Securing the Convention

Securing the ConventionBeth A. KapesHost Committee
Image by Bob Perkoski

As Cleveland prepares for an influx of 50,000 visitors, including 15,000 credentialed media, for the 2016 Republican National Convention in mid-July, security is top-of-mind among the community—and a top priority for city leaders.

To ensure the safest Convention experience, more than $50 million will be spent on security, and the security planning team will prepare “for all contingencies,” stated Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Monday, March 21.

In a “CBS This Morning” interview Priebus emphasized that “we’ll be prepared, it’ll be fine, and I guarantee you we’ll have a good time and it’ll be a fun convention in Cleveland.”

Zeroing in on the security zone
Given its high profile and size, the Convention is designated as a National Special Security Event (NSSE), making Cleveland eligible for the $50 million federal grant it received in December to offset the city’s cost for providing security. The Secret Service will lead the effort in partnership with the Cleveland Division of Police to help ensure the safety and security of those participating in or otherwise attending the Convention as well as the local community.

Many other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, are part of the planning process.

Part of the security efforts being implemented for the four-day Convention are security perimeters that can only be accessed with a specific credential. The perimeters will be set up around the main Convention venues, Quicken Loans Arena (The Q) and the FirstMerit Convention Center.

Details regarding the perimeter, commonly referred to as the “security zone,” will be shared by the Secret Service in the weeks leading up to the Convention.