Cleveland Police Chief says he must 'uphold the law' when it comes to open carry during the RNC

Cleveland police: We are ready for the RNC
Mayor Frank Jackson (Source: WOIO)
Mayor Frank Jackson (Source: WOIO)
(Source: WOIO)
(Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Secret Service and other agencies offered an update on security preparations for next week's Republican National Convention Wednesday afternoon.

Officials say concerns about potential unrest are increasing, after to last weeks fatal shootings of police officers in Dallas and two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

"Dallas is wake up call for a lot of people," Chief Calvin Williams said.

CPD says their biggest goal for the residents and visitors of Cleveland is public safety and access.

"We want people to be able to go where they want in the city and be safe doing it," said Dept. Chief Ed. Tomba.

Cleveland officials and the Secret Service are promising increased security.

Those who have a license to own a gun will not be allowed to bring their gun inside Quicken Loans Arena during the Republican National Convention, but if you own a gun legally, you will be able to bring your gun downtown outside the convention perimeter.

Ohio's open-carry laws mean that those who legally own guns can take them into the areas, barring the security zone, where many of the events and protests connected to the convention will be held.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said they have to follow state law when it comes to those licensed to own and carry a gun.

"We've done events in the past where people have presented themselves in an open carry format and we've handled that. We have tactics and policies in place that deal with that. I'm not going to get into specifics but we've talked about of course since Dallas and other things have happened how we better that," said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams. "There are certain things that go along with open carry that that person has to do. [For example] you can't menace people, you can't brandish your weapon."  

Thousands of officers from Cleveland and other agencies will provide downtown security for the RNC, which begins Monday and runs through Thursday.

Chief Williams added, "Everything outside the security zone is an open area. If you see something suspicious let us know and we'll check it out."

"We are prepared to welcome the world to Cleveland," said Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Ronald L. Rowe Jr.

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