In Cleveland, security measures put in place ahead of RNC

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Police departments from across the country are sending in about 2,500 officers to assist the 500 Cleveland police dedicated to the Republican National Convention. Federal agencies will help. (WPVI)

In Downtown Cleveland Friday night, protestors marched in the name of Black Lives Matter. Dozens of Cleveland police officers on bicycles followed closely behind - videotaping their every move.

Police departments from across the country are sending in about 2,500 officers to assist the 500 Cleveland police dedicated to the Republican National Convention. Federal agencies will help.

"We have within DHS some 3,000 personnel that will be dedicated to the security of the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention each," said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Fencing is going up. Barricades are ready to go. Surveillance cameras are wired. Roads will be closed. Air monitors are in place. Several command centers are operational. The security plan has been in the works for more than a year.

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Downtown Cleveland during the Republican National Convention will look a lot like Philadelphia during the papal visit.



"This area from July 18 to July 21 is going to be about the safest place in the entire world," said David O'Neil, Republican National Convention. "The security forces that we've had on the ground here for more than a year are top notch."

Also today, students helped inflate the 125,000 balloons that will drop from the convention ceiling. The stage is set, with the final security sweep set for Saturday evening.

Construction was completed in record time because the NBA finals here just last month.

"It's never been done before in less than five weeks, but as we say it always takes Democrats a little longer to finish things," said O'Neil. "Well, I mean it's all in good fun."

Cleveland residents are ready to show off their city and hoping their police can handle what's ahead.

"I think they've had their practices. We've had some recent histories here in Cleveland that they've been testing and protests. I think they're well prepared," said Marci Aydelotte, Cleveland.
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