City offers limited details on RNC planning in meeting Tuesday

City offers limited details on RNC planning in meeting Tuesday
Mayor Frank Jackson speaks on RNC security. (Source: WOIO)
Mayor Frank Jackson speaks on RNC security. (Source: WOIO)

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A briefing that starts with these words tends to burst your bubble of expectations.

"The information we're gonna share with you today is unclassified and non-law enforcement sensitive information."

That is how assistant safety director Edward Eckart began today at City Hall. One thing was clear: a lot of work has gone into convention planning, and the collaboration is complex and detailed, area of concern after area of concern.

"Counter surveillance intelligence for example, the lead agency there is the FBI," Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba explained. "Airport is the FAA, air
space FAA. Maritime, United States Coast Guard."

The Secret Service has steadfastly refused to get into specifics on the so called "hard zone" on the streets around The Q. Today we got a clue.

If you can throw a baseball and hit the building, you're in it. Deputy Chief Tomba says you will see police officers patrolling in slacks, short sleeve shirts and hats. Bicycle patrols will have knit shirts and shorts. Then there is what you won't see.

"What you won't see is any military style equipment, you won't see officers in personal protective gear unless the situation dictates," Tomba said.

In all, 11 heads of departments from police, fire, EMS, the jail and more were represented in a gathering that lasted an hour and a half, where the theme never changed and was spelled out by Police Chief Calvin Williams.

"We are prepared, we are ready and our partners are prepared and ready, there are going to be officers and individuals and things that you will never see but they'll be here making people safe," Williams said.

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