Law enforcement officers always face particular problems when dealing with
extremists. They must make sure they do not infringe on the First Amendment
rights of people who have unpopular political or social views but who have not
committed any crimes. At the same time, they must recognize that people who have
extreme views are sometimes motivated by those views to commit criminal acts.
In these instances, law enforcement officers will find that not only must
they protect the community from criminal acts committed by extremists, but they
must make sure as well that they protect themselves, because officers are
themselves often the targets of extremist criminals. Thus officers need to be
able to recognize when they are in potentially dangerous situations involving
extremists and how to deal with such situations or at least extricate themselves
If law enforcement officers are to uphold their oath to "protect and
serve," they must be able to protect themselves as well.