National Security

What to Expect When You’re Expecting the 2016 RNC


Cleveland is hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC). The RNC is a National Special Security Event, which means that Cleveland will receive $50 million to help pay for heightened security measures, including expanded law enforcement and surveillance. In July 2014, the Cleveland City Council passed an ordinance that places numerous pertinent locations in downtown Cleveland on hold for the RNC Host Committee’s use and grants the city permission to take out an insurance policy.

Cleveland has said it will spend $30 million on expanded personnel and $20 million on security equipment. Additionally, the city is requesting a large insurance policy to not only shield them from liability for injuries and accidents, but also lawsuits arising from First and Fourth amendment violations.

This slideshow by the Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild provides an overview of current city ordinances which relate to the RNC, the equipment and weaponry that Cleveland is planning to purchase for the RNC, as well as examples of items that past convention host cities purchased.

On March 21, 2016 the ACLU of Ohio and a coalition of activists called on city officials to provide opportunities for public input and transparency on the purchase of equipment for the RNC, as well as the decommissioning of this equipment after the convention. This group sent an open letter to the Cleveland mayor and city council and provided a draft resolution for demilitarization of the city’s police force.