Cleveland officials give update on security preparations for RNC

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- We are just weeks away from the Republican National Convention, and one of the biggest issues on the minds of Clevelanders right now is the safety issue.

Will we be safe? Today, the City of Cleveland and the Cleveland Police Department met to reassure the public they are prepared to keep us safe.

“Our people have visited every city that held a convention over the last 12 years so we can get the best idea of how to make sure this all gets done,” Mayor Frank Jackson said.

There are a lot of rumors flying around that the city is not prepared security-wise, but the Cleveland Division of Police says they are prepared and on track with their planning goals.

Approximately 500 local law enforcement officers will be here as well as 2,500-2,700 out-of-state city, county and state law enforcement. The police chief says this is something they have been preparing for for a while, even before Cleveland was awarded the convention.

He says they will be prepared thanks to the help of other agencies.

“There has been a lot of emphasis placed on the number of officers we’ll have,” Police Chief Calvin Williams said. “Thousands of county and state officers will be here to help secure the convention.”

It wasn’t just police discussed today. Everything from public safety to emergency medical services, fire and rescue was included.

The city has entered into agreements with multiple agencies. For example, they are contracting with different jails and courts for additional beds for people arrested.

As for medical, Cleveland EMS has partnered with area hospitals and private ambulance companies.

Something else they made sure to point out was the RNC is designated a national security event.

Not only do we get a $50 million grant to help keep Cleveland safe, and the benefits of the Secret Service, but we also get the experience. The chief added that this kind of event is like a Papal visit, so you can believe these people coming in are experienced.

“People have to remember the experience didn’t happen over night," Williams said. "This is not a one-time thing for these people.”

For more on the RNC, click here.