Two cities decide against sending officers to help at RNC

Two cities decline to send police help for RNC

CLEVELAND - The cities of Cincinnati and Greensboro , North Carolina are backing out of commitments to send officers to help provide crowd control and security at the Republican National Convention.

A Cincinnati police spokesman told Channel 3, the decision was made months ago, but just became public.

He said the decision was made because the city has since won the right to host a big NAACP convention the same week as the RNC and will need all its manpower.

He said there were also concerns about Cleveland covering workers' comp for officers who were injured on the job.

He did not give a specific figure for how many officers are being pulled back.

An internal memo from the Greensboro Police Department mentions the same workers' comp concerns, and a physical exam its officers needed to take that would not be paid for.

The author of the memo, Deputy Chief Brian James, also mentions a "lack of confidence in the city of Cleveland their preparedness for the RNC," citing other unnamed police administrators.

James recommended the city withdraw its offer.

The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association has  claimed the city is generally unprepared.

Union President Steve Loomis spoke in harsher terms Friday.

"The city has been irresponsible getting the equipment we need, getting us the training we need, getting us the numbers of people we need... It borders on dereliction of duty," he charged.

Loomis claimed Toledo, Seattle, Chicago , New York City and Milwaukee Police have all backed off commitments or tentative offers to send officers to help.

He also claimed Philadelphia police, who must deal with the Democratic National Convention weeks after Cleveland's RNC are farther ahead in their plans.

"Philadelphia has had every piece of equipment they needed for the last seven months," he said.

RELATED | Greensboro will not send officers to GOP convention

In a press briefing Wednesday, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams talking about recruiting outside officers. He said, "We're not at full strength where we want to be but we're closer to that. Every day. I sign agreements with outside agencies to help secure the convention. We're getting there . We're close. We're on schedule."

Williams also claimed overall the department is prepared.

A city spokesman Friday claimed Cincinnati Police were never an committed part of the city's plan and took issue with some Greensboro's concerns, denying there was a required physical.

On Tuesday the city  and police brass will hold a press conference to further discuss security plans.


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