Security is top of mind at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
The federal government gave Ohio $50 million to spend on security, thousands of additional officers have been brought in to assist, including hundreds officers from California.
Law enforcement hit the streets in Cleveland outside the Quicken Loans Arena Sunday, including California Highway Patrol officers. Ohio law enforcement requested their assistance for the RNC, with extra security and crowd control.
“It’s an honor and a privilege for the CHP to be deployed to the Republican National Convention,” CHP Captain Josh Ehlers said. “We’re sending our special response teams, that have a high level of training and experience in dealing with crowd management.”
CHP were among some 2,500 officers sworn in from across the country in Cleveland, giving them police authority in Ohio. Among the duties, officers are prepared for protesters.
“We’re there to protect people’s first amendment rights, as well,” Capt. Ehlers said. “While we don’t want violence, we’ll be prepared if something occurs,” Capt. Ehlers said. “But we sincerely hope that doesn’t happen.”
Following protests at state GOP conventions, including Burlingame earlier this year, and the officer shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, officers are on high alert.
“In light of Dallas, certainly our officers will remain incredibly vigilant,” Capt. Ehlers said.
KSEE24 & CBS47 Security Analyst Mike Spicer says security will be extra tight this year.
“There is a major concern with all this external stuff going,” Spicer said. “Probably see some heavy duty screening of people coming in and out.”
Military helicopters and U.S. Coast Guard Boats were also brought in. The RNC kicks off Monday.