Cleveland prepares for presidential debate with ramped up security

City will protect against distractions diminishing the impact of the debate

Cleveland prepares for presidential debate with ramped up security
Police presence evident all around the area near Samson Pavilion for the 2020 Presidential Debate (Source: Vic Gideon)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Security is evident all around the Health Education Campus at the Cleveland Clinic in preparation for the 2020 presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

“This is a historical debate and a very important debate since we have two candidates who are distinctly different," says Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. “Success will be if we have a successful debate internally and a successful, safe perimeter outside the debate.”

Cleveland prepares for presidential debate with ramped up security

Cleveland has teamed up with the FBI, Cleveland Clinic, University Circle, the Secret Service, and the Ohio National Guard to protect, against other things, protests potentially turning violent.

“I assure the citizens of Cleveland we have taken every precaution to make sure that while people exercise their First Amendment right to free speech, that it be done in a safe and secure manner," says Karrie Howard, Cleveland Safety Director.

“Members of the task force are specifically trained and equipped and prepared to support law enforcement in protective tasks,” says Lt. Col. Audrey Fielding of the Ohio National Guard Response Unit.

Police visibility has increased on Tuesday. The debate starts at 9:00 p.m.

Copyright 2020 WOIO. All rights reserved.