Secret Service: 'Endless efforts' in place to provide safe RNC environment

Secret Service: 'Endless efforts' in place to provide safe RNC environment

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Eight-foot black steel fences with reinforcement bars and braces go as far as the eye can see along downtown Cleveland's East 9th Street.

Security personnel are taking every preventative step possible, especially after Thursday's attack in Nice, France.

"After France, they're definitely increasing the security -- from cameras, to barriers, to personnel, to private security," said security expert Tim Dimoff.

Dimoff said he is impressed with what he sees in Cleveland. Not only are the temporary barriers sturdy, parts of them have cement reinforcement.

"That double-barrier really does impede the flow of vehicles. There aren't too many vehicles that can get through that," said Dimoff.

If a truck were to get through the barricade, Dimoff said it wouldn't go far.

"(The fence) falls on the curb and it absorbs some of the shock, and the vehicle then would be stopped instead of being able to go on and hurt individuals," he said.

The Department of Homeland Security said Friday there is no specific or targeted threat against the Republican National Convention, but security personnel have been going through scenarios, which is typical of any event of this magnitude.

"The bottom line is, we've got a handful of radical groups that are going to be here. The question is, how far will they ramp up? No one knows. No one can predict," said Dimoff.

Department of Homeland Security officials say they are especially concerned terrorist-inspired individuals and homegrown violent extremists may be encouraged or inspired to target public events or places. They are advising people be vigilant and aware during the RNC.

Dimoff said the only security aspect he'd change in Cleveland is the number of officers on the streets.

"I'd saturate the area. That's a very strong deterrent to any aggressive behavior, all the way up to terrorism," he said.

Though the Secret Service wouldn't discuss operational procedures, spokeswoman Nicole Mainor said the service, along with its partners, takes every aspect of the security planning for the RNC and every protective mission very seriously.

"Endless efforts are in place to provide a safe environment for all," Mainor said.

Following the attack in Dallas, Homeland Security said law enforcement officials refined their plans for the RNC. Officials would not go into specifics.

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