Florida Highway Patrol Helping With Security at Republican National Convention

With security at the top of the list of priorities during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, officers from the Sunshine State including the Florida Highway Patrol have been brought in to help.

NBC 6 gained exclusive access to the efforts in Cleveland of the Florida Highway Patrol that is part of the team brought in to keep things safe. Officers from across the state including South Florida are part of the team.

The city has set up several zones where protesters can voice their opinions and those zones are several blocks away from the convention site.

The Florida Delegation had armed security officers assigned to it as the members were boarding buses and making their way around Cleveland. More than 100 troopers from South Florida and across the state got the call for their expertise.

"We are just here providing security and safety for the citizens of Cleveland," FHP Lt. Col. Michael Thomas said. "We were asked to come here through the Emergency Management Assistance Comp and it's called eMac so they requested us to come and help them out on this mission."

There is quite a debate underway between the Cleveland Police Union President and gun advocates. Ohio is an open carry state where you can carry a weapon legally if it's out in the open. The union representative wants to call a halt to that over the next three days but those who want to carry their weapons say you can't dismiss the law just because the convention is in town.

Thomas said the Cleveland Police Department has done an excellent job coming up with a security plan and so far executing it. He said having to deal with hurricanes and having the RNC in Tampa four years ago really prepared them for the assignment.

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