CLEVELAND– The FOX 8 I TEAM has obtained exclusive video of police training to handle angry crowds this summer during the Republican National Convention, what sources call the largest drill like this so far with multiple police agencies together.
At this training, Cleveland police, Cuyahoga County sheriff’s deputies, Metroparks rangers and others.
The I Team had SkyFOX rolling in the air; another camera was on the ground. Officers in riot gear and on horseback practiced tactics.
The Cleveland police union has complained repeatedly about officers not getting enough training or equipment for convention week. In light of this training, Steve Loomis said, “We have concerns. We’ll take all the training we can get with as many people as we can get it with. But we still have significant concerns.”
A new Baldwin Wallace University poll shows 75% of those surveyed call security a top priority for the convention. One in five worry about violence.
Meantime, the I TEAM has learned the Metroparks rangers will provide up to 11 horses and 6 officers to help out the Cleveland Police Mounted Unit.
Also, this week, local law enforcement leaders held a meeting to discuss protecting the local rails including RTA tracks.
And officials are planning “tabletop” exercises to discuss various emergency scenarios.
Finally, we’ve learned police have already been assigned to provide security at convention planning meetings.
Recently, Cleveland police brass told a city council committee, security forces would be ready for anything.
Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said, “There will be challenges. We’re all set to meet those challenges, and I can assure you we will.”
Expect more joint agency training to prepare for the convention in the weeks ahead.