I-Team: Suburban police departments taking extra steps to prepare for the RNC

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CLEVELAND - The Fox 8 I-Team has uncovered what you haven’t heard yet about local police preparing to keep the peace during the upcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

We’ve found suburban police taking aggressive steps to prepare, especially in Independence.

Independence sits at a crossroads of major highways, and it has 15 hotels likely to be filled with visitors.

Independence Police Chief Michael Kilbane told the I-Team his officers just finished training with surrounding suburban police and fire departments to handle an “active shooter." They’ve set up regional operations centers and they’ve looked at what troublemakers have done in other cities around major events.

“You put yourself in the shoes of a disrupter. If someone wanted to get the maximum disruption, how would they do it? And you analyze those potential trouble spots, and you plan for that,” Chief Kilbane said. “We’re doing a lot of multi-jurisdictional training. Training with our neighboring cities.”

Multiple sources have also told the I-Team, suburban police are also talking a lot about highways such as I-77. Discussing how to keep traffic moving in an emergency, and how to keep watch for trouble coming from overpasses.

Independence Police have also been meeting with local businesses.

Kurtis Stevenson works as the General Manager at the Red Roof Inn.

He said it makes them feel more safe.

“The Independence Police department has had some meetings with us and local hotels just to kind of advise us on things to be prepared for during the event. It’s best to always be ready just in case.”

Suburban police have also had meetings with Cleveland Police. Many officers there are worried some of the new safety equipment they’re depending on may not arrive in time. Cleveland City Hall says it hopes to have all new equipment by the end of May.