Book Review: Preventing Crowd Violence

By Tamara D. Madensen and Johannes Knutsson; Reviewed by Dr. Steve Albrecht, CPP

The authors recognize that protest groups have a right to assemble, as long as it remains relatively orderly, nondestructive, and nonviolent. As such, the police or security role may be more passive as long as the crowd cooperates with each other and the officers.

One chapter describes “dialogue policing,” which includes using plainclothes officers inside the crowd and uniformed officers on the perimeters to both monitor and engage with certain crowd members. Goals include de-escalating pending problems and encouraging groups to “self-police” through peer pressure. This approach, where officers communicate, listen, and manage their own stress, can keep the collective emotional temperature down on all sides.

This book will be useful for security directors and managers who may be faced with crowd situations as part of their protective efforts.

Reviewer: Dr. Steve Albrecht, CPP, is a San Diego-based author and consultant on workplace violence prevention. His books include Ticking Bombs; Tough Training Topics; and Tactical Perfection for Street Cops. He is a member of ASIS International.


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