I TEAM: security secrets from Republican National Convention

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CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I TEAM has uncovered a new look at what you got for millions of your tax dollars as Cleveland prepared to protect your streets last summer for the Republican National Convention, and our investigation has found crimefighting tools not revealed before.

Last year. the I TEAM filed a special request for the full breakdown of the costs for security covered by federal grant money. We’ve now received records from Cleveland City Hall showing total grant expenditures of $43.7 million with about a quarter of it for equipment.

The city never got specific about a lot of what it bought for security. For instance, we found a K-9 camera system. It allows a police dog to wear a camera during a search, while an officer can stay back and look at a monitor to watch what the camera sees.

We found portable meters to detect radiation and other hazards. One unit can even scan through a container. Not to mention, the fire department also received a big, new hazmat truck.

Before the convention, there was so much concern about how to control any violent crowds. Records show the city bought large supplies of “munitions” in case officers needed to use pepper spray or noise distractions.

No way Cleveland Police could have been expected to handle the Convention alone. And by far, the biggest chunk of change went toward bringing in outside police help. The I TEAM has obtained the full list. We saw help came from more than 6-dozen law enforcement agencies in Northeast Ohio and around the country.

We’ve shown you in the past that the city also bought 2,000 sets of personal protective gear for officers, spent big bucks on bikes for bike patrols, and ordered new motorcycles and pick-up trucks.

Cleveland gets to keep what it bought for the Convention security. However, some of the agencies that helped out have requested some of the bikes and police gear. Those special requests will be reviewed.

The federal government always does an audit after every political convention to review security spending, and the audit for this one is not finished yet. But the records give us the most complete snapshot yet of equipment bought for the Convention including some that had been secret until now.

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