Cleveland touts security plan for GOP convention

Greg Nash

Officials in Cleveland on Tuesday outlined security measures they are taking ahead of this summer’s Republican National Convention, emphasizing that the city is ready.

“We are prepared and we are trained,” Cleveland Police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said during a press briefing.

{mosads}During the convention, there will be officers on foot, bikes, mounted patrol and motorcycles. People will see “community policing” and “community engagement,” Tomba said.

People in the city won’t see any “military-style equipment,” he added, saying officers won’t use body armor unless necessary.

“We will not be standing around with that personal protective gear at all,” Tomba said.

Officers, except those who put on riot gear, will be wearing body cameras during the convention. But Tomba said he’s confident that any interactions will be documented.

“We are not going to stand for any lawlessness,” he said.

“If someone breaks the law, we are going to take swift, appropriate and constitutional action to mitigate that, but we’re not going to stand for that. Anybody that wants to come into the city and let their voice be heard in a lawful manner, we’re here to assist them, but anybody that goes sideways and is not following the law, there’s going to be consequences.”

The city is also contracting with outside municipalities in case more jail space is needed if mass arrests occur during the convention.

Officials said they are confident the city has enough police officers who will be active during the four-day convention, which begins July 18.

Mayor Frank Jackson said Cleveland has been preparing for the convention for a long time and has visited many other cities that have hosted the massive political event in the past.

He said the city is looking at best practices but also taking into account its own practical experience.

“We’re blending what we know and works for Cleveland and what has happened other places,” he said. “We want you to recognize that we are prepared and that we have done our due diligence.”

Tags Cleveland GOP convention Ohio RNC
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