5 Security Measures Being Taken for the Upcoming Political Conventions
The 2016 presidential race has been one of the most vivid and volatile political cycles in recent memory. Colorful personalities, barbed diatribes and clashes of rhetoric have been all the rage due to the nation’s extreme polarization.
With this polarization, comes the need for greater security at campaign events. Two of the largest events will take place next month. The Republican National Convention will take first place first from July 18-21, while the Democratic National Convention will follow a week later in Philadelphia, PA from July 25-28.
The two cities have combined to receive nearly $100 million in funding from the federal government to cover security costs. With this astronomical amount of money being spent, it is important to look at what security measures the two host sites are taking.
With a high number of protestors sure to be demonstrating in both Cleveland and Philadelphia, it is important to have the manpower to counteract any potential disaster. Personnel expenses for public safety and security agencies are important. There are also travel, food and per diem costs for the law enforcement and public safety agencies.
Much of the money gets devoted to the security and crowd-control gear that the security personnel receives. According to The Washington Post, some gear expenses for the Republican National Convention include:
- 2,000 sets of full riot gear
- 2,000 26-inch retractable steel batons
- 2,400 portable and wearable hydration packs
- 310 police bikes and protective gear
- 10,000 sets of plastic handcuffs
- Two night vision devices
- Body Armor (anti-ballistic helmets, groin, arm, chest and leg protection)
- 16 pointer illuminator aiming lasers
- Video surveillance system
- Eight Surface Pro laptops and two cameras
Another consideration is the perimeter that will be set around the two convention locations. City officials in Cleveland have allocated money for 2,500 steel barriers stretching for nearly four miles. A number of security officials will also need to patrol this area for various threats. In Philadelphia, the Wells Fargo Center — site of the convention — and local entertainment hub XFINITY Live! will be included inside the DNC perimeter. Protesters for Bernie Sanders have already secured permits for nearby FDR Park. With these many protesters close to the convention site, it is important to have a secure perimeter.
Contracts need to be made with external vendors to secure important items such as a credential system, leased parking lots in the area, transportation systems, portable bathroom rentals, radio programming, etc. There are also a number of consultants involved in strategizing about the security of the convention area.
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