CLEVELAND – Cleveland’s Safety Director is speaking out in response to questions about whether Cleveland will be ready with security preps for this summer’s Republican National Convention.
Michael McGrath isn’t worried. He told Fox 8 that security plans are “right where we want to be at this time.”
Many local officers have expressed concerns and predicted the city will have trouble bringing in enough outside officers to help. McGrath says, “We’re sitting right now at about 2200-2300 police officers from outside the city.”
“We have 600 officers here in the City of Cleveland that are going to be working. I don’t know where he plans on getting the other officers from,” said Cleveland’s police union president Steve Loomis.
Loomis is concerned that the city only recently started buying security equipment, including riot gear.
“We haven’t worked with any of these officers, or even our own officers. We are months and months behind where we need to be for this thing. And that’s the FEMA instructors telling us that,” said Loomis.
McGrath said planners are going through all kinds of “what ifs” to prepare for various scenarios.
City Councilman Matt Zone says, ultimately, Cleveland will try to bring in about 3,000 outside officers.
Last week, the Fox 8 I-Team did a spot check. We found many cities in Ohio and around the country saying they are not planning to send patrols here. However, we also found others that do have plans to send officers. Plus, we found some others still undecided.
Meantime, the city is still in the beginning stages of buying security equipment. Local officers wonder if they’ll get everything they need on time.
Councilman Zone says the Council Safety Committee will hold a hearing on all of this next week.