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Officials declare city’s readiness for RNC

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams and Mayor Frank G. Jackson discuss safety plans for the upcoming Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena from July 18-July 21. (Photo KENNETH D. MILLER)

Flanked by a bevy of officials which included his top cop, Police Chief Calvin Williams, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson outline new plans for public safety to declare the city readiness for the massive July Republican National Convention that will engulf the region from July 18-July 21.

“We have looked at many of the best practices from other major cities which have hosted this event, but we have also had our own best practical experiences in dealing with some things we’ve had to do here locally. So we are blending what we’ve did here in Cleveland and what has happened in other places to provide for the safest convention,” said Jackson while addressing the media at City Hall on Tuesday May 31.

Power point presentations were delivered by the lead of each department from, public safety, emergency services, communications, fire department and detention centers or jails.

Although most information was held tight to the vest, regarding specific security measures, it was indeed an elaborate forum that brushed over the enormity of RNC event.

Applications to police were sent to departments throughout the nation and thus multi jurisdictional agencies will be collaborating with the FBI, CIA and local law enforcement for arguably the most significant event in the history of the city.

“We started this process over a year ago,” explained Williams. “There have been hundreds of agencies we’ve contacted to be part of this process, there some agencies that have decided to be in and some to decided drop out.”

Williams said the rough number of police who will be providing safety for the city is about 1000.

They will be wearing customary uniforms, some on bikes, some on motorcycles, some on horseback performing what was described as community policing.

Officials scoffed at the notion of rumors that the city was not ready, and while some reporters wanted to shift attention from the focal point to ongoing local concerns such as the 911 systems, that was too was also partially addressed.

The bottom line is "We're prepared."

Org charts specified the order of command with essentially all local operations falling under the guidance of the mayor.

Quicken Loans Arena, which they are calling the "Hard Zone," will be off limits to the public.

City officials expect a rush protestors and while they will be allowed to peacefully demonstrate, disorderly conduct is prohibited and individuals will be arrested.

Deputy police chief Edward Tomba, who is leading the police department's planning for the convention, stated the police department's goal is to "keep the public safe and keep commerce moving."

More than 50,000 visitors are expected for the RNC

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