Police are feeling unprecedented pressure to preserve order at the polls
John Clair, the police chief of a rural town in Virginia experienced a particularly hot summer with heavily armed militia men along with other counter-protestors, turning up in droves and engaging in tense standoffs with the peaceful demonstrations of Black Lives Matter protestors.
“People would call me up and ask how I’m doing,” Clair recalled. “And what I’d say is, ‘I’m dealing with the most complex leadership challenge of my career in the midst of the most widespread social crisis in 100 years. But other than that, I’m doing okay.’”
Clair is currently confronting a different kind of leadership challenge: Election Day.
For the past several weeks he’s been trying to figure out how to ensure security at the polls amid the threat of armed troublemakers without scaring away voters who might be offended by the sight of uniformed policemen.