(DRNC) Sex Offenders
The following story is a fictional account of planning and preparation leading up to the mythical
Democratic-Republican National Convention (DRNC) event in Miami, Florida. The story is
loosely based on an amalgamation of real-life occurrences leading up to the Free Trade Area of
the Americas conference in Miami, Florida, in 2003. The names of all the characters in the story
For the DRNC event, Miami-Dade has formed a Host Committee, similar to the model used for
the Super Bowl Host Committees of the past (see Attachment A). The Host Committee is a
small group of 15 appointed personnel from various county and municipal agencies, as well as
the private sector. Miami-Dade Police Department Director Melanie Duncan is one of the
committee members. The Host Committee is chaired by Mr. Horace Copeland, a long-time
assistant to the County Manager, Miguel Herrera. Ms. Tia Delaney is the chair of the Hospitality
subcommittee, and is in charge of arranging all food, beverages, and amenities for the
convention delegates. The purpose of the Host Committee is to plan for the overall event. Each
of the subcommittee chairs has a specific role in the planning for their particular functional area.
The Democratic-Republican National Party (DRNP) has designated Ms. Cassandra Armand as
its chair of the DRNC’s Committee on Arrangements (COA). The COA is the main organizer
from the DRNP for this event. Ms. Armand and Mr. Copeland from the Host Committee work
hand-in-hand to plan this event and their recommendations to the BOCC carry considerable
weight for policy formulation.
Miami-Dade Police has been designated as the lead local agency and lead operational planner
for the event security. This policy differs significantly from the 2003 FTAA in which the City of
Miami was designated as the lead local agency.
Since this event meets the criteria of a National Special Security Event (NSSE), the U.S. Secret
Service has been designated as the lead coordinating agency with overarching statutory
authority for the planning and execution of the event. Supervisory Special Agent Samantha
Salerno has been appointed as the lead agent in-charge for the event.
The American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami has been selected as the location for the main
event of the convention. Because of its proximity to the entrance to the Port of Miami, the
selection of this arena poses some security challenges. Understandably, due to the general
threat of terrorism, or of violence from other groups or individuals, security at major events such
as Super Bowls and the upcoming DRNC needs to be very tight. An important component of the
venue security is the credentialing process.
In the days and weeks leading up to the main event, hundreds of workers are brought into the
Arena in order to set up lighting, television cameras, thousands of feet of cable… and to deliver
food, ice, beverages, and all other amenities that are needed for these large special events.
Tables and chairs and stage props have to be set up and then torn down after the event. For the
setup and tear down of the interior of the Arena, the Host Committee has contracted with
several private companies and organizations.
One of the main contractors used by the Host Committee to set up the floor and stage
consideration is a company named Nationwide Professional Services (NPS). NPS has been
contracted by the American Airlines Arena for the past five years, and also does venue setups
and tear-downs for the Miami Beach Convention Center and other smaller venues. The vast
majority of NPS employees are lower-waged individuals who are hired on an ad hoc basis at
$10 an hour. NPS relies heavily on a labor pool provided by private employment agencies, as
well as various faith-based groups that focus on the rehabilitation of homeless persons, mentally
ill persons, and other individuals looking for a second chance at life. One of those faith-based
groups is an organization named New Persons Ministries of South Florida. New Persons
Ministries takes in individuals who have been convicted of various sexual crimes and who are
currently on the State of Florida’s Sexual Offender and Sexual Predator List. In the past, NPS
has hired temporary employees provided by New Persons Ministries of South Florida.
Major James Pratt is the Commander of the Miami-Dade Police Homeland Security Bureau, and
for the DRNC event he is in charge of credentialing all persons who need to access the Arena,
or any other venue associated with the week-long event. It is a huge endeavor because it
requires background checks on all individuals requiring access credentials. This includes law
enforcement personnel, all the convention delegates, all Arena employees, television and press
media, and all temporary workers. Every person who enters the secure area within the venue
must have a photograph credential provided by Major Pratt’s Homeland Security Bureau.
Without a credential, the individual will be denied access.
While Major Pratt oversees the entire credentialing operation, the person who is actually tasked
with supervising the criminal background checks is Lieutenant Victor Bass. One morning three
weeks prior to the start of the event, Lieutenant Bass came by Major Pratt’s office to discuss an
“Major… do you have a moment?”
“Sure, come on in Vic… what’s up?”
“We just did a batch of background checks on some of the NPS temporary workers… You know
NPS is the company that builds the stage and sets up the interior…”
“Yes, I’m aware of NPS. What about it?”
Lieutenant Bass went on, “well… it turns out that 10 of their new temps are convicted felons…
seven of those are on Florida’s Sexual Offender List, and two of those seven are registered
Sexual Predators. We’re going to have to deny their request for access credentials.”
“That’s fine with me… thanks for letting me know,” answered Major Pratt.
Bass continued, “well… the problem is not on our end… the problem is that some lady named
Tia Delaney from the Host Committee found out about the workers being rejected and she went
into a tizzy. Do you know who Tia Delaney is?”
Pratt answered, “Yes, she’s the chair of the Hospitality Subcommittee. She’s been a real good
partner with us, and has been very helpful with everything we have asked from her. I’ll give her
a call and find out what the issue is with these seven sexual offenders. I’ll listen to what she has
to say, but as it stands now, hold onto the credentials for these seven until I get back to you.”
“Will do, Major,” responded Lieutenant Bass.
For the purpose of this assignment, you are playing the role of Major Pratt, who will be making
the ultimate decision as to whether the seven registered sexual offenders will be issued
credentials to gain access to the secured area inside the American Airlines Arena venue. After
speaking with Ms. Delaney, you were told that the seven sexual offenders were part of a
community rehabilitation project headed by the faith-based organization New Persons Ministries
of South Florida. Ms. Delaney told you that this organization has the full backing of County
Manager Miguel Herrera.
You need to research the sex offender treatment programs available to determine if the
offenders completed the treatment still pose a risk.
In an essay respond to the following questions:
• What risk do the sex offenders pose to the attendees of the DRNC?
• Is there a significant difference between those individuals on the Sexual Offender List,
and those on the Sexual Predator List?
• Other than the security issue, what other considerations may play in your decision making process?
• After taking into consideration all the information that has been provided to you, what is
your decision regarding the credentialing (i.e., allowing access) to the seven registered
sexual offenders employed by NPS?