News Story

GOP Convention Notes: 50,000 Attendees, Lots and Lots of Police

Feds sent $100 million to both conventions for security

CLEVELAND — For more than a week, barricades and almost four miles of nine-foot-tall security fencing have enclosed a perimeter encompassing several blocks of the city’s downtown. No, it’s not a post-apocalyptic scene from “The Walking Dead." It’s the borderline martial law at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

In preparation for the 50,000 visitors flooding Cleveland for the convention, main arteries into the city are cut off, making way for "stand-off distance" around Quicken Loans Arena, the primary convention venue.

Of the 50,000 attendees, 12,470 delegates, 2,302 alternate delegates, and 15,000 journalists converged on the city for the convention.

The federal government sent $50 million to bulk up Cleveland’s security, according to the Congressional Research Service, most of which will pay for police overtime. The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia also got $50 million in federal funding.

The CRS report says that the $100 million was appropriated “primarily to reimburse states and localities for law enforcement costs associated with their participation in securing the convention sites.”

The 2012 Democratic and Republican conventions were allocated $68.2 million each, $136.5 million total.

Various federal agencies sent 4,000 agents to police the Cleveland convention. Some 3,000 agents are from the Secret Service, TSA, and Customs and Border Protection. Another 1,000 are unspecified government personnel.

The Cleveland Police Department has 550 officers policing the convention on foot, bike and horseback. The Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department and law enforcement officers from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida and New Jersey, among other states, are on hand.

In March, Cleveland police ordered riot armor, batons, and bulletproof gear in preparation for potential riots, CNNMoney reported.

The city estimated 11,310 demonstrators have been registered with organizations holding events, according to NBC News.

Tuesday night, law enforcement was tested when around 500 people gathered in Cleveland’s Public Square. Fights broke out but no arrests were made, reports. On Wednesday, reports the Los Angeles Times, 18 protesters were arrested as groups clashed in the street. The Daily Caller reports that two police officers suffered minor injuries.