American Police Chiefs Now Face New Problem on Election Day

The summer months were unrelenting for John Clair, a police chief in rural Virginia.

Clair’s normally sleepy town of Marion was the site of two Black Lives Matter protests where heavily armed militia members showed up in droves, alongside other counterdemonstrators, and engaged in tense standoffs with protesters.

“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 OK.’”

Clair is now grappling with a different kind of leadership challenge: Election Day.

He’s spent the past several weeks trying to figure out how to provide security at the polls amid the threat of armed troublemakers without scaring away the kind of voters who might be put off by the sight of uniformed policemen.

“I feel like I’m walking on the edge of a razor blade,” Clair said in an interview. KEEP READING
Leave a Reply