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I TEAM: inside look at police training for the Republican Convention

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CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I TEAM has reviewed a training manual for police getting ready for this summer’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and it gives us a glimpse inside the minds of officers as they prepare.

The manual was put together by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It’s being used as a training guide for hundreds of Cleveland Police officers getting ready to keep the streets safe during the convention.

The book refers to other cities around the country which have had trouble with violent protests, looking at what went wrong and what could go wrong here.

Police are getting briefed on how troublemakers think and even getting information about outside groups that could come in and try to cause chaos.

The manual also includes a guide on how to make a mass arrest of a crowd, how to use flexible handcuffs, and how to be ready to handle protestors hauled to jail refusing to identify themselves.

The American Civil Liberties Union predicts several thousand protestors could show up for the Convention. The training also touches on free speech. Christine Link, Executive Director of the ACLU, says, “They have to be prepared. But I think we would be critical if they weren’t prepared.”

She adds, police could have a tough job, saying, “To sort out peaceful protestors from those who might be engaging in civil disobedience, or people who might be engaging in violence, those are three different things.”

The training also addresses tactics and the use of non-lethal weapons.

In the end though, it’s a lot of information in training that lasts a few days.

The Cleveland Police Union has repeatedly called for more training and equipment. Union President Steve Loomis recently told FOX 8, “We are months and months behind where we need to be for this thing.” And he added, “My guys will be the ones in the trenches without the equipment.”

Wednesday, Cleveland City Council’s Public Safety Committee will hold a hearing on security preps for the Convention.