CLEVELAND - Cleveland city officials gave their final update on the Republican National Convention at 10 a.m. today. The RNC ended Thursday night after four days in Cleveland.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams gave the update and WKYC streamed the event live.
Jackson said "We were accused of not being prepared...but I think the proof was in the pudding...."
Among others, Jackson thanked police, all law enforcement, even the protesters on how they conducted themselves "...and the citizens...and Cleveland will be the model for other events to come..."
Because of the nearly 15,000 media attending and most praising Cleveland and how it handled itself, Jackson said "...people will perceive...that Cleveland has developed a winning attitude..."
When Williams stepped to the podium, the first words he said were "Good morning," to which the media responded "Good morning." After a short pause, the next words Williams said were "Cleveland rocks!"
Williams praised all law enforcement who assisted and singled out the Ohio State Highway Patrol for their extraordinary help in sending 480 deputies to assist, the largest contingent to attend.
He said Cleveland police officers are not headed to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention but that some Philadelphia officers were in Cleveland observing how police handled the RNC.
He reiterated that "...people have a right to demonstrate...and we let them.."
Williams said that part of the preparation for the RNC "...we looked at Charlotte and Tampa..." and it was suggested that Cleveland use bikes so "...we bought 300 bikes.."
Williams said the bikes were effective and that some will distributed to the districts and used in the neighborhoods.
The city had been hosting two daily news conferences, one at 10 a.m. and another at 7 p.m., this week. There is no 7 p.m. update expected tonight.
Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish released statement just before the news conference:
“This has been a great week for Northeast Ohio, as visitors and viewers from around the world saw first-hand what a great place this is to live, work and play. The comments we’ve received have been uniformly outstanding. The RNC is a great example of a public/private partnership that is a hallmark of our community. The success of this tremendous event could not have come together without the tireless and significant efforts of so many partners."
"I applaud and thank Mayor Jackson and the City of Cleveland, the RNC Host Committee, the Committee on Arrangements, Destination Cleveland, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, GCP, the business community, and so many more for creating a fabulous experience for our guests. A special thanks to the police, sheriffs, secret service and law enforcement from around the country for keeping everyone safe while being so kind and approachable. Thank you to the many volunteers for your time and commitment and for being so helpful and welcoming."
"And last, but not least, thank you to the people of Cuyahoga County who, through your patience and great spirit, demonstrated why our region is so special. It is this type of community effort that further highlights that we are open for business and leading Ohio forward. I am proud to say that we have clearly demonstrated why Cleveland and Cuyahoga County are a perfect destination for national events, big or small.”