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Role Players

Thank you for considering serving as a role player for the Mock Prison Riot.

Role players always are needed to play inmates, hostages, hostage takers, officers, etc., during the Mock Prison Riot.

The task of role playing is taken very seriously at the Mock Prison Riot. Participating teams say that the professionalism of the role players greatly enhances the levels of realism and training they receive as they are executing scenarios or evaluating technology. Role players are an integral part of training as well as evaluating new and existing technologies deployed during scenarios.

There are several procedures mandated to ensure the safety of role players and participating teams.

Role players must follow these guidelines:

  1. The universal signal to stop all action during a scenario is one continuous blast from an air horn by a Mock Prison Riot safety officer. For a participant, verbalizing the code word "RED" signifies stop all action.
  2. All role players must attend safety briefings as indicated. All briefings are coordinated and announced on site. 
  3. All role players involved in scenarios must follow the instructions of the correctional officers or team leaders, particularly with regard to behavior. Orders such as "put your hands in the air" or "get on the ground" must be complied with immediately, unless certain role players specifically have been otherwise directed by team leaders and safety officers prior to the start of the scenarios. Adhering to the scenario plan helps maximize the team's efforts to meet its training objectives, which sometimes may be very specific. 
  4. Prior to the start of each scenario, the team leader and a Mock Prison Riot safety officer will meet with role players volunteering for their particular scenario(s) and explain, in detail, exactly what is expected, how to react, and the level of resistance required to safely and effectively execute the scenario(s). At this time role players will be notified if the team leader requires more aggressive resistance from certain, select role players. If a higher level of resistance is requested, role players also will be instructed as to when or under what circumstances they are expected to comply. It is mandatory that role players follow the instructions given by the team leader and safety officers prior to the start of each scenario. Following these instructions ensures several things: safety of role players, safety of team members, and safety of bystanders; that the team members will meet required training objectives; and that any technology deployed during scenarios will be effectively assessed/evaluated. Overly aggressive or unrealistic behavior that has not been pre-planned or pre-approved and/or failure to follow safety procedures and orders from team leaders and/or safety officers will result in removal from the scenario and the event.
  5. Our focus is primarily less lethal. Teams deploy a variety of tools and technologies during their scenarios at the Mock Prison Riot. Frequently used items include Pepperball, smoke, distraction devices, and chemical agents. These items are training grade, not live. In keeping with the Mock Prison Riot's mission to provide the most realistic circumstances possible, role players are expected to behave as if these items were live. For example, if any one of these items were deployed as live, it would result in a significant reaction which includes coughing, watery eyes, and difficulty breathing. It must be understood that while the devices used during scenarios are designed for training as opposed to real-world deployment, there is a possibility of injury, especially if role players do not follow the regulations as described in this document.
  6. Cooperate, DO NOT compete. Once a scenario starts, training and professionalism automatically kick in for the participating team members. They are entirely serious and will do exactly what they are trained to do - adapt to the circumstance and control the situation. If safety officers (who are also trained law enforcement and corrections professionals) believe role players are becoming overly aggressive or veering from the agreed upon actions which were discussed prior to the start of the scenario, they will be ordered to comply. Failure to comply will result in removal from the scenario and possibly the event.
  7. Any role player who becomes injured during a scenario must report it immediately to the safety officer(s) assigned to the scenario. Medical personnel are standing by to assist. Any staff member or safety officer can radio for help or, in the case of very minor injuries, direct the role player(s) to the nearest medical tent. 
  8. Role players are responsible for removing and storing all jewelry and/or valuable items prior to role playing. The Mock Prison Riot bears no responsibility for these items.
  9. Safety officers are instructed to clear all scenario areas of debris and unnecessary items prior to the start of each scenario. Do not attempt to hide or use any props or items other than those provided by our staff. You may obtain props from our on-site supply headquarters. Simply inform the scenario safety officers if props are needed. 
  10. All role players will be inspected by safety officers and/or team leaders prior to the start of each scenario. The Mock Prison Riot adheres to a "Triple Check" Procedure, whereby safety officers check the team, team members check each other, and then the team and safety officers check role players for prohibited items. If anyone executes a scenario with an unauthorized item or unsecured weapon, it is because he/she deliberately bypassed all safety barriers. Blatant and/or intentional disregard of safety regulations will result in immediate dismissal from the event.
  11. The Mock Prison Riot provides inmate uniforms and officer uniforms for role players to wear over their regular clothing. Athletic shoes, tactical boots, or similar footwear is recommended for role players.
  12. The following safety equipment is provided for role players by the Mock Prison Riot staff and, in many instances is MANDATORY, depending on scenario details. Safety officers can instruct role players what equipment is mandatory based on each specific scenario.
    1. Eye Protection
    2. Ear Protection
    3. Mouth Guards
    4. Elbow and Knee Pads
    5. Face Shields
    6. Helmets
  13. Sometimes role players outfitted with safety equipment feel that they can increase their levels of resistance because they feel more protected. DO NOT DO THIS. The team will adapt and escalate right along with you, and the integrity of the training mission and/or technology evaluation is compromised. SAFETY OFFICERS WILL NOT TOLERATE THIS. It is imperative that role players adhere to the pre-arrange scenario details, including - pre-arranged levels of resistance, so that the team can meet training needs and/or properly evaluate new technology
  14. Many teams prefer to use their own team members as role players. This is supported and encouraged. There are a few instances whereby Mock Prison Riot staff mandates that teams use their own members. These include: high-risk cell extractions and scenarios in which K-9 units are deployed. The Mock Prison Riot does not allow civilian role players to participate as primary role players in these types of scenarios.
  15. The mission of tactical teams during Mock Prison Riot scenarios is two-fold: to obtain the training they need and to effectively evaluate and assess any technologies they may be deploying. Role players' compliance with these safety regulations ensures a successful outcome for both.
  16. Safe, effective role playing helps enhance training and shapes the future of law enforcement tactics and technology on national and international scales.