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Police given list of items that could have violent uses

By Brian Maass
Rocky Mountain News

DENVER - The Denver Police Department has issued a grim bulletin to officers asking them to "be on the lookout for stockpiles and caches of supplies that could be used by violent protesters at the upcoming Democratic National Convention."
The special one-page bulletin was sent last week to all Denver police officers and other law enforcement agencies across the state.
The bulletin provides a glimpse into what law enforcement officials fear, anticipate and are watching for.
The DPD bulletin says that "past practices of demonstrators show that they will use outlying abandoned buildings, homes, camping facilities, secluded woods and farm fields to store their supplies."
The memo - disseminated to uniformed officers and obtained by CBS4 - warns first responders such as police, fire and rescue personnel to "be alert for medium and large numbers of these items that seem out of place for its location."
"This could indicate the stockpiling of supplies to be used against first responders," the bulletin said.
Here's what the "first responder alert" warns might be out there:
* Cases of nails that can be used to make "caltrops," spiked anti-personnel devices designed to cause flat tires, "thereby blockading the street."
"Caltrops," cautions the notice, "can also be used to throw at first responders and interfere with K-9's and horses."
* Shields, both metal and plastic. "Violent protesters are using 1 1/2-inch to 2-inch self-tapping screws to secure the handles on these shields," the notice reads.
"The screws have been secured to the shields to act as an assault weapon against the officers. Another tactic used by violent protesters is to sharpen the upper edges of the shields and then use them as a slashing weapon against the officers."
* Protest sign handles. "Heavy wooden handles in 5-foot lengths are perfect for swinging at first responders," the bulletin states. "Metal posts can also be used to hold improvised tiki torches to deliver flammable liquid on first responders."
The no-nonsense alert also says law enforcement personnel should be on the lookout for large numbers of helmets, chest protectors, gas masks, metal pipes and PVC piping, which can be used "as sleeping dragons to block intersections and building entrances."
A sleeping dragon, in protest parlance, is a "lockdown" device that allows protesters to firmly attach themselves to each other so they are difficult to separate and can block traffic and intersections.
Police are also being warned to watch for anyone amassing chemicals that "can be used in balloons to throw/shoot at first responders."
The police notice requests that if any officer or agency discovers stockpiles of the items mentioned in the bulletin, they should contact a Denver police detective.
It also asks that information be shared with Denver police officials about "potential violent protesters" who have rented camping spaces, farms or land around the time of the convention.

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