Cleveland Police Tell City Council They're Ready for RNC

Police Chief Calvin Williams speaks with City Council Safety Committee Chair Matt Zone at a 2015 event.
Police Chief Calvin Williams speaks with City Council Safety Committee Chair Matt Zone at a 2015 event. (Nick Castele / ideastream)

by Nick Castele

There are just about 100 days to go before the Republican National Convention comes to Cleveland, and police told city council Tuesday they will be prepared to handle security outside the event. 

Cleveland police will be responsible for managing traffic and crowds outside of the secure zone downtown during the convention.

Police Chief Calvin Williams said he expects thousands of law enforcement officers in Cleveland that week. But even with so much happening downtown, police said they plan to staff local neighborhoods at 115 percent.

Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said Cleveland is not buying “military-style” gear ahead of the convention. Without specifying, though, he said the city would have other resources in reserve in the case of emergencies.

“They will be staged in different locations across the city for an emergency response,” Tomba said. “But our first and foremost posture is officers in Class A uniforms, officers on bicycles, foot patrol and on horses.”

The Secret Service says no convention-goers will be allowed to bring guns inside the secure zone. But Cleveland police brass say people would be within their rights to lawfully carry firearms elsewhere in public rights-of-way. Without elaborating, police said there were still questions they hoped to sort out with the city’s law department. 

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