The Chief of Police of the Cleveland Division of Police describes his agency's efforts to prepare for the 2016 Republican National Convention, which was the largest and most politically charged event in the city's recent history.
The Cleveland Division of Police's current approach to civil disturbance is largely informed by the strategy it used in preparing and implementing security procedures for the convention. It has four key components. First, it solicits input from other police departments across the country that have hosted an event similar to the one for which the Cleveland agency is preparing. Second, the agency coordinates intelligence collection to ensure it has current and comprehensive information it deems important to planning and managing the event. Third, the agency trains officers who will manage event security to accommodate demonstrators to the greatest extent possible, so as to avoid any escalation of unruly behavior; however, police never tolerate physical violence or property damage. Fourth, the agency continually reviews its civil disturbance policies to ensure they are relevant to the current climate, are informed by research, and conform to best practices for a civil disturbance response.