|Type of paper:||Critical thinking|
|Categories:||Risk Violence Security Risk management|
Risk is inherent in nearly all activities and events. The risks surround people within their educational, business as well as their personal lives. Assessing the risks through proper identification, analysis, control helps minimize or eliminate any potential or unacceptable occurrences that may emanate from such activities or events (Drennan and McConnell, 2007). Such kind of risks often takes place in public events that have risk-based decision-making processes. The Republican National Convention (RNC) is one of the public events in the United States that has always involved risk-based decision making. The RNC has always been associated with tremendous violence and threats. Violence in the US is not used as often in the political processes as it is in some nations. Given the current intensity of the political debate as well as the recent strings of attacks across the country, the RNC meetings have always been marred with threats to security, violence and sometimes destruction of property and injuries. While this is evident, the risks assessment has always played critical roles in the RNC risks-based decisions, thereby preventing potential violence, harm or destruction of property that results from conflicts or disagreements from the parties. This paper, therefore, provides a discussion of the role of risk assessment in risk-based decision-making for the RNC.
Republican National Convention
The conflicts between the protests and the counter-protest teams within the RNC have always been described as inevitable. During the conventions, the organizers have always anticipated the flashpoints based on the planned demonstrations and rallies. Still, numerous groups on the radical left and right have occasionally announced the plans to attend such conventions without registering through the city municipality for the events. Also, violent anarchists have always acted as a tremendous threat as well. While rain has been a major cause of disturbance for the protest activities during the conventions, the anarchists' activities have proven serious especially whereby they do not talk about their plans and are wary of the informants. Through this, they have been classified in the same situation as the transnational jihadists. In the past conventions, the grassroots anarchists have always caused minor disruptions that have resulted in considerably serious impacts.
A dramatic example of the threats and violence that occurred during the RNC held in August 2004 in New York City offers a more magnificent exposition of the impact of such events. Four days before the commencement of the RNC, two activists succeeded in rappelling down the face of the iconic Plaza Hotel. They unfurled a 60-foot, three-story protest banner, and established a stage for one of the most emotionally charged and heavily protested events in recent memory. Other hundreds of thousands of protestors marched on the Madison Square Garden on the Sunday of the event. Political analysts termed it as one of the biggest organized protests in the history of the US (Earl, 2011). As part of this protest, hundreds of bicycle protests caused Manhattan aimed at seizing into the gridlocked state. The event exposed the gaps and weaknesses when it comes to security planning, both for law enforcement and for the facility and property managers. It is therefore undeniable to mention that the RNC is one of the high-risk events. In 2004's violent May Day protests in Seattle and the NATO summit in late May in Chicago demonstrated in stark illustrations the need for emergency and scenario planning, risk assessment and proper communication (Johnson, 2017).
Role of Risk Assessment in the Republican National Convention (RNC)
Studies have shown that event planners, especially for the major events such as the exhibitions, conferences, political conventions, and trade shows, constitute the critical aspect of the event planning. The planners, in this case, must ensure that there are existing programs of events and that high-profile organization is in attendance. However, the priority must be focused on ensuring that the safety of everyone on the site is achieved (Earl, 2011). The results of the accidents and injuries can be tremendous, mainly when the negligence on the part of the organizers contributed to the accident. The organizers may further duffer irreparable damages to their reputation, thereby making it impossible to organize other exhibitions and conventions in the future. The organizers may further find it impossible to secure insurance. The businesses may also not want to associate with the organizers in any way.
The risk assessment in the risk-based decisions that involve the RNC may help recognize and control any threats or hazards within the environment that surrounds the convention. It is undeniable that for high-security events such as political conventions, and which are associated with risk-based decision-making, the uncontrollable protests that usually turn violent constitute the most common security threat. In the view of Jim Rosenbluth, the managing director for Crisis Management at Cushman & Wakefield, dealing with crowd management is a huge issue. As such, the event organizers must be prepared for spontaneous or organized disruptions whereby the anarchist groups may try to create blockades on doors, routes as well as sidewalks. Such kind of blocked may form hazards which may expose the participants to various dangers or harms.
For instance, the risks assessment for the RNC may involve planning for a worst case scenario of a prolonged building lock-down through making the provisions aimed at keeping the cafeteria's open, as well as arranging for the sleeping arrangements and showers, in any cases the occupants are unable to leave (Earl, 2011). The hiring of the disaster recovery team, just in case is also an essential aspect of this kind assessment. Forming a multi-disciplinary committee to assist the property manager in the overall process of overseeing the event is crucial. This may involve getting the law enforcement involved early, especially when the building is iconic or near the site of the convention. Any anticipation of the violence must prompt the organizers to invite the police and other special operations squads to increase their familiarity with the building or the event as well as the procedures required for the emergency response. Ideally, running various tactical exercises as part of the risk assessment may provide an exceptional understanding of the vulnerability of people to injuries within a given building is crucial in determining where to establish the response team's command post.
Risk assessment is critical in establishing management standards, based on acceptable safe practices and legal requirements. This is possible by making sure that all the policies and procedures regarding the risk management and evacuation in the case of violence or threats in public events are well understood by at least the event's leadership, participants or occupants. In the case of the RNC, the assessment will involve scenario planning, such as killing the powers to enhance the understanding of the smoke conditions, for instance. Designating specific exit channels properly so that the participants can quickly be evacuated is crucial. Additionally, making sure that all the changes in policies and procedures are communicated to all stakeholders involved in the RNC has always been critical. It improves the understanding of the stakeholders about the possible ways of tackling issues.
Risk assessment in the RNC's risk-based decisions helps to save the cost by being proactive rather than reactive. Reports show that what has been happening at the Republican National Convention not normal. For instance, on a night when the primetime speaker Ted Cruz pointedly declined to endorse the Republican Party's nominee for President, he was booed and heckled off the stage. Notably, this occurrence seemed obvious. However, the convention had always been even weirder, and it began long before Cruz got on onstage (Earl, 2011). On the surface, the RNC has always had all the trappings of a standard party convention involving the Republican state officials and congressional leaders providing the speeches. The delegates on the floor have always held up coordinated signs using political slogans such as "Make America Great Again." Ordinarily, parties try to deliver a carefully crafted and unified message. However, the RNC has always not complied with these standards. The RNC decisions have always been met by colossal opposition and threats from the political leaders as well as the public who are aligned to it. In some time, the protests can culminate into serious violence that eventually leads to the destruction of property.
The 2017 RNC, for example, had numerous prominent Republicans failing to attend the convention because of the decision that appeared as though Donald Trump had trouble in filing his speaker roster, waiting to release an almost-final list until the evening that preceded the convention day (Johnson, 2017). Further, reports also revealed that even the celebrities who did fill out the list were primarily Trump's personal friends and included people such as the Scott Baio. In the cases where the threats and opposition have always risen to an uncontrollable level, it has always escalated to severe violence. The uncontrolled violence from politicians and public protestor has always led to the destruction of property (Johnson, 2017). A risk assessment may, therefore, provide a piece of valuable information about such impending effects and thus enable the organizers to find the appropriate strategies needed to prevent it.
Theoretical Perspectives of Risk-based Decision-making
Public risk management has developed to become an accepted aspect enhanced by practitioners, scholars, as well as governments within the public sector. Notably, there are tangible and sufficient reasons as to why the risk assessment and management are applied in organizations, conferences, conventions, or even public events. These reasons include the economization of the financial losses and time, the prevention of human life loss as well as the achievement of the objective strategic decisions. Further, the risks management decisions are critical mainly because of the specifics approaches in risks management processes, which occurs through the selection of the techniques and strategies that will be utilized for the risks identified or measured. Various theories have, therefore helped explain the underlying aspects of risk-based decision making. Firstly, the Decision Theory argues that the risks assessment and management relies on the rules derived from the overall knowledge and the precepts of the Decision Theory.
The theory consists of both the normative and rationalistic models for decision-making are based on the conceptions regarding how decisions are made (Cleary and Malleret, 2007). Within this perspective, a decision maker must have adequate knowledge and awareness about the problem, then posit the objective through a careful evaluation of the alternative means (Gigerenzer, 2011). He should eventually choose among them regarding his approximations of their merit. Undeniable, this perspective is applied to risk management and provides a proper prescription regarding how to act when uncertainty and lack of information are present. The theory, therefore, allows risks managers and assessors to find several techniques both for the assessment and to determine the optimal response for the specific risks (Gigerenzer, 2011).
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