NE Ohio colleges, universities to house officers during RNC

NE Ohio colleges, universities to house officers during RNC

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Hundreds of police officers from out of town are coming to the Cleveland area to assist local police departments during the Republican National Convention.

About 1,700 police officers and 200 Ohio National Guard Members will be staying at Case Western Reserve University during the RNC, which is impacting how the university is doing business.

"Classes are canceled Monday through Thursday, so we're going to do it more online, through media, vision and videos our professor posted. So, that's what it is going to be like next week," said student Jasmin Bhango. "I understand both sides. It's a difficult situation and I think the campus is making the best out of it."

Case Western Reserve University released a statement regarding the schedule change during the RNC:

In light of last week's tragedies, Case Western Reserve is reducing operations during the days of the Republican National Convention. As at other Northeast Ohio colleges and universities, classes will be conducted off campus, delivered using online methods, and/or rescheduled for dates before or after July 18-21. We have asked faculty and staff to limit their activities on campus to tasks considered essential—for example, completing an ongoing laboratory experiment whose results would be severely compromised if not addressed next week. The university took these steps after extensive deliberation and out of an abundance of caution relative to the national context of recent violence that could have the potential—however remote--to spur additional incidents. The safety of our community is Case Western Reserve's highest priority, and we believe these steps will enhance our ability to keep the campus secure.

In addition to Cleveland, officers and safety personal are being brought to areas, like Independence, which is where Cleveland 19 News spotted U.S. Capitol K-9 Units at a hotel.

In South Euclid, the police department has been preparing for the RNC for months.

"It's a responsibility we all have. The convention is not just about the City of Cleveland, this is a big economic boost for our region and all of Northeast Ohio. We all have a responsibility in our communities to help out where we can," said South Euclid Director of Community Services Keith Benjamin.

Notre Dame College is also playing a role in housing officers during the RNC. About 300 from various safety forces will be staying in residence halls, including the Ohio National Guard, Ohio Highway Patrol, Federal and State Fire Marshals, and several other out-of-state police departments.

"All of the officers and soldiers have been assigned a residence hall separate from where summer residents are staying. Given their assigned shifts and the level of work, Notre Dame College expects little, if any, disruption to the regular school schedule," said Notre Dame College Chief Communications Officers Brian Johnston.

As of Wednesday, some members of the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Ohio National Guard arrived on campus. All officers are expected in the area by the end of the week.

According to Notre Dame College, the city of Cleveland reached out to area colleges and universities more than a year ago to talk to them about the possibility of hosting officers for the RNC. Plans began taking shape last month, and the college notified students two weeks ago.

For those who live near the college, there may be more traffic on and near the campus compared to usual in the summer, but there will be less traffic coming and going during the RNC than there would be on a normal day during fall and spring semesters.

"If you see police officers or different police departments in or around South Euclid, know that they're there for the convention and it's not for any other reason," said Benjamin.

Johnston said the college welcomes this unique opportunity to help those who are working directly in maintaining the safety and security of citizens of the country and state, and all who are participating in and attending the convention.

"The college will be offering these safety forces a comfortable place to stay in their off hours from convention duty, provide them meals, exercise facilities and in general a place to relax while they are away from their homes during this very important duty in support of those attending and living near the downtown Cleveland area," he said.

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