Security Takes Shape Around Cleveland for the Republican National Convention
With the Republican National Convention less than two weeks away, some of the concerns about security seem to have eased.
The U.S. Justice Department and police departments from other states -- including Texas and California -- are sending personnel, horses and other support to help Cleveland with security.
Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis had raised concerns earlier after some departments from other states pulled out of deals to send officers. He says he’s reassured.
“My concern is and always has been the uniformed police officers and life outside the gated mote of the convention center and Quicken Loans because that’s the reality that we’re going to have to deal with.”
The so-called “hard zone” around Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field – as well as the Huntington Convention Center -- will be handled by the U.S. Secret Service. Anyone entering the area will have to go through security screening.
Last week, Cleveland reached a deal with the ACLU to expand where and when people in the city for the Republican National Convention can demonstrate outside that zone.
The ACLU argued that an exchange of differing ideas is key to democracy, and that keeping demonstrators too far away from Quicken Loans Arena interferes with that exchange.
Loomis says he understands the point, but it may be naïve.
“We have a great group of passionate people over here; we have a great group of passionate people over there. We can’t talk politics at the Thanksgiving table. Why would we expect to be able to talk politics in the middle of the street?”