solid with complete and correct in- text cites. Spelling and grammar are correct. Paper is well edited.
Well researched case analysis with unique theories and ideas that draw unique conclusions, predict outcomes and present reasonable "outside the box" thinking. References are specific to theories and fact pattern. In- text cites point reader directly to supporting documents. Research adds to the fact pattern producing good conclusions relative to what is given. APA formatting, spelling and grammar are correct. Paper is well edited incorporating only those ideas, comments and research that connect to the initial hypothesis.
Assignment Grading Ratings
CRITERIA RATING Performance is outstanding; significantly above the usual expectations
Skills and standards are at the level of expectation of a graduate student.
Skills and standards are at the minimal acceptable graduate level but improvements are needed.
Performance is not of a graduate level; the skills or standards are not sufficiently demonstrated at this time.
Assignment not submitted. 0
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