Following violent outbursts and heated protests during Donald Trump events in Chicago, San Jose, Albuquerque and other stops along the trail during the primary season, the city of Cleveland has ramped up security protocols ahead of this week’s Republican National Convention to ensure that demonstrators, delegates, attendees and officers remain safe.
NBC News details a by-the-numbers look at the money and manpower pouring into the downtown area, the extra equipment dedicated to security personnel, the groups and protesters that will gather and the added restrictions for demonstrators during the four-day event.
All numbers are approximate, sources in parenthesis.
50 million: Dollars of funds awarded by a federal security grant to the city of Cleveland for the convention, including $30 million for personnel and $20 million for equipment (Cleveland police).
50,000: People traveling to the city for the convention, including about 15,000 credentialed journalists, 2,470 delegates and 2,302 alternate delegates (RNC).
11,310: Estimated number of demonstrators registered by organizers with permits to hold events during the convention. However, several organizers did not provide a number. Others who were not granted permits anticipate thousands of demonstrators may show up anyway to join another pro- or anti-Trump protest. At least one of the largest demonstrations (America First, a pro-Trump group marching on Monday) will take place outside the event zone, where convention security rules do not apply.
10,000: Extra sets of plastic handcuffs purchased by the city ahead of the convention (Cleveland police).
5,500: Total law enforcement officers assigned to RNC security, including 3,000 federal officers, 2,000 non-federal officers from out of state sworn in to assist the Cleveland Police Department, and about 500 Cleveland police officers. (Cleveland Police, DHS).
2,000: Sets of personal protective equipment, or riot gear, purchased for officers working the convention (Cleveland police).
1,000: Beds cleared in local jails and in overflow locations around the city for the possibility of mass arrests during the convention (Cleveland police).
300: Bikes ordered for officers whose primary focus will be crowd control. Most of these officers are with the Cleveland police, some are from out of town (Cleveland police).
123: Permits granted by the city of Cleveland to parade/march/protest inside the 1.7-mile event zone during the convention (Cleveland police records).
58: Actual groups (from 1 to 5,000 people each) granted permits to parade/protest/march during the convention. Many of them were granted more than one permit for different days and/or locations. Larger groups are specifically pro- or anti-Trump, others are demonstrating for a variety of purposes (Cleveland police).
5: Miles in length of the parade route inside the event zone for demonstrators. There is only one parade route (Cleveland police).
4: Designated protest areas within the event zone: Public square or “Speaker’s Platform,” Willard Park, Perk Plaza and Mall “A” across the street from Huntington Convention Center (Cleveland police).
3.7: Miles of interlocking steel security fences, called global fencing, around parts of downtown (Mayor’s office).
2: Rings of security: The Secret Service secure zone directly around the Quicken Loans Arena and the previously mentioned event zone. There’s a long list of prohibited items for both zones, including whole fruit and umbrellas.
0: Guns allowed inside the Secret Service area. However, guns are allowed inside the event zone, per state law (Cleveland police).
And while protests so far have been small and peaceful, Calvin D. Williams, Cleveland’s police chief, said at a news conference on Sunday morning that the city could not be better prepared.
“We planned for almost anything and everything,” he said. “It’s game time,” he added. “We are ready for it.”
However, in the wake of the Baton Rouge cop-killings, CNN reports, the head of Cleveland’s largest police union is calling on Ohio Gov. John Kasich to temporarily restrict the state’s gun laws during this week’s Republican National Convention…
“We are sending a letter to Gov. Kasich requesting assistance from him. He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something — I don’t care if it’s constitutional or not at this point,”Stephen Loomis, president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, told CNN.
“They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over.”
So-called “open carry” gun laws in Ohio allow for licensed firearm owners to wear their weapons in public. With the exception of a small “secure zone” inside and around the Quicken Loans Arena, residents, delegates and protesters are legally permitted to walk around the city — including within its 1.7 square mile regulated “event zone” — with any firearm not explicitly banned by the state.
Kasich, responding to the request, said:
“Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested.”
“The bonds between our communities and police must be reset and rebuilt — as we’re doing in Ohio — so our communities and officers can both be safe. Everyone has an important role to play in that renewal,” he said.
Loomis also said officers here would begin ramping up inspections and oversight over anyone who is holstering a weapon entering the downtown area, where the Republican convention is scheduled to begin on Monday.
“We are going to be looking very, very hard at anyone who has an open carry,” he said.
“An AR-15, a shotgun, multiple handguns. It’s irresponsible of those folks — especially right now — to be coming downtown with open carry AR’s or anything else. I couldn’t care less if it’s legal or not. We are constitutional law enforcement, we love the Constitution, support it and defend it, but you can’t go into a crowded theater and scream fire. And that’s exactly what they’re doing by bringing those guns down there.”
The first key test for law enforcement comes Monday, as the convention opens, when Citizens for Trump and Black on Black Crime, Inc., which has marched in the past with Black Lives Matter-affiliated protestors, are among the many groups that are set to protest.