Directions: Read the scenario that includes the background and story. After you have read the scenario, read the assignment instructions and the four attachments. Complete the assignment.
The following story is a fictional account of an incident that occurred during the mythical Democratic-Republican National Convention (DRNC) event in Miami, Florida. The story is loosely based on an amalgamation of real-life occurrences during the Free Trade Area of the Americas conference in Miami, Florida, in 2003. The names of all the characters in the story are fictional.
This scenario corresponds with the objectives listed below.
1. Relate the importance of timely and well-documented communications that impact the development of threat assessments and mitigation capabilities.
2. Sufficiently summarize key factors of risk, in terms of stakeholders, approaches, methods, and influencing factors that impact risk management.
3. Compare and contrast the pros and cons of organizational culture and its influence on risk identification and mitigation.
In the year leading up to the DRNC, a lot of critical decisions will have to be made by the top policy makers in county government, as well as federal, state, and other local stakeholder agencies and organizations involved in the planning of the event. Decisions have to be made about what equipment and supplies need to be purchased to keep the police officers, firefighters, and other emergency workers safe during the week-long event. The good news is that Miami-Dade County has hosted ten Super Bowls (1968, 1969, 1971, 1976, 1979, 1989, 1995, 1999, 2007, and 2010), the Summit of the Americas (1994), and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Conference (2003), as well as Major League Baseball World Series (1997 and 2003), and a myriad of other large-scale special events. Miami-Dade not only has the physical infrastructure to handle these types of events, but over the years it has developed a cadre of highly skilled and experienced experts in this type of planning. The expertise of the professionals in the police, fire, and emergency management agencies has long been a core competency that puts the county at a great advantage over many other large municipal areas. 2
While the general expertise acquired from all these previous events will be helpful, each new event is different, and, in a sense, there will be a re-learning curve for many new planners who will be involved this time around. While many of the planners for the DRNC have experience with planning large-scale events, others have retired or moved on to other places and their knowledge and experience has been lost. Moreover, many of the new planners and policy makers were involved in planning past events, but they may have been involved at the lower- and mid-levels, and may not be as experienced in their new roles.
In an effort to retain knowledge and avoid having the planners re-learn everything from scratch every time a new event comes to town, the Miami-Dade Police Department has kept files of after-action reports for each of the past events, as well as unplanned incidents such as the Elian Gonzalez civil disturbances of 2000. These after-action reports are available for review to the new planners of the DRNC. In addition, a vast library of after-action reports of previous similar events, such as the Republican National Convention in Tampa (2012), the WTO Conference in Quebec City (2001), and the WTO Conference in Seattle, Washington (1999), are available for review.
As in previous large-scale special events, one of the first things that needs to be done is a risk assessment that takes into consideration the vulnerabilities of the stakeholders involved in the area of operation, the threats (both internal and external), and the relative consequences faced by various infrastructure assets. To that end, a six person team comprised of MDPD Bomb Squad, MDPD Special Response Team (SRT), MDPD Canine Unit, FBI Hazardous Material Response Unit (HMRU), ATF Explosive Ordnance, and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Hazmat was put together to conduct vulnerability assessments of several select infrastructure assets located within and nearby the designated Area of Operation for the DRNC (Attachment 1).
Another team comprised of FBI, ATF, U.S. Secret Service, and MDPD investigators was tasked with conducting a threat assessment as it relates to the DRNC Area of Operations. This threat assessment is based on open sources of information (such as newspapers, websites, and blogs) and looks at a wide spectrum of threats ranging from non-violent protest groups, to violent Anarchist and Black Bloc groups, to actual terrorist groups.
Both the vulnerability assessment team and the threat assessment team report directly to the Security & Public Safety Subcommittee, chaired by Samantha Salerno, Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC), US Secret Service (see Slide 4 of Attachment 2). It is the responsibility of this committee to determine the overall risk posed to the critical assets and stakeholder holdings in the DRNC Area of Operation. The overall risk is determined through an established quantitative-based risk analysis instrument which takes into consideration the threat factors, vulnerability factors, and the consequence factors (based on the intrinsic and symbolic values of the asset).
The overall risk analysis conducted by the Security and Public Safety Subcommittee will determine to a great extent the strategy and tactics employed by the law enforcement and emergency management agencies during the event. More importantly, the risk analysis report filed by this committee will go a long way in determining how the allocated funding will be put to best use leading up to the event. Decisions such as number of personnel needed for the event, projected man-hours (and overtime expenditures), the purchase or lease of fencing and barricades, the purchase of riot gear and safety equipment (such as shields, fire-retardant uniforms, helmets, etc.), and many more expenditures. To see what these purchases involve, you can refer to Attachment 4, which is an actual expenditure tracking spreadsheet that was used for the 2003 FTAA event by Miami-Dade Police. 3
For this assignment, you are to play the role of ASAC Samantha Salerno as the Chairperson, and Lead Federal Coordinator for the Security and Public Safety Subcommittee (refer to Attachment 2). Based on the input provided to you by the vulnerability assessment team and the threat assessment team, your committee has completed an overall risk analysis of the critical infrastructure assets within the DRNC’s Area of Operations (Attachment 1).
Your job is to set broad policy so that the operational planners for the event can begin to set specific tactics, and purchase the necessary supplies and equipment in order to mitigate the risk factors during the event. You are to prepare a written report directed to Mr. Horace Copeland, DRNC Host Committee Chairperson (no less than 750 words, and no more than 2,000 words) that addresses the following issues/questions:
1. What are the highest anticipated risks in the DRNC Area of Operations during the week-long event, and how did you arrive at this conclusion? Briefly explain the methodology and sources upon which you relied on to make these conclusions.
2. Based on your risk analysis, what types of policy would you implement, and where would you place emphasis in order to minimize and mitigate risk during the DRNC event? Take into consideration all the likely stakeholders and what their concerns are likely to be. Briefly explain your rationale.
3. In your report, take into consideration the past conflicts between the Miami-Dade Police Department and the City of Miami Police Department during the FTAA Conference disturbances of 2003. Compare and contrast the pros and cons of organizational cultures of these two agencies and explain how differences in organizational culture could influence risk identification and mitigation leading up to the DRNC event planning. What steps can be taken to eliminate, or at least minimize this conflict?
Attachment 1 – Risk Assessment Report of the DRNC Area of Operations (PDF PowerPoint)
Attachment 2 – DRNC Host Committee Task Force Org Charts (PDF PowerPoint)
Attachment 3 – FTAA Conference Case Study – A Contrast in Organizational Cultures (PDF)
Attachment 4 – FTAA Expenditure Tracking Sheet (PDF Excel)