AKRON, Ohio - Deputies with the Summit County Sheriff's Office who will help provide security for the Republican National Convention were picking up their protective equipment on Thursday, making sure it fits as they continue to gear up for the convention.
Between twenty and thirty deputies from Summit County will be helping with RNC security.
They include members of the department's mounted unit, SWAT team members, the Summit County Bomb Squad, K-9 officers, and members of the Sheriff's Office Mobile Field Force.
"This was a voluntary basis for our department. The only people that are participating volunteered to be a part of it and everybody is excited. You know, this is probably a 'once in a career' opportunity to be a part of a Republican National Convention or sometimes even an event of this magnitude," said Summit County Sheriff's Office Inspector Bill Holland.
The new equipment includes body armor, helmets with face shields, even a hydration pack and new radios that will allow deputies to communicate with officers from other departments.
It was bought by the Cleveland Police Department using a federal grant that was provided for the RNC. "They have thought of everything," said Holland.
With their equipment in hand, Holland says the deputies are going to feel like they are ready for anything.
"I feel, and I have spoke to Sheriff (Steve) Berry about it quite a bit, we wouldn't be participating if we felt that we weren't prepared or we were not going to be safe," said Holland.
"We have been training for weeks now. We have trained with other agencies, we have trained ourselves we have trained with different equipment so we are preparing and we have been preparing and will keep preparing right up until the event starts," he added.
The equipment that was distributed on Thursday will have to be turned in following the convention, but Holland says after it is all accounted for it will be donated back to the Sheriff's Office and will be theirs to keep.
But aside from the new equipment, Holland says the office has gained a lot from their preparations leading up to the convention.
"The good thing that has come of all of this is that we have trained with other agencies, we have got to know other agencies that we wouldn't normally have. So if something like this comes along, a planned event or even something that's spur of the moment that we have to respond to, we have already trained with these folks. We have contact with them we have professional relationships in case we ever need to deploy again