When a fight between officers and suspects develops, everybody goes to help. Typically only the first few officers are really needed to help control the fighting suspects. What do the other 17 officers have to do at the scene? A responding supervisor needs to watch the event without getting directly involved in the event. A senior officer can do that if there is no supervisor present. An uninvolved officer can direct the actions of the officers using force and can insure compliance with the law, and agency policy on use of force.
One officer can keep dispatch in the loop and direct other officers to resume patrol duties. One officer can get the first aid kit ready to treat any minor injuries. Another officer can take photos of the event to document the actions of the suspect. Other officers can prepare other weapons or equipment, such as Taser, riot baton, large OC spray dispenser, shields, helmets and other gear depending on the size of the fight.
Other officers should watch the area outside the fight area. If there is a crowd, they may choose to get involved in a fight with officers. They may come out of buildings or even passing vehicles. Watch the scene, set up a perimeter that gives the officers involved enough space to use their weapons and end the fight quickly. Keeping others from jumping in is an important job; that’s what the SGT Says.