Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

June 13, 2015

What law enforcement transparency looked like during the 6/13 attack on Dallas police headquarters

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Christopher Bellavita on June 13, 2015

The following is a copy of the Tweets sent by Dallas police Major Max Geron during the attack on the Dallas police headquarters.  The attack started this morning, around 1230 AM.

The tweets illustrate how public officials can use social media (in this case Twitter and Periscope) during an incident to keep people informed, correct errors, quash rumors, explain actions, keep people safe, and help make sense out of what’s going on. 

Max writes for Homeland Security Watch sometimes.


– Maj. Max Geron retweeted

#BREAKING More video of shooting outside DPD headquarters

– Maj. Max Geron retweeted

Madhu ?@madwho12  19h19 hours ago

Armored van lured police, fired upon, and rammed police

– Maj. Max Geron retweeted

18h18 hours ago

Ryan Wood retweeted JG

New video from earlier of shooting outside #Dallas police headquarters. @wfaachannel8

– Maj. Max Geron retweeted

18h18 hours ago

Suspect who shot at DPD headquarters is in a van near Hutchins. SWAT on the way. Here is the scene.


– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  18h18 hours ago

I’m not aware of any injuries at this point

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  17h17 hours ago

As a precautionary measure, we’ve taken additional steps to ensure security at all police facilities.

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  17h17 hours ago

We’ve activated the Emergency Operations Center to facilitate coordination of emergency response

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  16h16 hours ago

Witnesses advised that suspects in an armored vehicle open fire on @DallasPD HQ shortly after 12am #dallaspdshooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  16h16 hours ago

If you have video or info of the incident you can send it to us via the iWatch Dallas app available in the App Store #dallaspdshooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  16h16 hours ago

You can also send us info or video to pio@dpd.dallascityhall.com

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  16h16 hours ago

We’ve received assistance from Hutchins PD, Wilmer PD, @TxDPS among others. Situation is ongoing #dallaspdshooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  16h16 hours ago

Still no reports of any injuries to @DallasPD personnel. #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  16h16 hours ago

We are prepping for a press conference with @dpdchief at city hall #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  16h16 hours ago

We are working to LiveStream and Periscope the press conference.

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  16h16 hours ago

Headed up to the presser now

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  16h16 hours ago

We’re expanding the perimeter @DallasPD HQ because of the presence of possible explosives

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  16h16 hours ago

Presser live on periscope now

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  16h16 hours ago

On Periscope @maxdpd

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  16h16 hours ago

Multiple bags with possible explosives found around @DallasPD HQ

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  16h16 hours ago

If you hear explosions in the area of @dallaspd HQ, the Explosive Ord. Unit is considering a controlled demolition #dallaspdshooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  15h15 hours ago

We will be uploading video of the press conference to http://dpdbeat.com  as soon as we can

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  15h15 hours ago

#breaking As the Explosive Ordinance Robot attempted to move one of the bags @DallasPD HQ, the bag exploded on its own #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  15h15 hours ago

We are advising all of our surrounding LEO Depts to search their facilities for devices and not to touch them. #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  15h15 hours ago

We are working with @FBI and @ATFHQ

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  15h15 hours ago

#breaking Here’s the link to the talking points from the earlier press conference #DallasPDShooting http://dpdbeat.com/2015/06/13/shooting-at-dallas-police-headquarters/ …

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  14h14 hours ago

#Breaking We have found an additional package under a police truck in the parking lot @DallasPD HQ EOD is checking it #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  14h14 hours ago

#BREAKING We are also investigating a suspicious package in a dumpster at the Northeast Substation #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  14h14 hours ago

#Breaking Standoff with the suspect. Suspect vehicle has been disabled. #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  14h14 hours ago

We are working on dispatching our Priority 1 911 calls. We will work to release ad ofcrs to ans calls as soon as possible #DallasPDShooting

#Breaking Device found under police vehicle @DallasPD HQ was detonated by EOD. #DallasPDShooting

– 14h14 hours ago

Device found under police vehicle at HQ has detonated – no injuries #DallasPDShooting

– 14h14 hours ago

Dallas SWAT disabled the suspect vehicle with a .50 cal rifle. Standoff is ongoing #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  14h14 hours ago

We currently aren’t granting phone interviews but are working on an update presser w/in the next couple of hours #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  14h14 hours ago

We are currently working on processing at least 2 crime scenes inclusive of the ongoing standoff near I-20 & I-45 #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  14h14 hours ago

Maj. Max Geron retweeted Bad Guy Zero

Not “evacuating” but getting officers to clear in service from the station

Maj. Max Geron added,

Bad Guy Zero @BadGuyZero

Someone on the DPD Southeast radio frequency just said they’re in the process of clearing the station. #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  14h14 hours ago

Maj. Max Geron retweeted Nick Wing

No, follow us on social media and check our blog at http://dpdbeat.com  #DallasPDShooting

Maj. Max Geron added,

Nick Wing @nickpwing

Is this police scanner the only source of info on what’s happening in Dallas? #DallasPD #DallasPDShooting http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/feed/5318/web …

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  14h14 hours ago

ICYMI [“in case you missed it”] If you have video or info on the #DallasPDShooting you may submit it via iWatch Dallas app or emailed to pio@dpd.dallascityhall.com

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  13h13 hours ago

We held officers from deep nights shift to work on getting caught up on 911 calls.

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  13h13 hours ago

#Breaking 2 explosive devices were found @DallasPD HQ – all suspected packages have now been cleared there. #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  13h13 hours ago

#breaking Other suspected devices@DallasPD HQ turned out to be trash.

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  13h13 hours ago

.@JeremyWard33 “Clearing in service” means checking in service and leaving the station to answer calls

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  13h13 hours ago

Are working as quickly as we can to get people back into their residences near @DallasPD HQ could still be several hours #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  13h13 hours ago

The delay is because we must resume the search for additional explosive devices. Please be patient #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  13h13 hours ago

We are reaching out to the @RedCrossDFW to get refreshments for evacuated residents in the area of @DallasPD HQ #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  13h13 hours ago

#Breaking Our EOD robot took a hit from the initial explosion but is still functional and in use #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  12h12 hours ago

Thank you for all the well wishes. Thankful no officers were injured. #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  12h12 hours ago

Maj. Max Geron retweeted Mike North

When possible we negotiate to secure a peaceful resolution to all situations. Not always possible

Maj. Max Geron added,

Mike North @North2North

.@DallasPD .@cpdzone7 so they fire on a police head q. and now negotiate ?blow the van up..bye bye.. #DallasPDShooting #donetalking #kapow

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  12h12 hours ago

Both directions of I-45 shutdown in the area of I-45 and I-20 due to on-going standoff #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  12h12 hours ago

#Breaking Suspicious package at Northeast has been cleared and was not an explosive #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  12h12 hours ago

#Breaking We will give a follow up briefing at 8:30am for media in the lobby of City Hall. #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  12h12 hours ago

#BREAKING Dallas SWAT utilizing robot to examine the suspect vehicle. Still concerned about explosives #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  12h12 hours ago

.@CourtlandOlson #falsenarrative Officers @DallasPD HQ returned fire at the suspect

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

Whether or not susp is inj or deceased, concern continues to be threat of explosives. 2 devices were found @DallasPD HQ #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

Evacuees have been allowed back into their homes across from @DallasPD HQ following a search for additional explosives #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

Earlier this morning Dallas SWAT sniper shot the suspect through the front windshield.

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

We recently held a tabletop exercise on a similar styles attack on downtown area #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

Original reports to officers were of multiple suspects. Now indications are 1 suspect fired from multiple locs #DallasPDShooting

Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

We don’t know motive and will not send officers to van until we can work to make sure there are no explosives #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

Press conference live on Periscope @maxdpd

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

Susp shot at officers at @DallasPD HQ and at scene of standoff with officers returning fire both times. #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

Re: PT this prompted shooting of suspect by Dallas SWAT sniper #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

Officer searching HQ for explosives almost tripped over package that later exploded the instant it was moved #DallasPDShooting

Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

#Breaking @DallasPD attempted to take out the windshield of the susp veh with an explosive breach. It had no effect #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

#Breaking @DallasPD will use the .50 rifle to strategically take out the windshield of the susp veh w/ 4 or more shots #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

RE: PT – Goal is to enable access inside that susp vehicle. #DallasPDShooting We’re advising to alert the public so no alarm at gunfire

Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

#Breaking Action to take out susp vehicle windshield to happen momentarily #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  11h11 hours ago

.@jdmiles11 JD incorrect – 2 shots to engine block – 1 shot into suspect

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  10h10 hours ago

.@jdmiles11 Yes 2 into engine block 3rd shot hit suspect through windshield. All w/.50 cal #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  10h10 hours ago

.@ry_miller23 Suspect was in an armored vehicle.

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  10h10 hours ago

.@delgeo1 5 suspicious packages – 3 cleared, 2 explosives, 1 exploded on contact, other controlled detonation by EOD. #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  10h10 hours ago

One shot into susp veh windshield just went in with .50 cal. #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  10h10 hours ago

Are in process of trying to gain access into the armored susp vehicle by taking out the windshield with our .50cal rifle #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  10h10 hours ago

#Breaking We’ve opened the windshield and will utilize an explosive “water charge” to render any explosives inside inert #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  10h10 hours ago

#Breaking EOD techs believe black powder used in pipe bombs @DallasPD HQ – no C4 detected there #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  9h9 hours ago

We are about to go with the “water charge” in the susp vehicle. Have been prepping for a safe detonation #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  9h9 hours ago

.@IRRGoddess @Fried_Kimchi #FalseNarrative Ofcrs engaged the suspect and returned fire @DallasPD HQ and at standoff loc #DallasPDShooting

9h9 hours ago

.@CBS11Arezow Water charge uses container of water against explosive charge to disperse water and render black pwdr inert #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  10h10 hours ago

There has been no contact with the suspect in over 4 hours – believe it likely that he is deceased #DallasPDShooting

Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  9h9 hours ago

Maj. Max Geron retweeted Dell Cameron

Believe it likely – unable to confirm until van is cleared and officers can move in. Confirmation is premature

Maj. Max Geron added,

Dell Cameron @dellcam

@MaxDPD The @AP just tweeted “authorities confirm death of suspect.” Can you confirm that?

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  9h9 hours ago

Maj. Max Geron retweeted Mark Puente

Thank you Mark. #Transparency and #engagement are critical. #DallasPDShooting

Maj. Max Geron added,

Mark Puente @MarkPuente

@justin_fenton @MaxDPD It appears everything isn’t a secret in police operations in the Big D. Kudos to the transparency.

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  8h8 hours ago

#BREAKING at least two additional pipe bombs found inside susp veh. #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  8h8 hours ago

#Breaking How officer survived truly a miracle! Bullet through door-seatblt-frontseat-backseat #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron retweeted

Shawn Williams ?@ShawnPDPD  7h7 hours ago

. @DPDChief just received a call from @GovAbbott who offered any assistance necessary to @DallasPD. #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  7h7 hours ago

Maj. Max Geron retweeted Maggie Mazzetti

All media may use photos with appropriate attribution.

Maj. Max Geron added,

Maggie Mazzetti @maggiemazzetti

@MaxDPD – The Associated Press would love to use your photos/video with attribution, would that be ok?

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  7h7 hours ago

#Breaking We can now confirm that the susp in the van is deceased but unable to confirm ID pending Med Ex. identification #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  7h7 hours ago

#BREAKING Lots of shrapnel was included in the pipe bombs that exploded – screws, nails @DallasPD HQ #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  6h6 hours ago

#Breaking During intentional detonation of susp ordnance, susp van caught fire and rounds are going off inside #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  6h6 hours ago

Officers had discovered at least 2 additional pipe bombs in the susp veh that required disposal #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  6h6 hours ago

#BREAKING At 3PM will provide Media w/ crime scene access at Lamar St. & Belleview St. Coming south on Lamar frm DwnTwn. #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  6h6 hours ago

TV Media may send 1 reporter & 1 photog per station, Print media 1 rep & 1 photog/ Radio – 1 reporter. Will have sound from @MajorCotnerDPD

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  6h6 hours ago

Sound will be available from @MajorCotnerDPD and @DPDChiefGarza from Capers at that time #DallasPDShooting

– Maj. Max Geron ?@MaxDPD  6h6 hours ago

I’m signing off. @DallasPD and @ShawnPDPD will continue w/ updates going to try and get some rest. #DallasPDShooting

 

 

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5 Comments »

Comment by William R. Cumming

June 14, 2015 @ 7:18 am

Thanks Chris and Max [assume Max gave permission since I would argue ops details contained within]!

Again I ask is SOCIAL MEDIA AND/OR CELL PHONES CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE?

Comment by Vicki Campbell

June 14, 2015 @ 2:59 pm

Although a bit long, this was instructive to read – and it did seem to give a good example of how police might achieve some much needed transparency through social media (although the problem with social media even today is still who it does and doesn’t reach even now). I liked how focused and on point the content generally was, and I especially liked “Max’s” stated preference to negotiate non-violently whenever possible in response to the tweeter “northtonorth’s” suggestion that the van and driver should just be blown up rather than negotiated with. I was less comfortable with the repeated reference to the calibre of weapons used, etc., which i don’t think is either necessary or appropriate, and also some references to phrases that normal citizens would not understand (which left me wondering who the target audience of the tweets actually was). But these things were quite minimal, and I thought it was all pretty clean, and appropriately useful. I also think that tweeter Mike North needs to just move to Iraq, where he can get his fix for his apparent desire to watch things be blown up with impunity, etc..

Comment by Quin

June 15, 2015 @ 2:35 pm

And on the flip side, check out the tweets from an acquaintance of mine (hey we run RWB together!) on how policing has made force protection it’s mission rather than a part of its mission. Trust me, if Fairfax Police is rousting Alex from his bed and putting him in handcuffs, we’ve got some issues. Big ones. And if it’s the “protocol” than the protocol’s effed. I’m guessing this will be a nice story in the Post by week’s end.

https://twitter.com/alexhortontx

Comment by Vicki Campbell

June 18, 2015 @ 2:04 am

Quin, thanks for this great link. I really agreed with and appreciated the critique – very well framed, IMHO. Click and Follow – and I don’t follow many. Thanks again.

Comment by Max G.

August 5, 2015 @ 10:17 am

Ms. Campbell I appreciate the feedback. I included the caliber of the weapon because there were so many incoming tweets about how we were or were not going to stop him. It quelled many of the conspiracy theorists (although not all to be sure). Our use of the .50 cal is well publicized and was on an episode of the TV show Dallas SWAT – no secret we have one. I also wanted to address the concerns of militarization and how simple access to equipment does not constitute militarization, it’s the inappropriate use that is (in my opinion) the problem. It makes a lot of noise and we didn’t want the citizens in the area to be concerned that there was an active gunfight going on when there wasn’t. So I would respectfully disagree that is wasn’t appropriate or necessary.

Mr. Cumming I likewise appreciate you expressing the concern about ops details being contained within those tweets. Nothing I sent out was done at a time that would have compromised our mission. There were ops elements being planned and executed that were never mentioned for just that reason. Our scenes at headquarters and the van were locked down and almost all of the action was in full view of news media and residents so it put factual explanation to their concerns – or at least that was our intention and seemingly the outcome.

My goal was to avoid compromising safety or risking an investigation while still pushing to be transparent. Again, based on the feedback we received, we accomplished that goal. Lastly, I would have responded sooner but just noticed that Chris had posted these here.

All the best,
Max

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