Why LPD is present at a “peaceful demonstration”

Wanting to circle back to the relevant topic of open demonstration. While we understand the events are fluid, how are you coaching your team to identify when intervention is needed or when a peaceful protest can continue?

Littleton Police Chief Doug StephensChief Douglas Stephens: So that’s kind of a challenging question, but let me take a shot at it. So a peaceful protest can continue as long as a peaceful protest needs to continue. I mean, there are some permit restrictions in some places. But I think no one really has an argument with folks demonstrating peacefully and expressing their first amendment liberties. No one has a problem with that. Our job is to promote the peace, right, and protect life and property. Sometimes we get negative feedback about, why are you here? Why are the police here? Many times they’re always, “We’re there to monitor the situation.” In some cases, like in the march that we had through Littleton a few weeks ago, we were there to promote safety by keeping the marchers safe by blocking off streets and traffic.

In other instances where the air of the demonstration may be a little bit more electric, let’s say, where things can have a potential to maybe go bad, we’ll be there to respond as necessary, to again, protect life and property. So hopefully, that answers this question too a little bit. I know it’s fairly generic, but again, there’s no specific single answer that’s good for this.