The mayor and police chief of Cleveland next week will outline the security measures they plan to take for the Republican National Convention, officials said after a civil rights group and a police union criticized aspects of the preparations. Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, has drawn intense demonstrations at campaign stops this year. At times, the protests have resulted in violence between those for and those against him.
Officials in Cleveland are gearing up for the thousands of demonstrators expected outside the convention July 18-21. The event will culminate with the party anointing the billionaire businessman as its nominee in the November general election.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson will join the police chief and other city officials Tuesday to present a “comprehensive overview of security preparations” for the convention, the mayor said in a statement. “Despite rumors, the Division of Police is prepared and is on track with its planning goals,” the statement said.
The announcement came after the American Civil Liberties Union May 19 accused the city of taking too long to issue permits to protesters planning rallies at the convention. The city has since said it will allow application for permits beginning Tuesday, the same day officials will outline security plans.
The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association also has objected to certain parts of the city’s plan. The union filed a grievance over an order prohibiting officers from taking vacations for several days before and after the convention. That prompted an arbitrator to order the city to pay overtime to officers who would lose out on vacation time, according to a copy of the ruling posted at the news site Cleveland.com.
Cleveland officials are marshalling a force of about 5,000 officers, including personnel from other law enforcement agencies, to provide security for the convention, City Council members have said. Council members this month raised questions about the lack of transparency in Cleveland’s plans for the convention.
But Police Chief Calvin Williams has said the city must withhold certain information to stymie anyone seeking to disrupt the convention. He has declined to say how many officers will be assigned to the event.
Demonstrations against Trump Friday dogged his appearance in San Diego, where more than 1,000 protesters turned out and 35 were arrested, as well as Tuesday night in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where demonstrators threw bottles and rocks at police.