The city of Cleveland is prepping for its
role as host of July's Republican National Convention in July by ordering 2,000 sets of riot gear.
Thanks to an earmark folded into last year's federal omnibus appropriation bill, both Cleveland and Philadelphia (as host of the Democratic National Convention) will receive $50 million in federal security funds to be used for public safety during each city's respective convention.
Andrew J. Tobias reports at Cleveland.com:
The city this week posted to its contracting website a notice seeking bidders to provide the gear. City documents refer to the "Elite Defender" riot-control suit manufactured by HWI Gear and a 26-inch baton manufactured by Monadnock, plus 2,000 bags to carry them.
The city also wants to buy 310 sets of riot-control gear — long-sleeve jackets, gloves and shin guards — that would be suitable for use by police riding bicycles.
The convention itself is expected to draw about 50,000 attendees and the city wants to prepare itself for the possibility of up to 100,000 protesters.
Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association President Steve Loomis told Cleveland's local Fox affiliate that RNC's are typically "violent" and "a lot more troublesome for the police departments." Loomis added, "I've never been to the RNC so I don't know, but I have to take the word of the guys training police across the country for these events."
The city also intends to purchase three miles worth of "Blockader"-branded steel barricades and an additional 3,250 feet worth of barricades that would rise to over six feet above street level.