Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | GOP2016 | Cleveland | RNC | Open Carry | Convention

Cleveland Police Chief: We Are Ready to Protect Officers, RNC Convention

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By    |   Monday, 18 Jul 2016 11:54 AM

The Cleveland Police Department and city officials are prepared and ready to take action should someone be openly carrying a weapon too near the Quicken Loans Arena, where the Republican National Convention opens Monday night after Gov. John Kasich said he could not suspend the state's open carry law during the event, Mayor Frank Jackson said during a morning press conference.

"The issue was brought up and it was vetted," Jackson told members of the press. "Eventually it was decided, that as the governor stated, that he did not have the authority to do it . . . Then we begin to plan around what would we do if open carry occurred during the convention."

Police Chief Calvin Williams told the press that there was one small impromptu protest march on Sunday afternoon, and that it was peaceful and did not have many issues.

"We did have one minor arrest yesterday," said Williams. "A male was arrested for petty theft — a local male. I guess he had an issue with the equipment that one of our state troopers was carrying, specifically his gas mask pouch on his leg.

"He attempted to remove that pouch from the trooper's leg and he was arrested for petty theft. We think that arrested male may have some mental issues. That's it."

There are two more marches scheduled for Monday, Williams said, and a speakers' platform has begun as well. But there are cycles in urban crime, Williams said, and this past weekend was a violent one.

According to Cleveland CBS affiliate WOIO, three people were killed in fatal shootings and another three injured.

"Sometimes we'll get a weekend with nothing at all happening and sometimes we'll get a weekend as violent as this past weekend," said Williams, noting that the department did have "plenty of officers out."

Meanwhile, Williams told the reporters that people who follow Ohio's open carry law are considered in violation when they threaten someone with that weapon, and people with the license should understand the rules and obey the state law, and if they don't, they're "subject to sanctions."

The Cleveland officers are also taking precautions to protect themselves, said Williams, and started assigning two officers per can after five officers were killed in Dallas earlier this month.

"Officers are more keen to things that are happening and our officers are told to be especially cautious during their tours," said Williams. Also, there is an FBI tip line set up so if people see anything suspicious in their neighborhoods or near the convention, they can report it by calling 1-800-225-5324.

"We want to make sure the demonstrators are safe walking through the city and streets of Cleveland," said Williams. "We want to make sure we have enough officers to respond if things turn otherwise. So it's based on those commanders on the ground and what they think is necessary to ensure both of those things."

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Cleveland's police department and city officials are prepared and ready to take action should someone be openly carrying a weapon too near the Quicken Loans Arena, where the Republican National Convention opens Monday night after Gov. John Kasich said he could not suspend...
Cleveland, RNC, Open Carry, Convention, Protect, Officers
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Monday, 18 Jul 2016 11:54 AM
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