Cleveland puts out call for more cops for Republican convention

While the Cleveland Police Department has 1,521 sworn officers, as many as 5,000 will be needed to provide security for more than 50,000 visitors, journalists and politicos expected for the convention.

“We have been contacted. It was pretty broadly disseminated around the state. It is being reviewed right now. We don’t know if we are going to send anyone or not,” said Cara Neace, spokeswoman for the Dayton Police Department.

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Cleveland sent out the 13-page mutual aid agreement but is remaining mum on details, saying “The RNC Convention is a national security event and we are not at liberty to discuss security for this event.”

The U.S. Secret Service is leading the security plan for the convention but “law enforcement officers from all levels of government throughout the state of Ohio and in other states will be needed to provide law enforcement services for the event,” according to the mutual aid agreement. Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams will be the commanding officer for the event, the agreement says.

Departments that send officers would be eligible for reimbursement of personnel and other costs through a federal grant. Officers must be licensed and have at least two years of experience and not be the subject of a lawsuit or internal investigation in the past three years.

The agreement also specifies officers must bring their own weapon, body armor and radio equipment. The city of Cleveland will provide housing and meals for the additional officers.

The convention kicks off July 18 at the Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland and concludes the night of July 21. The extra officers are needed July 17 through July 22 to allow for pre-event training and post-event clean up, the agreement states. All the additional officers would be in “on call” status and staying in Cuyahoga County.

Cleveland State University Chief Marketing Officer Rob Spademan said an agreement is in place to rent 674 dorm beds to house additional police officers in either Fenn Tower or Euclid Commons.

“We are the obvious choice because we are literally six or seven blocks from the convention center,” he said.

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